I think I discovered a new genre. Well, not discovered discovered and not new new. It’s actually old and quite an obscure term. Gothic Science Fiction, aka space goth, which is my preferred term. I came upon it because I wanted to know what exactly it was that I was writing. No surprise that even though Blade Runner is mostly “cyber-punk neo-noir”, it has elements of space goth. I saw what I was writing first. It contains a bit of that, what with my recent obsession with 80s goth. The recent modern goth and space goth fashion movements have influenced me as well. I feel I’m a bit flamboyant with how much fashion and aesthetics influence my writing, but here we are.
I don’t want to be too terribly wordy with my writing, but I desperately want the reader to see exactly what I see. Which is a lot of black and neon lights currently. I actually said to someone the other day, “I’m really obsessed with lights right now.” What does that even mean? That flew out of my mouth in a weird, pretentious, avant-garde way that I just don’t know how to handle.
The struggle is the same for all writers: how do I convey this? How do I place them in my mind? What doors do I open, what do I leave closed? So the first thing I did was try to pin-point what exactly it was that I was writing. Now that I know that, hopefully it will help.
So, what is space goth? Simple! Science fiction that holds strong story telling tenants of gothic fiction. Gothic fiction, if you didn’t know, is actually my comfort zone of writing. I did a lot of my undergrad creative writing work in gothic style, and many research papers in English classes were centered around gothic fiction. It has even been suggested the science fiction is child of gothic fiction. To quote the venerablesource of Wikipedia (and by quote, I mean copy and paste really quickly from an open tab): “In his history of science fiction, Billion Year Spree, Brian Aldiss contends that science fiction itself is an outgrowth of gothic fiction– pointing to Mary Shelley‘s novel Frankenstein as an example. ‘Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge (science) and is characteristically cast in the Gothic or post-Gothic mode.’ The blend can also be detected quite explicitly in Jules Verne‘s novel Le Château des Carpathes.” I even found a wonderful artist, Daniel Kvasznicza, who has so many wonderful space goth paintings.
So, I learned quite a bit on this journey of writer’s exploration. Below, I’m going to add a gallery of some space goth/science fiction-esque fashion and space goth illustrations.
Xoxo, Vicky Stardust