Difference between revisions of "Category:Science Fiction"

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(Who ever wrote that on TVTropes seemed to have the idea that science fiction is divided into hard SF and mindless fluff. Neve rmind the existence of "soft" SF authors like Bradbury, Aldiss, LeGuin, Harrisson etc.)
(Undo revision 1031135 by Supergod (talk) (you're not my guy, buddy) (but srsly I'm not sure if some of that was even true))
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However, Science Fiction is as much a genre as a [[Standard Sci Fi Setting|setting.]] Often, the technology is a means to explore a concept, and the story could be a detective story focusing on how advanced technology affects crime and policing. This story would be both Science Fiction and [[Detective Story]].
 
However, Science Fiction is as much a genre as a [[Standard Sci Fi Setting|setting.]] Often, the technology is a means to explore a concept, and the story could be a detective story focusing on how advanced technology affects crime and policing. This story would be both Science Fiction and [[Detective Story]].
  
In general, without getting too much into the advanced and diverse subgenres of Science Fiction, there are two schools -- [[Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness|"hard" and "soft"]]. "Soft" science-fiction is divided into social/literary science fiction, (which was mostly influenced by the 60s new wave) and pulp/adventure science fiction. The former deals with the social and personal consequences of the new technology and is often character focused. Pulp/adventure science fiction uses technology as a means to an end, merely a backdrop that allows [[The Captain]] to fight for Justice™ with a [[Stun Gun|Stun Ray]] against the evil aliens and have [[Boldly Coming|space sex]] with the [[Green-Skinned Space Babe]]. Details and attempts to justify the technology are rarely given in either case, and at times they may delve into [[Techno Babble]]. "Hard" science-fiction usually tries to use the advanced technology as something that is important in itself, with its development, consequences, limitations and new uses being the main plot points. Where in "softer" works the technology is used as a means to an end, here the technology is the end itself, and makes up the bulk of the story's focus. The technology used in this case tends to be more on the realistic side and is often developed using real scientific theories. "Hard" and "soft", in their most basic definitions, only indicate the level of scientific detail and how plausible the science is going to be in a particular story, and are not an indication of literary value. However, certain sections of the fandom are divided in their preferences. This divide has been around since, essentially, [http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=231 the very beginning of the genre].
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In general, without getting too much into the advanced and diverse subgenres of Science Fiction, there are two schools -- [[Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness|"hard" and "soft"]]. "Soft" science-fiction usually uses technology as a means to an end, merely a backdrop that allows [[The Captain]] to fight for Justice™ with a [[Stun Gun|Stun Ray]] against the evil aliens and have [[Boldly Coming|space sex]] with the [[Green-Skinned Space Babe]]. Due to the desire to tell a story for [[Lowest Common Denominator|the masses]], Soft Science Fiction tends to be rather loose on the scientific integrity. On the other hand, "hard" science-fiction usually tries to use the advanced technology as something that is important in itself, with its consequences, limitations and new uses being the main plot points. [[Isaac Asimov]]'s Robot stories, per example, are about how robots affect and are affected by society, and how the [[Three Laws of Robotics]] have effects upon them. Here, the technology tells a story in itself, and because the explanation of technology rarely has anything to do with violence or sex, hard science fiction is usually a niche market, especially because [[Viewers Are Geniuses|readers are expected to understand how the technology involved works,]] which often is a realistic manner based on [[Science Marches On|then-current]] research and understanding of technology. (''[[The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress]]'' doesn't have then-unheard of calculators, so everyone runs around with slide rules, which was common in [[The Fifties]]). Another unfortunate tendency is for hard sci-fi writers to scoff at well-developed characters and stories as "soft"; quite often the plot is sacrificed [[For Science!]] This divide has been around since, essentially, [http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=231 the very beginning of the genre].
  
As with everything, there is often a [[Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness|blend of Hard and Soft]] Science Fiction. It is perfectly possible to write a hard Science Fiction story about [[The Captain]] running around shooting people with miniaturized microwave emitters designed to incapacitate people without killing them, shooting aliens and having sex with [[Green-Skinned Space Babe|Green Skinned Space Babes]], (with no chance of conception because green aliens are biologically incompatible with humans) just as one can give detailed explanations of implausible technology that is [[Clarke's Third Law|much like magic.]] This can often lead to [[Hidden Depths]].
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As with everything, there is often a [[Mohs Scale of Sci Fi Hardness|blend of Hard and Soft]] Science Fiction. It is perfectly possible to write a hard Science Fiction story about [[The Captain]] running around shooting people with miniaturized microwave emitters designed to incapacitate people without killing them, shooting aliens and having sex with [[Green-Skinned Space Babe|Green Skinned Space Babes]], (with no chance of conception because green aliens are biologically incompatible with humans) just as one can write about the effects of absolutely ludicrous and unexplained technology that is [[Clarke's Third Law|much like magic.]]
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This can often lead to [[Hidden Depths]], as a story might be "[[Ghost in the Shell|cyborg police bust crime in the grimdark future by hacking people's brains]]", which sounds like soft Science Fiction, but further [[All There in the Manual|exploration]] shows next to everything to be based on technology that is currently available, and the consequences of such technology is explored in depth.
  
