Guide to SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) Sub-genres

this is excellent for those fantasy/sci fi writer’s out there trying to nail down what genre your novel falls under. it is one of the hardest questions. you wrote your novel, and if you are anything like me, you didn’t stop to think … this will be a dark fantasy work of ark … you merely wrote what you loved, what you saw playing out inside your head. I ran across this writer and many others while participating in #pitchmadness … twitter query/pitch parties are an excellent way to meet new people. even if you gain nothing more than acquaintances, you have gained something. a comrade-ary that allows you to feel apart of something larger. now, I am off to edit, and tweet with other #pitchmadness peeps while we all wait for the big reveal …

Lara Willard

Lara Willard answers genre questions: What's Magical Realism? What's the difference between Science-Fiction and Fantasy? What genre is my novel?

I’m not a published speculative fiction author or agent. Am I really qualified to write such a post, or am I just making things up as I go? You be the judge.


  1. SFF Sub-genres Used in #SFFpit
  2. The Difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy
  3. What’s the Difference between…
  4. Setting-Based Sub-genres
  5. Literary Fantasy
  6. Fantasy Romance or Romance Fantasy (Order Matters!)

SFF Sub-genres Used in #SFFpit

If you are writing sppeculative fiction and plan on pitching via #SFFpit, or if you are researching #MSWL, you need to know your sub-genres. The total list, as of December 2014, is below. I’ve divided them based on the requirements of the sub-genre.

By Subject (Genre Depends on Specific Tropes)

  • #FA – fantasy
  • #DF – dark fantasy
  • #EF – epic or high fantasy
  • #MYF – mythic fantasy
  • #PN – paranormal
  • #SF – science fiction
  • #DS – dystopian
  • #ML – military science fiction

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