Science fiction has a pretty good grip on current entertainment culture. Not so much on the book culture as of late (even according to my favorite scifi author, Orson Scott Card), but that certainly hasn't dampened my love for writing it. If you're a scifi writer, this list is composed of things that you've probably done, or almost more likely, things other people have seen you do.
Here are 6 signs you are definitely a science fiction writer.
1. You're a giant nerd.
This is kind of the baseline given. If you're like me, you are pretty obsessed with a lot of the sci-fi fandoms, e.g. Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel films, Firefly, etc. You probably also love RPG-based games, complex board games, sci-fi video games (Portal!) and geeky podcasts.
Double points if you actually enjoy science. Which leads to the next point...
2. Science has become of great importance to you.
Before I started writing scifi, I was not into science. It was too closely related to math with its strict and confusing rules, it can cause huge divisions between people groups and it portrays scientists in a boring/irresponsible way, even in scifi media.
But then I started writing the stuff, and I realized just how cool science really is.
My first real science foray started with my Astronomy class in freshman year of college. Studying the stars was by no means easy (cough parallax equations cough) but I found myself really enjoying it as the semester went on. I got to stand outside at night and chart constellations, our class took a trip to the local observatory and I saw Saturn's rings and Jupiter's storm spot for the first time - not to mention I learned all about the Moon cycles, which is perfect for today's SOLAR ECLIPSE!
But please, don't mistake my enthusiasm for expertise.
3. But you are NOT a scientist.
I'll be honest. In high school, I skipped chemistry and physics. Instead I took biology, Earth science and marine biology because I was much more interested in ecosystems and the functions of life than the nitty-gritty bits we can't even see. There was also way less math, and as a high-schooler applying to colleges for Communications, it was perfect.
It wasn't until I started writing scifi that I started doing tons of science research. My latest novel drove me to research electricity and brain functions, especially newer versions of electroshock therapy. I've looked into the real logistics of cryo-freezing, cloning and mind control. There's some pretty crazy stuff out there, and realer than you'd think.
Most of the time I dive into a scientific article, consume all the new knowledge I possibly can... and then maybe mention something vaguely related to that one or two times in my books.
4. Your Google history is worrisome.
"Stages of vacuum asphyxiation"
"Do bodies decay in space"
"Do astronauts get cabin fever"
"What happens to a human body at the speed of light"
5. You stress over finding ways to be unique.
Hearkening back to Orson Scott Card's article, science fiction has become much more difficult to navigate in recent years because most of it feels regurgitated. As a scifi author, this is a BURDEN. Sometimes it can feel like every idea for a new story has already been done, and worse, it's probably been done better. Science isn't as innovative as it once was, and publishers certainly know it.
But Card also stresses the existence of stories that are done well, even when dealing with concepts that have already been explored. If we all stopped writing sciifi because it's already been done, the entire genre would die out. So even if I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to offer, I write anyway. I love science fiction too much not to.
6. Book questions are really hard to answer.
Person: Oh, what's your book about?
Me: *mind racing through every subplot and technological concept in my book*
Me: It's complicated.
Person: Okay then... what about THIS book?
Me: Actually they're connected, so....
If any of these sound familiar, you are probably a science fiction writer. Love science? Love writing? Googled some gruesome questions about the absence of gravity?
Congrats, you're a scifi writer.