You are on page 1of 31


For more details on this topic, see Definitions of science fiction.
A person reads from a futuristic wraparound display screen.

Science fiction is difficult to define, as it includes a wide range of subgenres and
themes. Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science
fiction is what we point to when we say it",[5] a definition echoed by author Mark C.
Glassy, who argues that the definition of science fiction is like the definition of
pornography: you do not know what it is, but you know it when you see it.[6]

Hugo Gernsback, who was one of the first in using the term "science fiction",
described his vision of the genre: "By 'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G.
Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with
scientific fact and prophetic vision."[7]

In 1970 William Atheling Jr. wrote about the English term "science fiction": "Wells
used the term originally to cover what we would today call ‘hard’ science fiction, in
which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to already known facts (as of the date
of writing) was the substrate on which the story was to be built, and if the story was
also to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of

According to science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, "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."[10] Rod Serling's definition is "fantasy is the impossible made probable.
Science fiction is the improbable made possible."[11] Lester del Rey wrote, "Even
the devoted aficionado—or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science
fiction is", and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is
that "there are no easily delineated limits to science fiction."[12]

Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible
worlds or futures.[13] It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the
context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically

established or scientifically postulated physical laws (though some elements in a
story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

The settings of science fiction are often contrary to those of consensus reality, but
most science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief,
which is facilitated in the reader's mind by potential scientific explanations or
solutions to various fictional elements. Science fiction elements include:

A time setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that
contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record.
A spatial setting or scenes in outer space (e.g. spaceflight), on other worlds, or on
subterranean earth.[14]
Characters that include aliens, mutants, androids, or humanoid robots and other
types of characters arising from a future human evolution.
Futuristic or plausible technology such as ray guns, teleportation machines, and
humanoid computers.[15]
Scientific principles that are new or that contradict accepted physical laws, for
example time travel, wormholes, or faster-than-light travel or communication.
New and different political or social systems, e.g. dystopian, post-scarcity, or
Paranormal abilities such as mind control, telepathy, telekinesis (i.e. "The Force"
in Star Wars[17]), and teleportation.
Other universes or dimensions and travel between them.

For more details on this topic, see History of science fiction.

As a means of understanding the world through speculation and storytelling,
science fiction has antecedents which go back to an era when the dividing line
separating the mythological from the historical tends to become somewhat blurred,
though precursors to science fiction as literature can be seen in Lucian's True
History in the 2nd century,[18][19][20][21][22] some of the Arabian Nights tales,

[23][24] The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter in the 10th century[24] and Ibn al-Nafis's
Theologus Autodidactus in the 13th century.[25]

A product of the budding Age of Reason and the development of modern science
itself, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World" (1666) and Jonathan Swift's
Gulliver's Travels (1726) are some of the first true science fantasy works,[26][27]
which both feature the adventures of the protagonist in fictional and fantastical
places. together with Voltaire's Micromégas (1752) and Johannes Kepler's Somnium
(1620–1630).[28] Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered the latter work the first
science fiction story.[29][30] It depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earth's
motion is seen from there. The Blazing World (1666), by English noblewoman
Margaret Cavendish, has also been described as an early forerunner of science
fiction.[31][32][33][34] Another example is Ludvig Holberg's novel Nicolai Klimii Iter
Subterraneum (1741).

Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, in the early
19th century, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein (1818) and The Last Man helped
define the form of the science fiction novel, and Brian Aldiss has argued that
Frankenstein was the first work of science fiction.[35][36] Later, Edgar Allan Poe
wrote a story about a flight to the moon.[37] More examples appeared throughout
the 19th century.
Black-and-white photo of a man with bushy black mustache and black hair with
H. G. Wells

Then with the dawn of new technologies such as electricity, the telegraph, and new
forms of powered transportation, writers including H. G. Wells and Jules Verne
created a body of work that became popular across broad cross-sections of society.
[38] Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898) describes an invasion of late Victorian
England by Martians using tripod fighting machines equipped with advanced
weaponry. It is a seminal depiction of an alien invasion of Earth.

