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Literary SF Subgenres: General

John Argo (as in Argonauts, more info on my choice of SFFH pseudonym soon)Personal Opinion. I'll begin by saying that all statements on this website are my personal opinion (hopefully informed, fair, and non-prejudicial), unless attributed to another writer, scholar, or authority. I will rely on Wikipedia and other sources for background material, as I slowly and carefully build what I hope readers will find an enjoyable resource, and my fellow writers may find to offer some hope, info, and inspiration.

My Mission. I've been a professional writer (poet, novelist, journalist, essayist, editor, and more) for over half a century at this point (Blade Runner Year 2019). On this website (DarkSF dot com), I want to celebrate the connections between my own published SF (at least fifteen novels and four or more anthologies) and a number of existing literary SF subgenres. Quick points: (1) I have loved the SF field passionately all of my life, so this is a work of love; (2) I have no intention of hurting anyone's feelings, stepping on any toes, offending anyone, or creating any divisiveness. If anything, I want to show that the field of Speculative Fiction (as we more broadly and inclusively call it) is big enough to include all readers and writers.

Scope. Of necessity, rather than write an encyclopedia on this vast subject, I will confine my comments to some quick takes on certain sub-tropes of the field. I've chosen the subgenre of my own invention (DarkSF) plus about four others in modern vogue, but these are by no means the only directions taken by writers over many centuries. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study, but let's say it's an overview and a starter, ending in the fudge factor 'Other' to leave the door open for all comers.

About Your Author. I would prefer to stay in the background and let my own work speak for itself. That, pragmatically speaking, is a recipe for having tire tracks on one's back as the world passes an author by. This era particularly, Blade Runner Year 2019, is characterized by a crowded (actually, swamped) field. I have three college degrees, am a U.S. Army veteran (five years, two enlistments, Cold War service in Europe), and have had accolades from a number of authors far better known than I am (Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, Joe Haldeman, Mike Ashley, and others). I have been an outsider all my life, preferring to write alone, quietly, passionately, thoughtfully, and artistically. I was writing poetry at age 7, my first small novel at 11, was a professional writer at 17 (summer intern college newspaper reporter at a New England metro daily), was a published poet at 18, and finished my first full novel at 19 while a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. I've been an Internet publishing pioneer since 1996, and much else, which I'll relate in a separate page soon. Also, since I have developed my own subgenre (DarkSF), I will talk about that on the DarkSF page of this site. Also, I should note that this site began as the DarkSF site, so there is already a fair amount of description about DarkSF beyond the new page I'm about to add.

Selected SFFH Resources. Readers and writers will find these few selected (not exhaustive) online resources to the general SFFH field useful. There are undoubtedly many more:
Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB)
SF Encyclopedia
Some Genres…


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