Science-fiction is one of the most versatile genres of fiction around, capable of combining settings with any other tale. Science-fiction as a genre is also a bit of a misnomer. The average science-fiction story is not just science-fiction. Tales can be action films, adventure stories, romance, horror, and more. From Blade Runner to Black Mirror, from Polaris Rising to Foundation. Science-fiction can be defined by both fun and thoughtfulness, and there is always a place for a fun adventure that does not require readers to analyze every paragraph. Books like The Forbidden Stars, Tim Pratt’s third novel in the Axiom trilogy, show the importance of such escapism while also taking the opportunity to define a possible future. While entertaining, the novels also take some time to normalize behaviors and lifestyles, sexual orientations and body modifications. Science-fiction lets us see all futures and revel in them.
Creating a sequel is not a simple undertaking. There is a lot of responsibility to follow up the first installment of the series in a way that satisfies your audience while also changing the game to ensure you are not remaking the original work. There is a balance that must be found, and the best sequels are oftentimes the ones that flip the original around. Instead of raising the stakes, they lower them. Think of The Empire Strikes Back’s, The Last Jedi’s, or The Wrath of Khan. The first movies in all of these series involved some sort of world-ending threat. The sequels focus in on the characters. The sequel, in this way, is easy to mess up, but better than the original when done right.
I am very excited to say that the next book I am reviewing is The Dreaming Stars, by Time Pratt Time Pratt. This is the sequel to his wonderful science-fiction adventure, The Wrong Stars, which is the second book I ever reviewed on this blog. The second book in a burgeoning space opera, I am excited to see what happens to Captain Callie Machedo and Dr. Elena Oh after their discovery of the Axiom, the demi-god aliens sleeping in the dark corners of the universe.
While you’re waiting for my review of The Dreaming Stars, go catch up on The Wrong Stars and my review, Instructions Not Included. If you love science-fiction, this is a can’t-miss series!
Science-fiction attracts those readers and writers with imaginations that point towards the future. It is one of the few genres where any technology is possible if you can picture it in your head and express it on the page. Any vehicle, from flying cars to ships the size of planets, is fair game. Science-fiction can inhabit any setting, star any character. If you can describe it, it’s real. There is something about the genre which draws everyone in, regardless of their normal reading habits. Just look at the Star Wars saga or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. People who would normally never read a book about space battles or robots fall in love with Luke Skywalker and Iron Man. It helps that science-fiction is a melting pot. It sets a technological backdrop for the story, but the story can be something else entirely.