In the late 19th century, the term "scientific romance" was used in Britain to
describe much of this fiction. This produced additional offshoots, such as the 1884
novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott. The term
would continue to be used into the early 20th century for writers such as Olaf

Donald A. Brick Bradford (1933). ideas. Damon Knight. John W.[43] This dystopian vision of . and Harlan Ellison explored new trends. Clarke. In the 1960s and early 1970s. Judith Merril. Heinlein. pulp magazines helped develop a new generation of mainly American SF writers. E. the first of his three-decade-long series of Barsoom novels.E.[42] In the 1980s. van Vogt.[39] This lasted until post-war technological advances.[26] In the 1970s. Robert A. including Isaac Asimov.[39] In 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars. characterized by hard SF stories celebrating scientific achievement and progress. (Doc) Smith. Le Guin and others pioneered soft science fiction. Working outside the Campbell influence were Ray Bradbury and Stanisław Lem. became known as the New Wave for their embrace of a high degree of experimentation. James Blish. and a new generation of writers began writing stories with less emphasis on the hard sciences and more on the social sciences. Jules Verne In the early 20th century. Burroughs. mustache and beard. Delany. the founder of Amazing Stories magazine. while a group of writers. Gold. Olaf Stapledon. Arthur C. mainly in Britain. In the 1950s. the Beat generation included speculative writers such as William S. This story led to comic strips featuring Buck Rogers (1929). The comic strips and derivative movie serials greatly popularized science fiction. Frederik Pohl. In the late 1930s. cyberpunk authors like William Gibson turned away from the optimism and support for progress of traditional science fiction. influenced by Hugo Gernsback. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction. The 1928 publication of Philip Nolan's original Buck Rogers story. edited by H. L. and a critical mass of new writers emerged in New York City in a group called the Futurians. writers like Frank Herbert. and writing styles.[40] Other important writers during this period include E. Roger Zelazny.[41] Ursula K. Campbell's tenure at Astounding is considered to be the beginning of the Golden Age of science fiction. Samuel R. in Amazing Stories was a landmark event. and Flash Gordon (1934). writers like Larry Niven brought new life to hard science fiction. and a highbrow and self-consciously "literary" or artistic sensibility.Black-and-white photo of man in formal dress with unkempt hair. and A. new magazines such as Galaxy. Wollheim. situated on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. and others. Armageddon 2419. both in form and in content.

such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.[50] The term "sci-fi" Forrest J Ackerman is credited with first using the term sci-fi (analogous to the thentrendy "hi-fi") in 1954. Spin-offs include the animated television series Stargate Infinity.[44] focusing more on story and character than on scientific accuracy. one would not . including three further Star Trek spin-off shows (Deep Space 9. a movie about an ancient portal to other gates across the galaxy. questions about biotechnology and nanotechnology. Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age comprehensively explores these themes. Stargate SG-1 surpassed The X-Files as the longest-running North American science fiction television series. C. 1997 and lasted 10 seasons with 214 episodes.[45] Emerging themes in the 1990s included environmental issues. the TV series Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.[51] As science fiction entered popular culture.[52][53][54] By the 1970s. and Enterprise) and Babylon 5. Dick. J. and the direct-to-DVD films Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Cherryh's detailed explorations of alien life and complex scientific challenges influenced a generation of writers. a record later broken by Smallville. writers and fans active in the field came to associate the term with low-budget.[55] Around 1978 critic Susan Wood and others introduced the use of the odd pronunciation "skiffy" which is intended to be self-deprecating humor but is inconsistent with the documented genesis of the term "sci-fi" (i. Stargate SG-1.[46] The television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) began a torrent of new SF shows. Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan novels brought the characterdriven story back into prominence.e. low-tech "Bmovies" and with low-quality pulp science fiction. popularized by Vernor Vinge's novel Marooned in Realtime and then taken up by other authors. The Star Wars franchise helped spark a new interest in space opera.. as well as a post-Cold War interest in postscarcity societies. critics within the field such as Terry Carr and Damon Knight were using sci-fi to distinguish hack-work from serious science fiction. premiered on July 27. a TV series. which resulted in the films Blade Runner and Total Recall. Voyager.[47][48] Stargate. the implications of the global Internet and the expanding information universe. was released in 1994.[49] Concern about the rapid pace of technological change crystallized around the concept of the technological singularity.the near future is described in the work of Philip K.

