Well I wrote a post some days back asking for your thoughts, but nobody really jumped in on that convo. So, I thought what I’d do is throw in my two cents of what I think are best examples, based on what I have read, of the following genres. I haven’t read everything, so if you don’t agree or have a different suggestion, please leave a comment!
Military Science Fiction — The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Space Opera — Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (although this is more military SF)
Cyberpunk (anything you guys would suggest other than Neuromancer by William Gibson) — Spin State by Chris Moriarty
Steampunk — The Steam Magnate by Dana Copithorne (partially because it is really damn good and partially because it’s the only book I’ve ever read that I could call steampunk)
Post-Apocalyptic — Other than 1984…I don’t know…Cell by Stephen King, but that’s not a great example, though I liked the book.
Hard Science Fiction — Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Humorous SF — Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Soft SF (or Socio-SF) — Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Dystopian SF — 1984 by George Orwell
Post-Cyberpunk — I have no idea…I didn’t know there was a Post-Cyberpunk movement until recently…
High Fantasy (other than Tolkien) — I can’t think of a really good example of this other than Tolkien. Some mediocre examples, sure, but nothing really concrete.
Urban Fantasy — Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (though it’s sort of SFish)
Dark Fantasy — The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (this is dark YA fantasy actually)
Heroic Fantasy (again, other than Tolkien) — Shadowfall by James Clemens
Science Fantasy (or Scifantasy) — Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon.