Science Fiction: Subgenres, Elements and Categories of Sci-fi Writing

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From books to movies, the sci-fi genre is counted among the most popular and successful genres in terms of providing sheer entertainment value to its audience of every age group. 

Readers shower their huge love of the sci-fi stories as all the imaginary elements which don’t exist in the real world, but yet appeal to everyone to accept it as a future possibility. 

What is Science Fiction?

Science fiction is generally addressed as a genre of speculative fiction, where the story plot follows futuristic ideas, scientific concepts, space explorations & adventures, extraterritorial existence, time travel, cosmic possibilities, etc.

Sci-fi stories are not just limited to books, movies or tv series, but it helps humankind to explore all the possibilities of human aspiration and urges and inspire the professionals in science and technology to look for potential possibilities of new innovations and discoveries.

science fiction book genre and subgenres
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Elements of Science Fiction Novels-

  • Aliens
  • Parallel universe
  • Time travel
  • Space travel
  • Extraterrestrial beings
  • Telepathy
  • Advance technology
  • Robots
  • Space warfare
  • Fictional planets
  • Fictional worlds
  • Spaceships
  • Teleportation

2 Science Fiction Categories-

  • Hard science fictionHard science fiction novels are based on scientific facts, realistic and plausible themes or concepts following the laws of science.
  • Soft science fiction- Novels of soft science fiction are based on social science like psychology, sociology containing no scientifically accurate or plausible science.

#1 Cyberpunk

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Cyberpunk is the subgenre of science fiction, which showcases a dystopian futuristic world along with advanced technology.

#2 Space opera-

Space opera follows the stories set mainly on outer space showcasing space warfare, space conflicts, space adventures, romance and interplanetary battles.

#3 Steampunk

This retro-futuristic subgenre, steampunk showcases the technology blending steam-powered machinery.

#4 Science fantasy

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

The novels of sci-fi fantasy contain both science fiction and fantasy elements.


Dune by Frank Herbert

War of the worldby H.G Wells

Nineteen Eighty-Fourby George Orwell

A Game of Thronesby George R. R Martin

American Godsby Neil Gaiman

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a YA short story author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. Neel’s magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.