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KAIJU SCI-FI

Kaiju or Tokusatsu is a Japanese subgenre, long popular in the rest of the world. These epics always feature one or more kaiju, meaning big powerful quirky monsters. A major example is the "Godzilla" franchise, and that creature's American counterpart King Kong.



LOST WORLDS SCI-FI
Stories about the discoveries of lost civilizations, lost worlds or lost cultures


Lost Worlds is one of the oldest SF varieties. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Lost World, based upon South America's then-mysterious 'tepui' plateaus, lent its very name to this subgenre.

It has been adapted film and television numerous times including BBC's 2001 television movie. Television's popular series Lost, from J.J. Abrams, continues the tradition with its bizarre isolated island.



MATH SCI-FI
Stories about the discoveries of lost civilizations, lost worlds or lost cultures


These stories center around actual mathmatical concepts. Douglas Hofstadter's scholarly tome Godel, Escher, Bach uses short fictional stories as illustrations. Catherine Asaro's novella "The Spacetime Pool" features life-and-death math puzzles.

In cinema, the 1998 feature film Pi is an excellent example of this subgenre. The plot evolves around a mathematical genius, Maximillian Cohen, who theorizes that everything in nature can be understood through numbers. Knowing starring Nicholas Cage is another film example.




References and Excerpts: cuebon.com, editorialdepartment.com, fictionfactor.com, techrepublic.com, wikipedia.org,
worldswithoutend.com, writing-world.com, imdb.com






SCI-FI SUBGENRES K - M



MEDIA TIE-IN SCI-FI

Media tie-in (game-based, Star Trek novels, etc.) is a self-explanatory subgenre. Whether originally a book, a video game, or a screenplay, the novel versions build upon these tale's on-screen popularity. These stories must conform to strict rules, like not allowing the main characters to change very much, so that they'll continue to match the series' canon. (Often these books have a huge marketing budget, and they tend to dominate chain bookstore shelves.)

A big hit at the box office is the Resident Evil films adapted from a video game about a special military unit who fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.



MILITARY SCI-FI
Concerned less with technology and space opera and more with sociological speculation about human society


Military science fiction looks at combat in future locations (space, another planet), against a range of opponents (modified humans, aliens, machines), with futuristic, high-tech weaponry (including genetically modified soldiers).

Stories in this sub-genre may revel in warfare or suggest anti-war themes. In some stories, interstellar or interplanetary conflict and its armed solution (war) make up the main or partial backdrop of the story. Such war is usually shown from the point of view of a soldier and / or the main characters are often part of the military chain of command.

Very popular in cinema is Paul Verhoeven's film adaption of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The military system and its characters of this film was a large part of the dramatization.

Literature examples include David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series, which explores both the heroism and the carnage of warfare, and Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin series, starting with Ender's Game, is a military SF novel with a strong emphasis on sociological issues, and is one of the seminal series in this sub-genre.

Jerry Pournelle’s John Christian Falkenberg novels, Keith Laumer’s Bolo novels, Joe Haldman's novel The Forever War, and David Feintuch's "Hope" novels are other examples.



MUNDANE SCI-FI

Mundane SF focuses on stories set on or near the Earth, with a believable use of technology and science as it exists at the time the story is written. It features near-future stories, without any improbable technologies, or interplanetary settings, at least beyond what known spacecraft can reach. A possible film example would be Gravity. While it's scientific accuracy has been the subject of hot debate, the film overall is based on familiar technologies and is set near Earth.



MYTHIC SCI-FI
Refers to titles rooted in fables or mythology


The works are, ultimately, inspired by, or that in some way draws from the tropes, themes and symbolism of myth, folklore, and fairy tales. Some stories depict aliens and/or humans using high-tech means to recreate mythological settings, and the "magical powers" of the ancient gods.

These could be pantheon-based characterisations, or retellings of famous mythological journeys in SF/ F settings. Neil Gaiman and John Crowley are masters of this sub-genre.

Another example, Dan Simmons' novel Ilium brings an idyllic Mount Olympus and the bloody Trojan War to Mars--sort of. In Roger Zelazney's classic novel Lord of Light, the main characters employ technology to cast themselves as deities from the mythology of India.

Syfy's award winning series Battlestar Galactica is steeped with Greek mythology. Worshiping Greek Gods, some of the names of the 12 human colonies include Caprica, Picon, Sagittaron, Tauron, and Vigron. These survivors are on a quest to find the mythical 13th colony - Earth.

Other examples from TV is the Star Trek original-series episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and the Stargate series which Asgard and Thor are woven into the ongoing plot.



SCI-FI SUB-GENRES - N - O > > >




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