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Science Fiction


A science-fiction story may be firmly rooted in real scientific possibilities as ... Science fiction covers numerous distinct subjects. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Science Fiction

  • Science Fiction
  • Definition
  • Criteria
  • Scope
  • Subject matter

  • Science fiction (often called sci-fi or SF) is a
    popular genre of fiction in which the narrative
    world differs from our own present or historical
  • This difference may be technological, physical,
    historical, sociological, philosophical,
    metaphysical, etc, but not magical or
    supernatural .

  • Exploring the consequences of such differences
    (asking "What if...?")is the traditional purpose
    of science fiction, but there are also many SF
    works in which an exotically alien setting is
    superimposed upon what would otherwise be an
    non-SF tale.

  • Renowned science-fiction writer Robert A. Heilein
    , "a handy short definition of almost all science
    fiction might read realistic speculation about
    possible future events, based solidly on adequate
    knowledge of the real world, past and present,
    and on a thorough understanding of the nature and
    significance of the scientific method."

  • Theodore Sturgeon,
  • "a good science-fiction story is a story about
    human beings, with a human problem, and a human
    solution, that would not have happened at all
    without its science content."

Science fiction and fantasy
  • A science-fiction story may be firmly rooted in
    real scientific possibilities as they are
    understood at the time of writing, or highly
    imaginative, set in an extraterrestrial
    civilization or a parallel universe,

  • Some science fiction portrays events that fall
    outside of science as currently understood. But
    one alternate viewpoint on such tales is to view
    them not from the current era's understanding of
    science, but to view the tale in the context of
    the known science during the time the tale was

  • the borderline between fantasy and science
    fiction is blurred, clearly indicating a
    substantial overlap among readers.
  • it can be argued that science fiction is simply a
    modern form of fantasy

  • the elements that would previously have been
    presented as fantasy (e.g., magic, shapeshifting,
    divination, mind-reading, fabulous beasts, and so
    on) are rationalized or supported through
    scientific or quasiscientific explanations such
    as marvelous devices, mutation, psychic
    abilities, aliens, etc.

  • Darko Suvin emphasizes a cognitive element in SF.
    According to Suvin, the purpose of science
    fiction is to introduce scientific or
    technological novelties in order to create
    narratives that enable us to perceive everyday

Science fiction and mainstream literature
  • Science fiction can overlap with more
    mainstream fiction.
  • If the society, the person, the technology, and
    the scientific knowledge base in the story are
    all drawn from observed reality, without much
    detail about the scientific aspects, the story
    may be classed as mainstream, contemporary
    fiction rather than as science fiction.

  • If the characters' thoughts and feelings about
    the laws of the universe, time, reality, and
    human invention are unusual and tend toward
    existential re-interpretation of life's meaning
    in relation to the technological world, then it
    may be classed a modernist work of literature
    that overlaps with the themes of science fiction.

  • The effect of imagined science
  • The imagined effect of actual science
  • Imagined technology based upon actual science
  • Imagined technology based upon imagined sc.
  • The effect of ST, or both, upon imagined
  • The effect of ST, or both,upon imagined
    individuals, etc.

Subject matter
  • Science fiction covers numerous distinct
  • Space travel (From the Earth to the Moon), 1865
  • The future (Paris in the 20th Century), 1863
  • Technology not yet invented (Submarines Twenty
    Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), 1870
  • Mental changes in humans (The Green Ray), 1882
  • Terraforming (Invasion of the Sea), 1904

  • Biological changes in humans or animals (The
    Island of Dr. Moreau), 1896
  • Time travel (The Time Machine), 1895
  • Humans with extraordinary powers (The Invisible
    Man), 1897
  • Contact with aliens from other worlds (The War of
    the Worlds), 1898
  • Space travel (The First Men in the Moon), 1901
  • The future (When the Sleeper Wakes), 1899
  • The evolution of the human race (Men Like Gods),
  • Nuclear warfare (The World Set Free), 1914