All About Geofiction Genres
Geofiction - the hobby that involves crafting an entire universe out of one's imagination - is a very diverse hobby that is full of potential for creativity. You can literally make anything out of it that you want - any culture, any language, any planet, and anything else to your heart's desire.
Because of this diversity, and the scale at which you are operating, some people are put off initially from geofiction. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, making your own universe, but it isn't as complicated as many believe.
Below are the most popular genres for geofiction today. This should help the geofiction beginner learn a bit more about the hobby and what is possible - and should provide a helpful overview for the various worlds that are possible in the hobby.
Science fiction is somewhat broad, since the term refers to a wide variety of concepts, but basically, it is a genre based on something other than the ordinary, that involves science or "extraterrestrial" ideas. Usually these ideas are within the realm of scientific possibility, although not always. Space is a big feature in science fiction, as is the notion of alien cultures and civilizations.
One of the most common applications in sci-fi geofiction is creating one's own planetary system, including one or more alien races with wildly varied attributes, looks, and backgrounds. Geofictioners w ho are into science fiction also create futuristic worlds built around technology, featuring advanced versions of concepts that already exist today. Dune, by Frank Herbert, is perhaps the seminal work in science fiction-based geofiction.
Fantasy is similar to science fiction in that it primarily involves concepts outside of reality. But whereas science fiction is usually rational and within the laws of nature, fantasy often defies the laws of nature and involves supernatural concepts such as magic. Fantasy geofiction usually is highly imaginative, and is likely to be on a larger, more epic scale at times than other genres.
The definitive work in the fantasy geofiction genre is arguably the Lord of the Rings universe created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The essential elements of fantasy - supernatural and mystic concepts featuring imaginative and stylized concepts of reality, such as races, languages, civilizations, mythology, and lore - are all present in these novels.
Realism is a very broad term for works that involve some form or version of reality as we know it, without drastic deviation from the norm like one would find in science fiction or fantasy. Realistic geofiction, then, involves creating worlds more similar to our own than, say, those you would find in a fantasy geofiction project, or one based in outer space. Historical geofiction, a subset of realism, involves creating worlds based loosely on past historical concepts involving humans or humanoid creatures in a world resembling Earth.
Alternate-history geofiction is a good example of this genre. S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series takes place in the United States, but involves an alternate environment that is drastically different from the normal - so it can be said to be a created work of geofiction that is based on realistic concepts.
These are by no means the only genres, though. You can make a geofiction project based on just about any genre; it's just a matter of adapting your imagination to whatever you would like to produce.