Scope of Speculative Fiction
Speculative Fiction (SciFi/Fantasy) has often taken the possible and impossible to explore new worlds or our world in alternate times or histories. Within that larger genre are many subgenres. Amy Goldschlager (Avon/EOS) provided an explanation of several of the different subgenres in 1997. You can read her listing here.
In the years that have passed, some genres have brightened and others dimmed. Particularly paranormal mysteries have taken off with books like Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series. Steampunk was a genre long before it was a fashion statement – H.G Wells and Jules Verne anyone? Of late, I’ve been stretching out of my epic fantasy trend (who doesn’t enjoy a good 1083 page Tad Williams third book in a trilogy now and then?) to reach into the Steampunk subgenre. A great start is the Extraordinary Engines anthology. The short stories show the variety of Steampunk, from great steam-propelled boxers to airships.