For this round, Michelle wants to know what attracts us to our favorite genres:
What elements in your favorite genre make it your favorite?
For instance, if your favorite genre is romance, what elements do you
like in a romance story? A tortured hero? A spunky heroine? Steamy love
scenes? Sweet romance? If your fave genre is sci-fi, what elements do
you love the most (the characters, the science, the possibilities?),
So, what was it that first attracted me to speculative fiction, or science fiction and fantasy? For me, I would say it was the fantastic, out-of-this-world elements, whether those mean magic or sufficiently advanced science. I enjoy the extraordinary and the sense of wonder they inspire. But I'm also a science geek, so I enjoy reading about science in fiction.
Kate mentioned in her blog post yesterday that she enjoyed YA because it can be mixed with other genres. The same thing can be said of speculative fiction. The genre mixes well with other genres like romance, mystery, and even Western (Star Trek was pitched as "Wagon Train [a TV Western] to the stars.") Settings can range from our own past (or alternate versions of it) to our future. And even though at first glance, speculative fiction doesn't seem to be linked to the real world, it can provide a different perspective on our world and current events. For example, nonhuman characters like androids and elves can be used to explore what it means to be human. Writers living in oppressive regimes have used speculative fiction as a way to talk about ideas that might otherwise get them into trouble. Speculative fiction can be read on many levels and tell many types of stories. In my opinion, it's an under-appreciated genre, and I hope more people try it. There's bound to be a story you'll enjoy.
Kate was the first to tackle this question, and Christine will address it tomorrow.