Let’s talk science fiction!

I know I haven’t been as active on here as usual, but I’m still on my writing binge which is going well.  There is one reminder I want to give.  Today is the last day of the writing contest.  At midnight (EST) I will be closing the contest from further entries or comments.  That means if you want to get something in, do it quick!  This is the link to save time.  Remember, the first place prize is a $20 Amazon gift card and the second place receives a $10 Amazon gift card.  Great for those who could use the extra money for books!

Now on to the main topic.  What types of stories do you look for in science fiction.  This can include sci-fi romance and apocalyptic fiction so don’t worry about it being specific.  So long as your preferences fall somewhere under the overall genre, it’s okay.  I’m curious as to what readers prefer when getting into this fun category.

A few helpful hints include

Do you prefer the story be on an entirely different planet than earth?

Are alternate or future versions of earth your preference?

Is it preferable that it have a lot of scientific terms be used or not?

Do you want there to be some romance included or hate when it is?

Should there be a lot of politics that have an eerie resemblance to our own except in a futuristic way?


These are the types of answers I’m looking for.  I’ll look forward to seeing what you all have to say!


~ by Suzie on December 30, 2011.

11 Responses to “Let’s talk science fiction!”

  1. Hi, Susan. Some really good, thought-provoking questions. I guess, first of all, my choice in science fiction tends toward stories that are softer on science, with more emphasis on the people (or aliens). I generally prefer fantasy to SF, but a well-written SF story will definitely hook me!
    I tend to be fairly eclectic in my reading … But I do tend toward stories set on other planets or on earth in a far-distant or alternate future.
    I tend to enjoy stories where the science is minimal … and i don’t have to keep a dictionary at my elbow to keep looking up words. if the SF blends with elements of mystery or horror, that’s OK too!
    As for romance … We humans are a romantic species! I don’t mind a little eroticism, either – but porn in anything is a turn-off for me.
    Since I read for escape – to tune out the problems that are confronting us these days – books that are heavy on politics are a turn-off for me as well.
    It will be interesting to see what other responses you get from these questions.

  2. Darn, a perfect description and she’s already got a book!

  3. Hi Mistress, and P.L.! It’s Nel Jeppsen. My novel, Story Time focuses on humans on this planet (Earth) who undergo the end of days and find themselves, eventually, on another planet they call Harmony. The story is more about humans than about the aliens who come to harvest the resources of the dying planet. It is “soft” science fiction, and for many people a lot more believable, than hard science fiction books. I hope that anyone who enjoys soft sci-fi, with a “human-touch” will enjory Story Time!

  4. I don’t typically read Sci-Fi, so I don’t think I have any preferences. I took a Sci-Fi lit class in college and read some really good books. I think what drew me in was the characters, the human side of the story. Dune is one of my favorites. I also really enjoyed Kim Harrison’s Red Mars trilogy, which has a lot of hard science in it, but the characters were compelling.

  5. Nel, I’m also a fan of Kim Harrison and her Rachel Morgan stories. I’m a few books behind at this point – past time to catch up!

  6. The genre of Science Fiction is generally very wide and personally, I find it one of the most ineresting reading genres for exactly that reason. It seems that in sci-fi, no subject is really taboo.

    For me, I love the hypothetical technologies and the way characters in sci-fi are often forced to adapt in order to overcome whatever is in their way.

    Although I don’t have locational preferences, I think it is important that the author make the places and scenario’s with a reasonable semblance of believability, and a decent level of descriptive accuracy as to what the reader is meant to see.

    Some of the best science-fiction is placed in the most believable circumstances. Often invasions are set in our present time as it is intended to show that the human spirit overcomes everything, but that does not have to be the case. Linell Jeppsen’s Story Time is an excellent example, as the character development within the story is far more important than the science fiction elements that form a key part of the ending, but bear only minor impact to the main story line.

    One of my favourite books is from the Star Wars novels. The Courtship Of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton takes the main characters and a vast majority of the plot away from the traditional expectations of the star wars space-born battle and combat and moves them into a whole new level of experiences on a planet where force-strong “witches” rule and represent both sides of the force in their own way. The later Star Wars books begin to move significantly towards the political spectrum and although some of these books were not so popular, they are very good in their own right.

    When a sci-fi writer over-does the ‘jargon’ it can effectively kill the readers interest. I know I have come across several in my time and so it becomes important for the author to understand that although they may need to introduce technology for their story to be effective, they do not have to go into the most intricate workings of that technology… just make what you write reasonably believable.

    Romance is an element of sci-fi that some writers neglect because they feel it may weaken their plot, but if you go back through many successful sci-fi offerings, you will often find some level of romantic element included for one of the main characters.

    As a sci-fi writer brought up on a diet of Asimov, Arthur C Clark, Tolkien, Adams and so many others, I like to think that modern writers have plenty of resources available to them to create something individual and unique, but I can see that getting harder in the future as some ideas become over-used.

  7. I enjoy science fiction a great deal. I would prefer a mixture of technological aspects along with the human element. I like a mixture of plots so long as there is a human element that keeps in touch with reality. I will give you an example of a show that I thought start out strong then went quickly downward. It was called Sea Quest. The first season actually dealt with the characters lives and possible technology that could be incorporated easily into the theme. All actually based on a believable premise. The second season went completely off track to the supernatural, dimensions, dream scenes, etc. They complete went off track from the show that many enjoyed thus destroying the entire dynamics. The show never had a third season and I stopped watching after a few eposides into the second season.

    • I remember hearing about that series. I was told it would not be something I would enjoy, so never saw any of it.

      It sounds like you might enjoy my books, as I base my central storyline around the human elements who are spread through the galaxy and the various other races they are both allied to and in conflict with. I do like to muck about with technology, but I have to make things realistic… i.e. spaceships do not act like fighter aircraft in space, and so on.

      I think sometimes, writers (especially screen writers) think they know how to make something appeal to a wider audience and they totally forget who their original viewers were.

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