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What is it?
Space ships, aliens, inter-planetary travel, time travel, alternate universes, robots, futuristic technology…the list goes on.
The realm of Sci-Fi is enormous—there are so many possibilities and sub genres (Space Opera! Dystopia! Apocalyptic!) and the possibilities are pretty near endless. What often gets confusing, however, is the line between Sci-Fi and Fantasy. The way I see it, if the elements and events are remotely possible and grounded in science (rather than magic & mythical creatures), then it’s Sci-Fi.
Pros/Cons of Writing YA Sci-Fi:
- Loads of variety. Like I mentioned above, there’s just as much variety in Sci-Fi as there is in Fantasy or anywhere else. Aliens, robots, spaceships and time-traveling men in blue police boxes only just scratch the surface.
- Imagine the possibilities. One of the many cool things about Sci-Fi is technically, the stories could actually happen. Because they’re grounded in reality and science, many Sci-Fi stories, hypothetically, could happen in the future (and many older Sci-Fi stories have technology that didn’t exist then, but exists today, which I think is awesome).
- They’re often action-packed. From space battles to wars to end-of-the-world scenarios, YA Sci-Fi novels are rarely boring.
- Sexism. This is a rather ugly truth, and thankfully things are changing, but sadly there are people out there who won’t pick up a Sci-Fi novel written by a woman. (There are also people out there who won’t pick up any novel written by a woman, but I digress). It’s something I hope, if you’re a female Sci-Fi writer, you never encounter, but the truth is, it’s still out there.
- Tough world building. Like YA High Fantasy, there’s a lot of massive world building necessary to really make your YA Sci-Fi novel shine. But world building is fun (at least, to me), and while it’s difficult, it’s pretty incredible to see what you come up with when you push yourself (or have others push you).
I’ll continue to repeat that reading in the genre you’re writing isn’t optional. But the good news is there are plenty of awesome books to enjoy.
Note: While I haven’t read all of these, the ones I haven’t read I either want to read, have heard good things about, or were rating highly on Goodreads (or all three).
- Across the Universe (Across the Universe trilogy) by Beth Revis
- The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave trilogy) by Rick Yancey
- These Broken Stars (Starbound trilogy) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
- Tempest (Tempest trilogy) by Julie Cross
- Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
- Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
For more, check out Goodreads’ Science Fiction shelf, with breakdowns for each category (aliens, apocalyptic, cyberpunk, robots, space opera, etc.) and YA Science Fiction shelf.
- YA Common Clichés series: YA Science Fiction by S.E. Sinkhorn at Maybe Genius
- On Science Fiction by Beth Revis on her blog
- 4 Things to Consider When Ending the World by Amie Kaufman at The League of Extraordinary Writers (which is a great YA Sci-Fi oriented writer blog, by the way).
- Why Sci-Fi? by Gennifer Albin at The League of Extraordinary Writers
Do you enjoy reading or writing YA Sci-Fi? Share your experience!
Thinking about writing YA Sci-Fi? Writer @Ava_Jae shares some tips, recommendations and more. (Click to tweet)
Do you write YA Sci-Fi? Share your experience at @Ava_Jae’s So You Want to Write series. (Click to tweet)