Today I have with you all a great guest post from the lovely Chele Cooke! She’s here to talk all about her Sci-Fi Inspirations.
When asked to write about my Sci-Fi inspirations, I had to sit and think about it for a while. Not because I don’t have Sci-Fi inspirations, but because the reasons they are inspirational to me is not always connected to the genre. Adversely, though I now write Sci-Fi, most of my inspirations for writing come from other genres I enjoy.
Most of my Sci-Fi background comes from movies and television. Reading, I was always more drawn to fantasy and when I started writing my own fiction, it was fantasy that took the driving seat.
These days, most of the ideas I have for fiction land in the Sci-Fi genre, though there are a lot of other influences that come into play when it comes to creating a story. Romances from Chick Lit books, fight scenes from an action movie, deep and believable characters from television shows. Inspiration comes from anywhere you choose to look for it. What you then do with it, that’s where the fun comes in.
My Sci-Fi will never be shiny or highly technical. I could never write the long backstory of the discovery of light speed travel that makes my Adveni race able to travel between planets. That’s not the sort of writer I am, nor is it the type I want to be. My fiction is deeply rooted in character, in what makes us and breaks us, not in the science behind how these things came to be.
With those things in mind, it probably won’t surprise anyone to find that I’m much more at home with Sci-Fi like the show Firefly by Joss Whedon, and books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the Silo series by Hugh Howey. These stories sit within the encompassing Sci-Fi genre, though it is not all they are. They are gritty and dark when needed. They focus in on small bands of characters over telling a more distant tale of a race as a whole. They are entirely relatable, despite the futuristic elements and interesting technological advances.
I love these stories for the characters in some parts, the world building in others. I look to them not for their skill in explaining the technology available and the creation of their civilisations, but because they tell fantastically human stories that I connect with.
Stories like these encompass elements from various genres. Firefly is a perfect example of this, taking Western and Sci-Fi and blending them together into a new and imaginative story.
Genre is a funny thing, because sometimes it is the tale of the plot; Romance vs Thriller, for example. Other times, it is the created world that sits a story in a genre (Fantasy, Sci-Fi.)
Sometimes, it’s even the voice that makes something the genre it is. Comedy wouldn’t be comedy if it wasn’t funny, but that is to do with the way it is told. We even have books grouped exclusively by the age range of the readers. There are expectations with each genre, but no genre is exclusive. We must choose where to place novels even if they span two, three, even five genres.
Do you put The Hunger Games as a Young Adult book, or as a Dystopian?
My books often dip into various genres, and sometimes those genres aren’t even the ones I expected when I started writing. Fun explorations of Vampires become thrillers with elements of horror. A tale of a Sci-Fi revolution becomes a Sci-Fi dystopia with elements of romance, fantasy, and adventure.
There are a lot of Sci-Fi stories that I absolutely love. There are some I hate. A psychological thriller can be as much an inspiration for a Sci-Fi as Star Trek. The interesting part, for me at least, is where they intersect and you find something new.