Jan 25, 2010

Every City Its Own Genre!

The most excellent supernatural/noir novelist Charlie Huston tells the Austin American-Statesman that LA is a more SFnal city than NYC, which is one reason why his most recent book, Sleepless, is SF. He moved to LA, it seems, and the SFness of the place overcame him.

This got me thinking. Which is America’s most science-fictional city?

After trying out a number of candidates, I realized I couldn’t decide because there were so many cities that seemed SFnal in different way. From this realization I formulated a theory that goes something like this: All American cities are in some way science-fictional, but that each city in America has a kinship with a particular subgenre of SF.

So here’s an experiment. Below is a list of the thirteen largest urban agglomerations in the United States, per the Census Bureau. Next to it is a list of thirteen SF subgenres. Match ‘em up!









New York

LA

Chicago

DC/Baltimore

Boston

Bay Area

Dallas

Philadelphia

Houston

Atlanta

Detroit

Seattle

Minneapolis


Space opera

New Wave

Cyberpunk

Apocalyptic

Post-apocalyptic

Utopian

Dystopian

Steampunk

Retro-futurist

Transhumanist

Alternate history

Dying Earth

Edisonade

(Another way to play this would be to look around you and create your own genre for the city where you live. But that’s another post, and probably one you should write…)




1 comment:

oddvanish said...

Oh, good grief...