Alastair . This topic has been more often discussed in literary and sociological than in scientific forums. Stephen Baxter.[56][57] Peter Nicholls writes that "SF" (or "sf") is "the preferred abbreviation within the community of sf writers and readers. Greg Bear. Some accurate predictions of the future come from the hard science fiction subgenre. Clarke. while mathematician authors include Rudy Rucker and Vernor Vinge. and chemistry. How William Shatner Changed the World is a documentary that gave a number of real-world examples of actualized technological imaginations. Landis. Technology impacts artists and how they portray their fictionalized subjects. Other noteworthy hard SF authors include Isaac Asimov. Frank Herbert. Larry Niven. Arthur C. Sawyer.[60] Categories Hard science fiction Main article: Hard science fiction Arthur C. or on accurately depicting worlds that more advanced technology may make possible. including Gregory Benford. new authors still find ways to make currently impossible technologies seem closer to being realized. While more prevalent in the early years of science fiction with writers like Arthur C. but also initiates innovation and new technology.[61][62] and Robert L. Clarke. Cinema and media theorist Vivian Sobchack examines the dialogue between science fiction films and the technological imagination. Forward. Hal Clement. or "hard SF". Robert J. Geoffrey A.pronounce "hi-fi" as "hiffy") and Ackerman's own words engraved on his crypt plaque which read "Sci-Fi was My High". but the fictional world gives back to science by broadening imagination. Clarke Hard science fiction. but numerous inaccurate predictions have emerged as well.[citation needed] Some hard SF authors have distinguished themselves as working scientists."[58] David Langford's monthly fanzine Ansible includes a regular section "As Others See Us" which offers numerous examples of "sci-fi" being used in a pejorative sense by people outside the genre.[59] Innovation Science fiction has criticized developing and future technologies. David Brin. especially physics. astrophysics. is characterized by rigorous attention to accurate detail in the natural sciences.

The term is sometimes used to describe improbable plots. Ben Bova.[68] The time frame is usually near-future and the settings are often dystopian in nature and characterized by misery. Satirical novels with fantastic settings such as Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift may also be considered science fiction or speculative fiction. economics. including works by Polish authors Stanislaw Lem and Janusz Zajdel. Yevgeny Zamyatin and Ivan Yefremov. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. sociology. Le Guin and Philip K. The Modern Prometheus. one of the earliest examples of soft science fiction The description "soft" science fiction may describe works based on social sciences such as psychology. and cardboard characters. absurd "science". Kim Stanley Robinson. political science.Reynolds.[64] The Eastern Bloc produced a large quantity of social science fiction. Noteworthy writers in this category include Ursula K. Common themes in cyberpunk . combining cybernetics and punk. [67] the term was coined by author Bruce Bethke for his 1980 short story Cyberpunk. as well as Soviet authors such as the Strugatsky brothers. Kir Bulychov. Anne McCaffery and Greg Egan.[39][63] The term can describe stories focused primarily on character and emotion. and anthropology. Soft science fiction Main article: Soft science fiction Mary Shelly's Frankenstein: or. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake are examples. Dick. Subgenres This section needs additional citations for verification. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. SFWA Grand Master Ray Bradbury was an acknowledged master of this art. (January 2013) Cyberpunk Main article: Cyberpunk The cyberpunk genre emerged in the early 1980s. Related to social SF and soft SF are utopian and dystopian stories. Charles Sheffield.[65][66] Some writers blur the boundary between hard and soft science fiction.

and The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. which uses a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively.[69] Time travel Main article: Time travel in fiction Time-travel stories have antecedents in the 18th and 19th centuries. is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. James O'Ehley has called the 1982 film Blade Runner a definitive example of the cyberpunk visual style. Bruce Sterling. or may simply set a story in a universe with a different history from our own. G. in which the South wins the American Civil War. coined by Wells. post-modernism. Alternate history Main article: Alternate history Alternative history stories are based on the premise that historical events might have turned out differently. Neal Stephenson. the name is taken from Murray Leinster's 1934 story Sidewise in Time. and prosthetics and postdemocratic societal control where corporations have more influence than governments. Stories of this type are complicated by logical problems such as the grandfather paradox. and television. movies. Nihilism. Harry Turtledove is one of the most prominent authors in the subgenre and is sometimes called the "master of alternate history."[71][72] Military science fiction Main article: Military science fiction . and the protagonists may be disaffected or reluctant anti-heroes. visually abstracted as cyberspace. while Twain's time traveler is struck in the head. in which Germany and Japan win World War II. Classics in the genre include Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore. The Sidewise Award acknowledges the best works in this subgenre. and film noir techniques are common elements. The most famous is H. Also Doctor Who goes in this category.include advances in information technology and especially the Internet. These stories may use time travel to change the past. Noteworthy authors in this genre are William Gibson. artificial intelligence. Dick. and Pat Cadigan. in print.[70] Time travel continues to be a popular subject in modern science fiction. The term time machine. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine. The first major time-travel novel was Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Back to the Future is one of the most popular movie franchises in this category.

Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human. Miller. Tom Kratman.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz. David Drake. Stirling. or interstellar armed forces. and John Carr. E. a Vietnam-era response to the World War II–style stories of earlier authors. interplanetary. Joe Haldeman's The Forever War is a critique of the genre. These stories usually focus on the alienation that these beings feel as well as society's reaction to them. Stories include detail about military technology. or some other general disaster or with a world or civilization after such a disaster. These stories have played a role in the real life discussion of human enhancement. Typical of the genre are George R. pandemic (The Last Man). Michael Z. Williamson. Jr. The publishing company Baen Books is known for cultivating several of these military science fiction authors. Babylon. Apocalyptic fiction generally concerns the disaster itself and the direct aftermath. and history.Military science fiction is set in the context of conflict between national. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic Main article: Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction Apocalyptic fiction is concerned with the end of civilization through war (On the Beach). David Weber. S. such as the intentional augmentation in A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers is an early example. military stories may use parallels with historical conflicts. astronomic impact (When Worlds Collide). where civilization is recovering from a nuclear war as survivors struggle to survive and seek to rebuild society. This can stem either from natural causes such as in Olaf Stapledon's novel Odd John. procedure.[74] Superhuman Superhuman stories deal with the emergence of humans who have abilities beyond the norm. Apocalyptic science-fiction is a popular genre in video games. Frederik Pohl's Man Plus also belongs to this category. as in Russell Hoban's novel Riddley Walker and Walter M. is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. van Vogt's novel Slan. Fallout. ritual. the primary viewpoint characters are usually soldiers. M. Stewart's novel Earth Abides and Pat Frank's novel Alas. ecological disaster (The Wind from Nowhere). Space opera . along with the Dorsai novels of Gordon Dickson. and Philip Wylie's Gladiator. The critically acclaimed role-playing action adventure video game series. while postapocalyptic fiction can deal with anything from the near aftermath (as in Cormac McCarthy's The Road) to 375 years in the future (as in By The Waters of Babylon) to hundreds or thousands of years in the future.[73] Prominent military SF authors include John Scalzi. John Ringo. or be the result of scientific advances.

Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky. The pioneer of this subgenre is generally recognized[by whom?] to be Edward E. and the film sequel Serenity by Joss Whedon. with his Skylark and Lensman series. A prime example of the space opera genre seen in video games is the Mass Effect series. Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars from the Thrilling Adventure Hour. Peter F. Outlaw Star. These stories typically involve colony worlds that have only recently been terraformed and/or settled serving as stand-ins for the backdrop of lawlessness and economic expansion that were predominant in the American west.Main article: Space opera Space opera is adventure science fiction set mainly or entirely in outer space or on multiple (sometimes distant) planets. A Deepness in the Sky are newer examples of this genre.[citation needed] Space Western Main article: Space Western The space Western transposes themes of American Western books and films to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers. It is also used nostalgically. The conflict is heroic. and typically on a large scale. (Doc) Smith. Stephen Hunt's Sliding Void series. Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep. Night's Dawn. It covers epic battles between good and evil throughout an entire galaxy. Hamilton's Void. Since it usually focuses more on speculation about humanity and less on scientific accuracy. Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space series. it's usually placed within soft science fiction. Pandora's Star series. the Firefly television series. Social science fiction Main article: Social science fiction Social science fiction focuses on themes of society and human nature in a science fiction setting. George Lucas's Star Wars series is among the most popular and famous franchises in cinematic space opera. Examples include the Sean Connery film Outland. and modern space opera may be an attempt to recapture the sense of wonder of the golden age of science fiction. Climate fiction Main article: Climate fiction . and Trigun. as well as the manga and anime series Cowboy Bebop.

