Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[process] A taxonomy of tropes

ozarque has suggested a taxonomy of tropes within our field, in something of the same fashion as I am currently noodling with a taxonomy of (sub)genres. That strikes me as another layer deeper, fuzzier and more complex than the genre question, and therefore an eminently suitable topic of discussion on this here blog. (Plus if we're lucky we might get a slap-fight out of it.)

So, part I of that process. What do you think a genre trope consists of? Please provide examples.

My initial, off-the-cuff answer, is to cite Gardner Dozois who from time to time comments on "the furniture of science fiction." FTL travel, for example, or strong AI — story elements which are common to the (sub)genre in which they are found, generally don't require definition ab initio, and can be experienced purely in context.

I suspect this is a highly insufficient characterization of a "trope", however.

Tags: process, writing

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