Cozy sci-fi??

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Jazz Club

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@lorna_w made an interesting thread the other day about the current hotness of cozy fantasy, referencing the recent success of Legends and Lattes. Apparently there's a big audience for a style of fantasy where, in place of heart-meltingly high stakes or horrible torture scenes, there's plenty of light-hearted stuff like mates hanging out having fun etc.

So I got to wondering if there's a similar trend for cozy sci-fi. I just started writing a story in the last few days and I think it could qualify as cozy sci-fi...some aliens, some humans, a vaguely dystopian (but not too jarring) future planet, but also romance and friend stuff, etc etc. I've got ~10,000 words and I'd like to keep going til it's novel-length. Does anyone know if that type of thing is popular? I'm no expert on sci-fi trends (or fantasy ones for that matter).
 

Woollybear

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I use these sorts of terms on my AMS ads (which means I get data on whether people are searching for the terms) and I do see a few clicks from these terms (so people are searching for them)... but in my opinion the lack of a clear definition of 'cozy sci fi' makes it hard to find the perfect match between authors and readers.

Is it rom-com-y? Low tension? Low stakes? fanfic? I know what cozy sci fi isn't (military space battles, for example), but not what it is.
 

Jazz Club

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Well, with the caveat that I know very little about the terms, I'd guess mine is cozy because there isn't some huge battle for a whole world's survival or anything like that. But it's quite high-stakes for the individual characters (main guy doesn't want to go to prison, main girl loses her job and also goes on the run). Knowing me I'll probably raise the stakes at some point and make them take on the whole 'corrupt system', at which point it might just become regular old sci-fi after all 🤣
 
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Brightdreamer

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Becky Chambers is probably an example of what you're going for. Try her novella "To Be Taught, If Fortunate" for an idea of what she does. She also has an ongoing series that's more about the people and their interactions than any galaxy-threatening stakes, starting with Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet.
 

Jazz Club

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Becky Chambers is probably an example of what you're going for. Try her novella "To Be Taught, If Fortunate" for an idea of what she does. She also has an ongoing series that's more about the people and their interactions than any galaxy-threatening stakes, starting with Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet.
Cheers! I'll check that out :)
 

Cephus

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Keep in mind that cozies appeal mostly to women and science fiction appeals mostly to men. There is going to be some crossover but not a ton.
 
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Woollybear

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Here's a receipt.

But then I did a little more digging. About 56 percent of women read a work of fiction in the year prior, compared to only 37 percent of men, according to a 2012 report. When you do the math, it turns out that while men are up 60 percent in the science fiction department, women are up 52 percent overall.

Doing even more math, you can find that men who read sci-fi hold only a narrow edge over women who read it by a count of 51 percent to 49 percent. If that were a political poll, it would be a statistical dead heat.
 

Brigid Barry

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If OP doesn't mind, I'd like to tag on with a question:

Is there a line where it stops being cozy?
 

Jazz Club

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If OP doesn't mind, I'd like to tag on with a question:

Is there a line where it stops being cozy?
Tag away, Brigid, by all means! I'm interested in the answer to that too. Pretty sure I'm not going over the line anyway. I'm going to make my good guys win, it isn't going to be all bleak and hopeless, there'll be some violence but not gruesome at all, as ever with my work since I don't like that stuff. I'll be as explicit as I want with sex and swearing (no gendered swears by the good guys 😂). I think that should all be OK for 'cozy'.

To me it's a tone and thematic thing...as in how dark/light the tone and themes are, rather than worrying too much about swearing etc. But I could be wrong. People can feel free to tell me if so. I may well be talking out of my ass.

I think non-cozy would be those dark stories where the main characters end up dead or in a horrible situation, lots of violence, that type of thing?
 

Jazz Club

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Those numbers are good. That gives me hope.

PS I've been meaning to say for a while now that I really like your book cover designs.
Keep in mind that cozies appeal mostly to women and science fiction appeals mostly to men. There is going to be some crossover but not a ton.
Oh no I hope not! I like cozies and also SF and I'm a woman (no, I'm not my avatar. That guy is not me. He's Louis Balfour 😂)
 

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