 
Science Fiction authors and fans are [[Berserk Button|notoriously cranky]] about [[Sci Fi Ghetto|how their work is not taken seriously by the literary community]], and especially resent being lumped in with [[Fantasy|the fantasy genre.]] ([[Speculative Fiction]], an umbrella term for all varieties of imaginative literature, has an an analysis page that explains the [[Speculative Fiction/Analysis|differences between Fantasy and Science Fiction]].) Note also that many Science Fiction fans dislike the term [[Sci-Fi]]: to them it suggests the [[Flanderization|flanderized]] conception of the genre in popular culture, with green-skinned aliens, giant space battles and hammy production values. Therefore, [[Insistent Terminology|they will insist on calling it]] [[Spell My Name with an "S"|SF]] for short.
 
Science Fiction authors and fans are [[Berserk Button|notoriously cranky]] about [[Sci Fi Ghetto|how their work is not taken seriously by the literary community]], and especially resent being lumped in with [[Fantasy|the fantasy genre.]] ([[Speculative Fiction]], an umbrella term for all varieties of imaginative literature, has an an analysis page that explains the [[Speculative Fiction/Analysis|differences between Fantasy and Science Fiction]].) Note also that many Science Fiction fans dislike the term [[Sci-Fi]]: to them it suggests the [[Flanderization|flanderized]] conception of the genre in popular culture, with green-skinned aliens, giant space battles and hammy production values. Therefore, [[Insistent Terminology|they will insist on calling it]] [[Spell My Name with an "S"|SF]] for short.

Revision as of 23:24, 7 June 2014


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"It's been said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things: science fiction the improbable made possible; fantasy, the impossible made probable..."
Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone
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As a literary genre, Science Fiction (A subset of Speculative Fiction) is broad and incorporates subgenres ranging from Steampunk to Cyberpunk, running headalong through Space Opera on the way.

The one defining(-ish, definitions differ) trait of Science Fiction is that there is technology that doesn't exist in the time period the story is written in. Consider 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The story was written in a time when submarines were still at the prototype stage, so 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea falls within the boundaries of Science Fiction.

However, Science Fiction is as much a genre as a setting. Often, the technology is a means to explore a concept, and the story could be a detective story focusing on how advanced technology affects crime and policing. This story would be both Science Fiction and Detective Story.

In general, without getting too much into the advanced and diverse subgenres of Science Fiction, there are two schools -- "hard" and "soft". "Soft" science-fiction usually uses technology as a means to an end, merely a backdrop that allows The Captain to fight for Justice™ with a Stun Ray against the evil aliens and have space sex with the Green-Skinned Space Babe. Due to the desire to tell a story for the masses, Soft Science Fiction tends to be rather loose on the scientific integrity. On the other hand, "hard" science-fiction usually tries to use the advanced technology as something that is important in itself, with its consequences, limitations and new uses being the main plot points. Isaac Asimov's Robot stories, per example, are about how robots affect and are affected by society, and how the Three Laws of Robotics have effects upon them. Here, the technology tells a story in itself, and because the explanation of technology rarely has anything to do with violence or sex, hard science fiction is usually a niche market, especially because readers are expected to understand how the technology involved works, which often is a realistic manner based on then-current research and understanding of technology. (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress doesn't have then-unheard of calculators, so everyone runs around with slide rules, which was common in The Fifties). Another unfortunate tendency is for hard sci-fi writers to scoff at well-developed characters and stories as "soft"; quite often the plot is sacrificed For Science! This divide has been around since, essentially, the very beginning of the genre.

As with everything, there is often a blend of Hard and Soft Science Fiction. It is perfectly possible to write a hard Science Fiction story about The Captain running around shooting people with miniaturized microwave emitters designed to incapacitate people without killing them, shooting aliens and having sex with Green Skinned Space Babes, (with no chance of conception because green aliens are biologically incompatible with humans) just as one can write about the effects of absolutely ludicrous and unexplained technology that is much like magic.

This can often lead to Hidden Depths, as a story might be "cyborg police bust crime in the grimdark future by hacking people's brains", which sounds like soft Science Fiction, but further exploration shows next to everything to be based on technology that is currently available, and the consequences of such technology is explored in depth.

Science Fiction authors and fans are notoriously cranky about how their work is not taken seriously by the literary community, and especially resent being lumped in with the fantasy genre. (Speculative Fiction, an umbrella term for all varieties of imaginative literature, has an an analysis page that explains the differences between Fantasy and Science Fiction.) Note also that many Science Fiction fans dislike the term Sci-Fi: to them it suggests the flanderized conception of the genre in popular culture, with green-skinned aliens, giant space battles and hammy production values. Therefore, they will insist on calling it SF for short.

Subgenres of SF include:

(Exact definitions of these genres, including whether they're really SF, and how much they overlap with fantasy, will vary from person to person.)

See: Speculative Fiction Tropes, Speculative Fiction Series, Speculative Fiction Creator Index, Technology Marches On.

Subcategories

This category has the following 12 subcategories, out of 12 total.

Pages in category "Science Fiction"

The following 5 pages are in this category, out of 5 total.