Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Agents Want: To Be Taken to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Querying Song of the Day: "So Far Away" by Crossfade

What Agents Want is a series in which we will research what trends/topics agents are looking for right now. We'll give you information on the trend/topic and the agent that is looking for this specific type of project. The better to query with, my dears.

If you're like me, when you hear science fiction you automatically think aliens, space ships, Star Trek, and Star Wars. I need to educate myself, and in the mean time--why not educate the few of you who also aren't aware of the Sci-Fi (or "sf" to true science fiction lovers) genre just like me??

A lot of agents have been adding science fiction to their wish list. So, those of you who have already been wise to the genre and have written that fascinating science fiction novel, you're on the right track! The rest of us??? Read on, you might already be working on a sf novel and not even realize it.

So, what the heck is science fiction?

Science Fiction is not a new genre by any means. However, it is becoming highly sought after in Young Adult fiction. So, what is it?
The SF Site describes it as: "A genre that extrapolates from current scientific trends. The technology of a science fiction story may be either the driving force of the story or merely the setting for a drama, but all science fiction tends to predict or define the future."

In laymen terms, a good science fiction novel should have the following elements:

* Technology
* Futuristic elements OR
* Predictions for what may occur in the future
* Explores What If questions
* Usually a new or exciting reality is the background

There are various subgenres and overlapping genres that lie within the realm of science fiction. These include: speculative fiction, dystopian, utopian, apocalyptic, time travel/warp, alternate and parallel universes, and cyberpunk amongst other things.

To learn more about the genre check out these sites:

What books can I read for research?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Uglies (Uglies Series) by Scott Westerfield
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick

Finally, tell me about one of the awesome agents in search of this galaxy:

Amy Boggs joined Donald Maas Literary Agency in 2009. She keeps a twitter account where she shares how much she loves science fiction YA. Amy Boggs is looking for novels (not just science fiction--she wants other genres as well) that include diverse characters--not just in terms of race, but religion, gender, sexuality, and disability as well.

If you are thinking of querying Ms. Boggs check out the sites below:

**DISCLAIMER** We are BY NO MEANS telling anyone to follow trends or to try and hurry to write novels based on these features. This is for people who have written, or have been thinking about writing, on the topic presented.

Were you thinking about writing a science fiction novel before reading this post? Or better yet, have you already started a WIP in this genre???


Hope Roberson said...

Genre is driving me crazy right now! My ms is post apocalyptic, has 'monsters' and a teenage character. She does not have magical powers and the government is not trying to stifle growth. Sometimes I think it's dystopian, sometimes fantasy, sometimes sci-fi. I have yet to find a definition that allows me to label it with confidence, ugh! Thanks for the links :)

Marquita Hockaday said...

Thanks for commenting, Hope! Genre is a lil' frustrating. It sounds like your ms is overall fantasy, maybe? I don't know, actually! But Sci Fi usually incorporates most of the genres that you're stuck between. Good luck figuring it all out :D

Racquel Henry said...

I love it when you guys do features like this one. It's really helpful to get the actual definition of a genre and also to see what agent is looking for novels in that genre. :)