I started my YA Genres 101 series with a general introduction of YA, then I continued last week with the Fantasy genre. This week it’s time for Science Fiction, aka Sci-Fi! I’m also taking some time to talk about the subgenres of Science Fiction; Dystopia & steampunk.
Books in the Science Fiction Genre are The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Lunar Chronicles, the Firebird trilogy, and of course many, many more! Goodreads has a nice list of popular YA Science Fiction books.
YA Science Fiction features post-apocalyptic worlds, social & political structures and war. And they usually have a futuristic setting. Of course, the main character is always a young adult. Science Fiction is a genre with a few subgenres, but overall they share the Sci-Fi features.
I have to admit I haven’t read many actual Sci-Fi books, but with what I’ve found during my research I think I have a good impression of what it looks like. Of course, “science” is a huge part of the “fiction” (See what I did there? Ha! – I know I’m not funny, don’t worry.) Anyway, science is quite a big deal. In the Firebird trilogy (A Thousand Pieces of You), for example, Marguerite’s parents are scientists, and they invent this device called the Firebird. The entire book is about using this device and travelling through different dimensions.
Dystopias take place in the future and it’s been a very popular genre over the past few years. The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner are doing great in cinemas, but of course, they were books first! In Dystopias the post-apocalyptic worlds, social & political structures and futuristic settings really show. Let’s take The Hunger Games for an example. After this awful war, a new society has been created (war, post-apocalyptic – in the future), Panem is now divided into twelve districts and the Capitol (political structure) and these districts all have different jobs, and some districts are rich, others are poor (social structure). There’s not a lot of actual science in the Hunger Games, but if you take a look at The Chemical Garden trilogy, the post-apocalyptic world basically comes from a scientific project gone wrong. If you analyse the popular YA Dystopias, you find most of these things in the story.
I recently read this article on The Reading Room, discussing whether or not YA fiction was getting too political. But guys, of course, it’s political! That’s the point of a dystopia!
Steampunk is the other side of the coin with Dystopias. They take place in the past, usually in Victorian England. It’s like “What the past would look like if the future happened sooner.” In The Infernal Devices, the villain has a clockwork army, basically a bunch of robots running on clockwork. It also takes place in Victorian London. They use steam trains for transportation and have a fantasy/paranormal aspect. (I mean, Shadowhunters, warlocks, demons…) The technology in steampunk novels is ahead of the books actual time. The name Steampunk comes from the fact that machine and transportation run on steam.
What you do think of Sci-Fi? Is it a good one, or would you rather read something else? What’s your favourite subgenre?
PS. Next week will be all about Contemporary!
YA Genres 101 Blog Series