Writing takes a lot of commitment and time, no matter the genre even if it is a mixed genre. In the world of Sci Fi, fantasy and horror are better paired up with the great outer space and the aliens hiding in your walls. In fiction, they can come out of nowhere.
But the best blend of sci fi fiction with another genre is horror because there is that element of suspense and thrill that only horror can create on the page. For instance, take Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley.
Though reputedly and criticized to simply be about creating a monster, sci fi comes on board in the creating process. Frankenstein is made up of dead body parts that have somehow been reanimated to give him life. The horror part comes in when Frankenstein wants to fit in normal society. The idea of a monster becoming your neighbour is chilling and good horror fiction plays on the guessing game.
But Frankenstein isn’t the only book that blends sci fi with horror well; there are the many works by Stephen King. Such as, The Dome, where the townsfolk are trapped by a force field and Cell, which is again about a town full of people but instead they revert to zombies thanks to their cell phones. And also I am Legend by Richard Matheson, which is about the last living man on earth fighting a world filled with vampire like creatures thanks to an apocalyptic virus.
In the world of horror movies, many novels do proceed to become film adaptions. Think Will Smith in I am Legend. The sci fi field came in when Earth suddenly looked like another planet and the horror came in with the creatures. When blending these two genres you have to make sure the two elements are constant from beginning to end.
Case in point: Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). The scenes here evince an atmospheric feel of claustrophobia and paranoia and that is all done in a spaceship. Location is a huge motif in these stories and they need to be chosen well. If Signourney Weaver was hunting down aliens in a vast space, viewers would feel cheated out of a thrill ride. She sees the alien and just kills it. The end, whereas in a spaceship, the final showdown is postponed and draw out to effect.
- But these great writers worked hard to get good at their craft and of course to get published. If you feel like you have an astronaut filled fighting zombies story in you, then follow these following tips…
- Read as much sci fi as you can, along with horror so you can get used to both genres, but start with the classics.
- Then write, write and write. Start with short stories to get your bearings and consider submitting these to publications or competitions so you can get feedback. There are many to be discovered online.
- Write online to get reviews from the general public. Wattpad is a great website for this because readers cannot copy and paste your work.
- Have a good working station. Such as a great computer, a desk, good printer with good ink and a comfortable chair. Make sure your pages don’t smear. If you need to, sign up for 247 Ink Toner. You will need to print everything when you review your first draft. It is easier to make edits with pen to paper.
- Also a great view and a closed door because you always write the first draft of your novel for yourself.
Disclosure: Consideration was received for the publication of this post.