Naomi Fraser (Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing, University of Newcastle)
The problem of style in science fiction and fantasy
The genres of science fiction and fantasy are traditionally analysed for the potency of their themes and tropes rather than for their language and style. The problem of style in these two genres can be approached using the methodology of stylometry. Computational analysis reveals new information about the context of these genres according to styles shared with other genres, the depth and consistency of writers to vary stylistic choices according to artistic aims, and the relationship between the language of even the ‘poorest stylist’ and the representation of imaginative fiction and key genre norms. The style in science fiction and fantasy is not a problem to be solved but an area to be studied.