- Hard SF
- Space opera
- Military SF
- Alternate realities
- Utopias and dystopias (Farenheit 451 is the latter)
And I've finally understood what 'speculative fiction' means - it's basically another word for SF where your story or novel 'speculates' about the future of the world/mankind/universe. I've also realised what bloody hard work it is to write a SF novel - particularly if you plump for Hard SF. SF is grounded in fact and physics and you can't rewrite science's established rules to suit your novel - you need to know your stuff. I've never been into research (and I only got a C in Physics GCSE) so hard SF is definitely not for me!
Anyway, I'm not going to write a SF novel - I bought the book because I fancied writing a SF story and wanted to swat up and also get some inspiration. And I did! On the train home from work, book in one hand, pen in the other, I scribbled down an idea. Now I just have to write the thing. Sometimes I'm desperate for a short story idea and my mind is a blank, but it's the other way round at the moment. My notebook contains seven or eight short story ideas (just one for SF) but motivation to write them is low. My imagination is willing but my typing fingers are week. But there's no hurry - the ideas aren't going anywhere and it's somewhat reassuring to build up a little stockpile for 'later'.
The other good thing about the book is that it's split between sci fi (oops, SF) and fantasy and the idea for a children's book that I mentioned in my previous post is most definitely fantasy (and no, it doesn't involve a young wizard. I think that may already have been done ;o)). Actually my novel is partly based in fantasy too so I'll be interested to find out, as I continue reading the book, if I've broken any of the fantasy 'rules'.
So anyway - that's my book recommendation for anyone interested in SF or fantasy.