My Studies

As you may already know, I’ve started doing online open courses through Coursera.  Well, I’ve compiled a list of courses I’m taking, and I’ll keep it up-to-date every week with my progress.  I’ve provided a link to the page in the menu above.  But you can access it here, too.

I’ve also added languages to the list.  These are more of a do-when-I-can kind of thing.  I have a lot of things going on these days, so only Japanese is of any concern to me at the moment.

I will add other things, as well.  I’m interested in a few other things, and may take classes in the future, or I may learn some new things through books.

As always, you can leave a comment below.

What Do You Like In Space Science Fiction?

This is my final poll regarding sub-genres.  You can do my full science fiction poll here and my fantasy poll here.  This time, I want to focus on science fiction again, but only those involving space travel.  I like a lot about space, since I have a degree in astronomy, and I also write about a colony world.  Here are the space science fiction sub-genres.

Alien Invasion – Of course, this is about aliens invading.  This one doesn’t necessarily have to take place in space.

Colonisation – Establishing a colony on another world.

First Contact – This is all about coming in contact with an alien civilisation for the first time.

Galactic Empire – Humanity has expanded so much that it covers a large portion of the galaxy with colonies everywhere.  Very common theme.

Generation Ship – This takes place on an interstellar spaceship that travels for centuries to its destination.

Military SF – I’ve already covered this, but it often focuses on interstellar or interplanetary war.

Space Exploration – This is pretty straightforward.  It involves space exploration for various reasons.

Space Opera – These take place in space or on planets, and can include aliens who speak English, spaceships that travel at unbelievable speeds, flying to other planets in short periods of time, incredibly powerful weapons that could destroy planets, and defying scientific laws.  It’s about the drama, not the science.

Terraforming – This involves modifying a planet to be Earth-like.

So what do you like to read?  Please vote in this poll and leave a comment.  You can choose more than one option.

What Do You Like In Fantasy?

I previously asked about science fiction sub genres (please go vote if you haven’t done so!), but now I’d like to ask you about what kind of fantasy you like to read.  There are many kinds of fantasy from high fantasy to urban fantasy to dark fantasy.  I’m a big high fantasy fan, but I have broad tastes in all of fantasy.  Here are some of the more common fantasy sub genres.

Contemporary Fantasy – This takes place in the real world, past, present or future, but contains elements of fantasy.

Dark Fantasy – This fantasy contains elements of horror.

Fairytale Fantasy – This sub genre uses plots or elements from folklore and fairytales.

Heroic Fantasy – This is the classic good versus evil story where a hero travels the lands, meets many people who may join his cause, and battle evil.

High or Epic Fantasy – This is kind of similar to heroic fantasy, except that the focus is more on morals, though good and evil are still a factor.  The story is epic and complex.

Historical Fantasy – This takes place in a specified time in history, but also involves elements of fantasy.

Low Fantasy – This kind of fantasy is very gritty and involves elements of less reputable parts of society.  Magic exists, but is usually not a focus, and is considered dangerous.

Sword and Sorcery – This is probably the most common type of fantasy involving magic and medieval weapons and plenty of battles.  This is what many consider to be fantasy.

Urban Fantasy – This is similar to contemporary fantasy, except that it must take place in cities.  It can be in the real world, past, present, or future. It can also be in a fictional setting, but must take place in cities.

So what do you like when you read fantasy?  You can choose as many options as you like in this poll.  So please vote and leave a comment!