Last week, when I introduced Sci-Fi for the month, I talked about all the elements that qualify a story as science-fiction, and even gave a little break down of why I classify some stories as sub-subgenres. Like fantasy, I’m dividing the world of sci-fi into even smaller classifications.
But after taking a closer look at all of the elements of sci-fi and the way Wikipedia divides it, I’ve decided I don’t really think sci-fi has as many sub-subgenres as fantasy does subgenres. (Again–for me sci-fi is a subgenre of fantasy so if I’m going to take it a step further and break down sci-fi, then it has sub-subgenres.)
I’ve come to the conclusion that every sci-fi story can be classified as one out of four groups: alien, dystopian, time travel or metal men.
See, last week I talked about all sorts of elements that are involved in a sci-fi story, but I really think all of those elements can fit one of these groups. Quantum physics? Usually time related. Space life? There’s bound to be an alien involved and if not, then it’s set in a weird future so it’s definitely dystopic. Alternate history or timelines? Once again a time issue. Space opera or western? I’d venture to say an alien is going to show up–or the words is some weird colony which definitely makes that world a dystopia. What about superhhumans or cyberpunk? I’d call those elements metalmen. Even militaristic sci-fi (think Ender’s Game) might have aliens show up or be set in an imperfect world where something has been colonized and a person [aka the main character] is going to rebel.
I figure–why cause even more confusion with a million different classifications of sci-fi when stories all boil down to one or two elements that end up setting them apart from other genres.
Still following my crazy organized brain? If not–I have this super spacey infographic that lays it all out for you!
Here’s my breakdown…