Sci-Fi is Just Window Dressing

So I’ve been addicted to sci-fi lately: The Road, Ender’s Game, Rendezvous with Rama, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Foundation, Out of the Silent Planet, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Whew.

I’ve come to the rather obvious conclusion that the sci-fi genre (and I imagine other genres like it) isn’t really that specialized. Certainly there’s all that space or futurism or time travel or neat new technology, but in the end it’s still just a story. It could be a love story or a political discourse or an adventure or whatever. The science fiction part is more or less the setting. That’s perhaps an oversimplification, but there it is. Star Wars didn’t need the stars.

Which is an interesting conclusion if you want to write fiction. Genre helps sell fiction (so they say), but it’s merely window dressing compared to the story. At least in the best books, anyway.

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