It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly!
Often abbreviated to Sci-Fi or SF, this type of fiction genre is for those who like to have their imagination stretched. It features concepts such as space and time travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.
Many call it the “literature of ideas” as it looks at what will come from many of our scientific ideas and other innovations. They are very rarely based on fantasy but tend to be grounded in science-based fact or theory that is relevant at the time the fiction is created.
Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers
Hard or soft science fiction?
There are plenty of sub genres of this type of fiction, but all fall into one of two categories. Hard science fiction is fiction that pays close attention to detail and aims to be as accurate as possible. Then tend to be based on natural sciences such as astrophysics, chemistry, biology and physics.
A number of very accurate predictions have come from hard science fiction, but let’s not forget there have also been some that were grossly inaccurate. Well known authors in this genre are often working scientists and mathematicians. Some of the best known names include Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Gregory Benford and Rudy Rucker.
Soft science fiction, on the other hand, is usually based on social sciences such as economics, political science, sociology, psychology and anthropology. It is often used to describe stories that focus on emotion and character. Renowned writers in this category include Mary Shelley, Ursula K Le Gruth and Phillip K Dick.
Science fiction sub genres and some examples
- Cyberpunk – Cyberpunk by Bruce Bethke
- Time travel – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain and The Time Machine by HG Wells
- Alternate history – Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore and The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K Dick
- Military science fiction – Starship Troopers by Heinlein and the Dorsai novels of Gordon Dickson
- Superhuman – More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon and Gladiator by Phillip Wylie
- Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic – Earth Abides by George R Stewart and Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
- Space opera – Skylark and Lensman series by Edward E Smith
- Space western – the Sean Connery film Outland
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom