SF/F Genre Glossary

This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.

Grey Render Fight
Grey Render Fight by nJoo

What is Sword and Planet?

A genre that is closely related to sword and sorcery, and planetary romance. However, unlike sword and sorcery, adventures take place on another planet, and unlike planetary romance, the alien world is primitive. An ailen society may posess some advanced technology, but its use is not central to the plot. Often the hero is the lone human survivor or castaway, and swords are preferred as means of warfare.

Literary Examples:

  • John Carter of Mars Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Gor Series by John Norman
  • Callisto Series by Lin Carter

If anyone asked me what this genre was, I’d probably say: It’s sword and sorcery… in space! Most of these books were published pre 1980’s, but a John Carter movie is slated to come out in 2012. Hmm! I wonder if we’ll suddenly start seeing more books in this genre…

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SF/F Genre Glossary

This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.

Military Sci-Fi
GOSU-B by Ukitakumiki

What is Military Science Fiction?

A subgenre of science fiction that focuses on military exploits and features main characters who are military personnel. These stories place an emphasis on tactics, military values, and combat.

Literary Examples:

  • Starship Troopers by Heinlein
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • Hammer’s Slammers by David Drake

Further Reading:

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