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SF Subgenre Guides
Media Tie-in Science Fiction
What is Media Tie-in Science Fiction?
Media Tie-in is a rather large sub-genre composed of books that are based on stories in other media: television, movies, games, comic books, etc. It is a sub-genre that allows fans to delve deeper into their favorite universes. This sub-genre has two sides: the publishing grab for money and the creation of stories that bind together an already awesome and engaging universe. The publishing grab, the strapped for cash writer, and the quick turn-around time of many of these books have given Media Tie-in an unsavory reputation. The sub-genre has even been called hack writing. However, there is something to be said for the enthusiasm of fans and the writers who contribute to that world by adding their own voice.
Crafting a Media Tie-in story has many constraints—writers are working with already realized characters, so they can't exactly reinvent them; there is already a history and sometimes a future already laid out, so continuity is a big component. The constraints may restrict creativity or inspire a truly great story.
Other Features of Media Tie-in Science Fiction
Media Tie-in Sci Fi is really just a publishing tool. It capitalizes on the interest of Sci Fi in other formats and does not have any real, genre specific, features. The types of characters, plots, and technologies are based on the original story, whatever it may have been. As such, the features of these stories vary widely.
Media Tie-in stories do have a unique feature—that of the shared experience. The universe has already been established, which gives writers more room to craft their own contribution to the stories' canon. Storytelling is a communal and interactive effort between all the contributing writers, with the original creator, and with the readers.
Related Science Fiction subgenres
Anything. Media Tie-in simply means the book is based on a story from another media—usually movies and television—which means a bunch of possible sub-genres can be utilized.
Media Tie-in Science Fiction isn't for you if...
If you like new, and wholly original stories.
- 1 Imperial Commando 501st
By Karen Traviss. The last novel of the Imperial Commando-Legends series takes place after the end of the Clone Wars.
- 2 Halo: The Fall of Reach
By Eric Nylund. This is the first of the Halo books—books written in the same universe as the popular video game.
- 3 Spock Must Die!
By James Blish. The first original novel based on the popular Star Trek: The Original Series in which a transporter malfunction creates a second Spock.
- 4 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
By Theodore Sturgeon. A new atomic submarine and a “mad” admiral are faced with action adventure when a radiation belt catches fire and they must find a way to beat the heat.
- 5 Phase IV. Ants conquer Earth
- 6 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet
By William Kotzwinkle. Both books are based on the hugely famous movie.
- 7 The Abyss
By Orson Scott Card The novel is similar to the movie by James Cameron, but gives the characters more depth and background as well as more attention to the aliens.
- 8 Predator: Forever Midnight
By John Shirley. For one hundred years we have been safe from the Predators, but that ends now.
- 9 The Dune Storybook
By Joan D. Vinge. A tie-in novel based on a movie that was based on a novel meant for a YA audience.
- 10 The Monsters Inside
By Stephen Cole. Is an original novel based on the Doctor Who television series and features the ninth doctor and his companion Rose. The TARDIS is drawn down to a prison camp and the Doctor and Rose are separated.
- 11 Star Wars EU and Star Trek Books
By Christie Golden. These are medi tie in's to the popular movies but extend the stories using the same characters.
- 12 Video Game Tie-in Books. Halo
By Peter David. Mass Effect, and other best selling video games often have books expanding the story or set in the same universe as the game. These are often attempts to milk the game franchise, but sometimes these stories are decent in their own right.