Exploring New Genres

There’s not really any reason for it, at least, not that I can tell. But it’s drawing me–no, dragging me across the floor as I claw desperately to stop it. I don’t know why my feeble nails are useless against it.

I have this strange interest developing in Science Fiction Westerns. I know, it’s weird, right? I write contemporary fiction these days, with the occasional splash of horror. Where does science fiction come into it? Or Westerns for that matter?

Though, let’s be clear: I’m not writing Space Westerns. Nope. I have no interest in producing something like Firefly (which I really just did not get into at all), but rather something involving technology advancing–not using steam (that would then alter the genre to steampunk)–in some odd way.

I did have the brilliant idea that it could involve time travel, and then I realized that what I was thinking of was the plot to Back to the Future 3, which would then make that a no-go. Aliens could come from the sky, but I think there was a Harrison Ford movie about Cowboys and Aliens, or something along those lines. I never saw it.

So I guess what I’m wondering is if anyone reads science-fiction westerns that aren’t space westerns, that I could read and get a feel for the genre. I’d like to know if this is a passing I’m-on-break-for-a-month-and-can’t-get-my-brain-to-shut-up-so-I’ll-explore-something-completely-different-and-weird, or something I can truly get behind.

It’s on my to-do list to check out TVTropes.org and see if I can find anything interesting on there regarding the subject, but I’d much rather hear from actual people with their own experiences. Please feel free to share them with me!

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5 thoughts on “Exploring New Genres

  1. I’ve never seen Westworld but I loved the entire Firefly series for the short time it was on and even saw the movie Serenity 😁 For the most part I don’t do sci-fi except for the occasional “space time continuum” type of movies and my bookshelf is almost entirely nonfiction or biography, with exception of Toni Morrison and a few other classics, which is why I had to ask him 🙂

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  2. What is the Wild West? It is a vast unexplored country in a time when sense of nation, law and civilisation is yet to be established. It is a time of individuals or groups of people rolling out across unexplored lands dealing with hostile climate, nature, animals, peoples and geography. It is a time of people who operate outside of the law and the most basic instincts for survival and rules take place, for instance instant lynchings. A people always bring their customs, religion and culture with them to new spaces, and they try to cut a new reality out in the context of their worldviews. Human nature always is present: empathy; greed; envy; fear; hate. Certain common themes of humanity always repeat regardless of time, culture, race or place.

    As to sci-fi: what technologies or discoveries impacts the people? Does everyone have chips in their heads? Are people half machine and half human? Has genetics created multiple different human species. Does the impact of climate or environment impact the evolution of a group of people. It is known that people who live in space too long experience changes in their genes. What form or functions do the AI and robots have? dragons; trees; metal; flesh; rodents; cats; human-like. Who are the masters and slaves? What are the laws and government structures. What challenges does the civilsations have? war; hunger; disease; shortages of water and air. What are the energy producing systems, and transportation systems like? Is time travel possible, or time is an illusion (it is an illusion!) Are there gods, heros, kings or beggers. Are there classes or structures of society in conflict with each other? What are the religions? What are the stories and mythology of the people?

    Once all the strands are defined on paper, they can be weaved to form a unique genres. I can say that Mars will become the new Wild West, throw in technology, and you got your western and sci-fi genres via Mars.

    One thing to consider about Mars, once a people go to Mars, the planet. climate and other impacts of the planet will genetically change the people, so they will not be able to return to earth and survive. Environment always drives evolutionary change in genes. Nobody has realised that space and living on different worlds will cause changes in biological life forms to adapt to the new environment, and such changes can come about drastically and quickly relative to the environmental stress placed upon the body. This is one idea to explore in a groundbreaking story.

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