Learn about the key elements of a science fiction book

Science fiction is considered to be one of the most creative and interesting genres in literature. There are sci-fi novels that can take your readers on adventures from underwater worlds to faraway galaxies and everywhere in between. Along the way, these science fiction books can introduce your readers to other worldly technologies and characters. 

There are many science fiction books in the market, so you need to make sure that your novel stands out.  The best way is to find science fiction book illustrators for hire. A book illustrator can help your book to look appealing for your potential readers. In this article, you will learn about the key elements of a science fiction book. 

Understanding science fiction

Science fiction refers to a type of speculative fiction that has imagined elements. These elements don’t exist in the actual world. Science fiction has a variety of themes that usually explore space travel, time travel, and are set in the future. In some cases, they can deal with the consequences of scientific and technological advances. 

You should note that science fiction has two broad categories that include hard sci-fi and soft sci-fi. When it comes to hard sci-fi books, they are usually based on scientific fact. These books are inspired by hard sciences, such as astronomy, chemistry, and physics. 

On the other hand, soft sci-fi books often have two things. They are not scientifically inaccurate or they can be inspired by soft sciences, such as sociology, anthropology, and psychology. While the terms are relatively flexible, they still help readers to quickly figure out the foundation of a book and what to expect from it. 

Science fiction is usually known as the literature of ideas, and the novels can include a variety of futuristic concepts. Because they are imaginative, anything can be possible, particularly in soft sci-fi novels. Take note that a sci-fi book can be about aliens, time travels, time-traveling aliens in space, or space.

Regardless of the characters and setting, all sci-fi stories are often complex. They usually have nuanced detail and explore larger commentary and themes, and can be satirical about the community beneath the surface.

The key elements of science fiction novel 

There are some basic elements you can include in a science fiction novel. This includes teleportation, time travel, interplanetary warfare, space exploration and travel, speculative technology, fictional worlds, and many more. 

As you can see, the science fiction genre can sometimes be overwhelming because it’s full of various strange worlds, deep themes, and futuristic concepts. But remember that every good science fiction book needs to explore the what if question. This is a hypothetical question that can ignite your imagination. For example, what if a scientist creates a dangerous creature or what if an alien lands on earth? Such types of questions have been explored many times in various movies and books, though each writer tends to answer them in their unique ways. Therefore, your what if question can be something that someone else has already thought of, but your answer needs to be original and unique. 

World building is an exciting part of writing science fiction stories. You can decide to set the sci-fi novel in an alternate place, alternate time, or both. If you opt for an alternate time, then you need to utilize a real place that is on earth as a starting point like New York, Beijing, or any other place, and then you can imagine what that area would be like in an imaginary future or a different past.

But if you choose an alternate place, you can opt for a terraformed planet that is in outer space. You can also choose a floating city that has flying cars or futuristic concepts. Remember that people like stories that have memorable settings, so science fiction is a good genre that can help you create fictional worlds.

Many science fiction stories have speculative technology that a reader has never imagined before. If you intend to write alternate history, present-day, or near-future science fiction, then you can take various types of advanced technology that exist nowadays and push them to the extreme.

A story that is set in a stranger world can sometimes have a more far-fetched technology. For instance, you can focus on a time machine story that can send your readers into the past, high-energy weapons for interplanetary warfare, or even a sentient rocket ship designed to travel in space. Therefore, it’s a good idea to track any scientific developments happening in the real world, which can help you based your scientific factors, making your invention feel more plausible.

Creating relatable and three dimensional characters is another science fiction characteristic and is crucial to any good story. But science fiction is unique as few characters need to be human. Most sci-fi protagonists are robots, aliens, or something different. 

The key for you is to make the characters in your story relatable to the readers. Hence, you can give the monster a poor hair day, give the robot a child they love, or give the alien an exciting office job. If you decide to create characters that your readers can relate to, then you can hook them into the story.

A great science fiction story also needs to show the readers what it can mean to be human. The good thing is that each subgenre of science fiction can be explored in various ways. Apocalyptic stories tend to show the bad side of humans and the things people can do to survive. 

You can also find alien stories that show fear of the other, as well as, the great sense of the place humans have in the universe. Also, dystopian stories can show the readers the importance of personal freedom and the way government control may be dangerous. 

Therefore, you need to experiment with all these elements in your story to determine the themes that can merge. After all, writing a great science fiction story requires you to try various elements. Once you have your manuscript ready, you need to hire an editor and a proofreader to look at it.