I enjoy all types of science-fiction. While writing, I try not to pigeonhole myself to any specific sub-genre and I occasionally branch out into horror. In this post, I will share where I think the sci-fi genre is going and the types of books I write within it.
By broad definition, science-fiction is fictional science. If you look at it from that top-level, any book that mentions an ability, device, or concept that goes beyond what our sciences are currently capable of creating or explaining would have sci-fi elements. If you write a romance about time-travelers, even if the time-travel is secondary, it still has roots in science-fiction although it should be promoted as a romance novel. For example, many of Stephen King’s books have sci-fi elements, but his primary genre is horror.
The world of science-fiction is changing with the times for two reasons and those of us writing within the genre must adapt.
First, technology is advancing at an exponential rate. What would have been science-fiction 50 years ago is now science-fact. Take for example our efforts to send pioneers to explore the viability of life on Mars. Advancements in space travel, medicine, manufacturing, and just about every other industry have drastically advanced with each passing decade.
Second, readers and publishers are now looking for character-driven versus plot-driven novels. Even sci-fi authors must understand and adapt to that paradigm shift. Personally, I believe this started in the sci-fi world with Star Wars where we fell in love with Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and even R2-D2. A more recent example would be Orphan Black. In that amazing series, it is the characters we fall in love with, not the fact that they are clones.
Where do I see the sci-fi genre heading? I see it leading us to character-driven novels of technologies, abilities, and laws of physics we have not yet begun to fathom explored in ways that we would never have imagined. It is an exciting time to be a fan.
When I write science-fiction, I focus on technologies and bending the laws of physics. I’m one of those people who believe that fiction, even science-fiction, should be based on fact and possibility. You will never catch me writing about flying pigs or the world being taken over by giant ants. Here is a quick list of the types of books I like to write:
1. Technological Thrillers.
Novels in which the excitement of the plot depends in large part upon the descriptions of computers, weapons, software, military vehicles, or other machines. My first book, Rebirth, is a good example of this.
2. Dystopian Thrillers.
Novels relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice. My second book, The Drift, is a prime example.
3. Space Thrillers.
Novels relating to thrilling adventures or dilemmas set on a spacecraft or another world. Reborn, the sequel to Rebirth is a space thriller. I will be publishing it sometime in the next few years.
4. Supernatural Thrillers.
Novels that include a paranormal element mixed with tension, suspense, and plot twists. Sometimes the protagonist or villain has psychic abilities or superpowers. My new book, The Wanderer, is an example. The Wanderer: Vindicta will be published this summer (2022).
5. Apocalyptic Thrillers.
Novels depicting or describing the total destruction of humanity or extremely bad future events. My new book, Genesis, is a perfect example. Genesis will be available late this year (2022).
As you can see, the consistent element is that I write thrillers since they are my favorite reads. I love to be kept on the edge of my seat wondering how things are going to resolve only to be shocked and pleasantly surprised by the unexpected resolution.
While my primary focus is on the development of my characters, I like to spin a good yarn and keep my readers guessing. At the same time, I believe it is crucial to remain believable throughout. Whatever I am writing about, I exhaustively research it until I consider myself an expert on the concept. What I don’t want to do is give a reader or scientist the intellectual fodder to completely debunk my ideas.
For the same reason, I do an extensive amount of research on my characters. If one of my characters is a child psychologist, then I interview child psychologists and research their profession. The same applies to any profession that appears in my novels – doctors, lawyers, police officers, astronauts, geneticists, engineers, etc. I don’t want a professional from the industry coming back with a review that says: “We would never do that…,” or “That would never work….”
So, in short, I guess you could say I write realistic and relatable thrillers, typically under the sci-fi umbrella.
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