Now that Waterstone’s has decided to shelve urban fantasy / paranormal romance separately as “Dark Fantasy” – and I’ve also heard mention of a “Dark Romance” book shop category – I thought perhaps it might be time for…
“Dark Science Fiction”.
We’ve had Mundane science fiction and optimistic science fiction and New Space Opera, so why not a new one?
I see “dark scifi” (which is no doubt what it will be shortened to) as a very specific subgenre. It will feature feisty kick-ass heroines battling rogue robots and having cybersex with AIs. Lots of cybersex. And maybe a few cyberdates as well. The stories will take place in futuristic cities, which may not necessarily be on this planet. Some stories, I expect, might even be set in space stations. Or on mile-long spaceships. Wherever there are rogue robots that need their asses kicking.
You may be thinking there’s not much that’s actually dark about “dark scifi”. Well, no. But then there’s not much that’s dark about “dark fantasy”. Yes, it’s all werewolves and vampires and zombies, rather than Peasant Heroes and Hidden Kings and Dark Lords, but…
Um, perhaps, our feisty heroines should kick rogue zombie robot butt, then. And maybe we should throw in some cyber-vampires and were-aliens.
It’s the literature of the future. I think it could be a winner.