Grasping for the Wind Rotating Header Image

Guest Post: What is Your Favorite Speculative Fiction Genre?

What is Your Favorite Speculative Fiction Genre?
By JC De La Torre
You love speculative fiction. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be visiting this site or others like it. You wouldn’t be reading this article. When you consider all the different subgenres of speculative fiction it’s not difficult to understand why folks are embracing it lately. Everywhere you look, speculative fiction is dominating the airwaves and inkwells. Star Trek and Wolverine own the box office, with Terminator and Harry Potter soon to follow. Spec Fic has even snuck into the rarefied air of the stuffy New York Times best seller list, first with Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series and then with Seth Grahame-Smith’s interesting re-imaging of Pride and Prejudice (with zombies, no less). Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse is steaming up HBO, while Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian continues to capture young minds. TV shows like Supernatural, Heroes and Fringe keep speculative fiction in the forefront, introducing the genre and its subset to thousands of new readers and viewers.
Its really thanks to Harry Potter that this has happened. Before Harry, speculative fiction was reserved for a small subset of readers and viewers who embraced the genres passionately. Whether you loved or hated him, when Harry hit the shelves and movie theaters, it exposed our little secret to the masses – now soccer moms are sitting next to guys wearing Klingon costumes to go see the new Star Trek movie. They have discovered the infinite possibilities that speculative fiction brings.
And there is so much to discover. Consider if you will all the amazing sci-fi stories you’ve devoured or the spine tingling horror novels that had you scared to turn the next page. What about that amazing fantasy adventures that swept you up and took you to distant lands with amazing creatures? The spooky ghost story or the last alternate reality book that changed history in a unique and sometimes frightening way? For a reader who wants to be swept away to another time and place – there is nothing like speculative fiction.
As an author, my tastes seem to revolve around ancient history or mythical places, like Atlantis and Nibiru, centerpieces to my Rise of the Ancients series. However, as a consumer of speculative fiction, I find myself preferring horror to most other writing. I’ve enjoyed a great Orson Scott Card book like the rest of you, but my tastes have always fallen to Stephen King or Anne Rice. While you’ll find Sci-Fi/Fantasy thriller masters like Thomas Greanais and Jeremy Robinson on my website (both whom I think are very fun reading), I also prefer the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft. While most of us love Tolkien, give me the senseless fun of Charlain Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. For some hard core fantasy and science fiction fans, what I’ve just written is heresy. Believe me, I understand that. That’s what makes speculative fiction so amazing. There’s a flavor for everyone.
An interesting anomaly is my reading interests are not in synch with my viewing interests. I loved Star Trek and Star Wars (although I do admit the prequels were pretty tough to watch). I was a huge fan of Highlander – not the god awful sequels but the original movie with the great Sir Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert, as well as the television series. I also admit to being a follower of the Buffyverse and I was also a browncoat (Firefly). My current favorite shows on television include Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica (man, I’ll miss that show) and Stargate. Heroes and Lost still continue to intrigue, while I was sad to see the premature demise of Terminator (for Dollhouse? Really Fox? This is not one of Joss’ better works). I grew up on Buck Rogers, V and the old Battlestar, so it would be natural I gravitated toward those type of programs later in life.
What makes Speculative fiction amazing is that the subsets of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, the Paranormal, Alternate Realities, and Alternate History not only are bountiful, but have their own subsets as well. So you tell us, dear reader – what is your favorite speculative fiction genre and why? What books, films, or even radio programs (for our old timers) captured your interest when you were young and how has it changed?
For me, not much has changed other than now I’m a contributor to the universe. Now instead of reading someone else’s fantasy, horror story or space opera, I am creating my own – the way I like it and hopefully many readers will as well. I still love Star Trek and I still read horror so not much has changed for me there. All I truly know is that I’ve been a reader and watcher of speculative fiction my entire life and it will be that way until I move on to the big Barnes and Noble in the sky. What about you? It’s your turn now.


JC De La Torre is author of the underground success Ancient Rising – Rise of the Ancients Book I. His latest, Rise of the Ancients – Annuna, will be available on Amazon and retailers everywhere on July 31st, 2009. For more info on JC and his works, visit http://jcdelatorre.com.