Wednesday, May 2, 2012

sci-fi genre

This is not what I want my world to look like.
So I've been researching SF genres lately because Novel 2 is looking to be in that realm.  When I think of SF I think of white walls, sterile rooms, space, technology.  I didn't want it to be too futuristic, but I don't really know a lot about the genre.

So I read a bunch of books: Across The Universe, Feed, XVI, Uglies, Ender's Game.  Some I read before, some I have recently picked up.

One common theme I saw was instant communication.  No need for phones, no need to carry anything. In every book, pretty much everyone has a device implanted into them to allow for communication.  In Across The Universe, it was the wi-com.  In Feed, it was the feed.  In Uglies, it was the skintenna and pings.  And I thought having a iPhone that lets me use apps, phone and music was good...

And there's always new technology and gadgets.  Across The Universe has the floppies, which I think of as iPads that are thin and membrane-like.  Uglies had a bunch, like the skimmer board and crash bracelets.  Feed has the hover cars.  Things that make it apparent that it isn't the same time period as now.

There's also new bio-technology, like DNA scanners in Across The Universe, or Pretty surgery in Uglies, or viruses or bacteria.

Also the lingo.  This is my favorite part, making up new words.  In Across The Universe, she uses "brilly" and "chutz". (The first one is great, but I never really understood what the latter meant).  In Uglies, there are "littlies" to mean "when they were younger".  I could do another whole post on this like I did before on what makes good slang, but I'll keep my linguistic fetishes to myself this time.

The hard part is thinking up stuff that will exist in the future.  How do I know what's going to happen in the future??  The options are endless!  Wait, so maybe that's a good thing.

I'm trying to find a balance, of future stuff and stuff that is familiar.  I think Scott Westerfeld did a great job with this.  That's the type of feel I'm going for.  Or In Time (if you ever saw that movie with JT).  I don't want my future setting to go all technology on me like FEED; I want there to be regular buildings and plants and animals, but also seem like technology has progressed.  I want to tip-toe that line.


  1. I really need to read Across The Universe--I keep hearing good things about it. And Ender's Game! I have it downloaded on my ipad but haven't opened it yet.

    I love when worlds have their own lingo and gadgets--it makes the world believable and really helps to immerse me in it. That could definitely be tricky, though, to find a balance between the futuristic and the familiar. You can definitely do it! Just keep researching and brainstorming and world building :)

  2. You already have a jump on others with your science background. By the way, that picture at the top of your post reminds me of the Spice Girls dystopian music video.

    1. That's true! I didn't even think about my science background. That will help me out in the long run. (Never seen the Spice Girls vid - but will def be checking it out!)