Last week we talked the genre of fantasy and some of its sub-genres. This week I thought we'd take a minute to discuss another one of my well loved genres - science fiction. Sci fi is a broad genre that covers several sub-genres, some you may not even think are classed as sci fi.
One of my favorite versions of sci fi is the space opera. You know like Firefly and Babylon 5. In space opera, a good portion of the story takes place predominately in space and deals with space faring situations. Now, you might be able to give me a good argument that Babylon 5 is also military sci fi, and I wouldn't argue with you. But to me, those two shows epitomize space opera.
Then there's hard sci fi. This isn't a sub-genre I prefer, not being interested in the dry factual dissemination of technology. In hard sci fi, the science is meticulously described and could also be quite plausible based on the scientific standards of the modern day. The science in the Jurassic Park books is a good example of hard sci fi.
Then there's the punk sci fi. Two that specifically come to mind with this sub-genre is cyberpunk and steampunk. Yes, steampunk is classed as sci fi. Sci fi doesn't have to take place in the future. It can take place in an alternate past as well. Cyberpunk deals with computerization of people by fusing them with machines to create cyborgs. Cyberpunk also tends to be more dystopian in nature.
There are other sub-genres of sci fi, but I'll leave you to explore those on your own. Just know that science fiction, in its own way, is as broad a genre as fantasy.