much as "science fiction" is often shortened to "sci-fi". the misuse of biotechnology and synthetic biotechnology. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. It is sometimes called "cli-fi". The main underlying theme within these stories is the attempt to change the human body and engineer humans for specific purposes through enhancements in genetic and molecular makeups. (January 2013) This section requires expansion.Climate fiction is a genre based around themes of reaction to major climate change. There are various science fiction works. Many cli-fi works raise awareness about the major threats that global warming and climate change present to life on Earth. which do not take place at sea but in a comparable setting. Many examples of this subgenre include subjects such as human experimentation. such as Star Trek. but they can also be set in the past. such as space. This subgenre also includes works involving human cloning and how clones might exists within human society in the future. This section needs additional citations for verification. Other subgenres This section has multiple issues. where the threat and theme of the dangers of the unknown (e. Biopunk Main article: Biopunk Biopunk focuses on biotechnology and subversives. (June 2008) . Maritime science fiction Main article: Maritime science fiction Maritime science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that takes place in the ocean or the sea and commonly has sea monsters and/or maritime technology.g. Cli-fi novels and films are often set in either the present or the near or distant future.: Sea/space Monsters) is still present.

and in such games as Space: 1889 and Marcus Rowland's Forgotten Futures. such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. Samurai. Feminist science fiction poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles. . thus asserting a need for feminist work to continue.Sharing many of the conventions of a science fiction film.I. Machines are most often powered by steam in this genre (hence the name). Kaiju films feature large creatures of any form. Bas-Lag series by China Miéville. G. Steampunk is based on the idea of futuristic technology existing in the past. and some of Ursula K. space battles. Sawyer. The subgenre began in 1954 with Godzilla. usually the 19th century." The word has been translated and defined in English as "monster" and is used to refer to a genre of tokusatsu entertainment.Anthropological science fiction is a subgenre that absorbs and discusses anthropology and the study of human kind. Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. therefore distinguishing it from Space opera. the role reproduction plays in defining gender and the unequal political and personal power of men over women. Philip José Farmer and Steve Stiles. and Neanderthal by John Darnton. and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. sci-fi action films emphasizes gun-play. Comic science fiction is a subgenre that exploits the genre's conventions for comic effect. Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil is seen as inspiration for writers and artists of the steampunk sub-culture. invented weaponry. Sci-fi action . and other sci-fi elements weaved into action film premises. Examples include Hominids by Robert J.[76][77][78] Science fiction opera is an opera in a science fiction setting without an outer space of multi-planetary setting. Magical feminism is a subgenre of feminist science fiction.[75] Joanna Russ's work. Kaiju is a Japanese word that literally translates to "strange beast. Libertarian science fiction is a subgenre focuses on the politics and social order implied by libertarian philosophies with an emphasis on individualism. as well as Girl Genius web comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio. or dystopias to explore worlds in which gender inequalities are intensified. usually attacking a major city or engaging another (or multiple) monster(s) in battle. although seeds of the subgenre may be seen in certain works of Michael Moorcock. Some of the most notable feminist science fiction works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore a society in which gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist. or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Le Guin's work can be thus categorized. Wells and Jules Verne. Popular examples include The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Examples include G.

. Serenity. Poetry was only sparingly published in traditional science-fiction outlets such as pulp magazines until the New Wave. In this (like its steam counterpart). Science fiction poetry's main sources are the sciences and the literary movement of science fiction prose. and/or experiments gone wrong. alternate histories (which may have no particular scientific or futuristic component).. see Speculative fiction. I Robot. District 9. fantasy.[81] which gives the annual Rhysling Awards for speculative poetry. she maintains.. Dieselpunk takes over where Steampunk leaves off.[79] Science fiction horror – Often revolves around subjects that include but are not limited to killer aliens. Star Wars.[82] By the 1980s there were magazines specifically devoted to science-fiction poetry. The Matrix. Total Recall. and horror For more details on this topic. Avatar.Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Aliens. such as the work of Jorge . Elgin says that the effectiveness of this kind of poetry pivots around the correct use of presupposition. near the end of the first Industrial Revolution. where she compares and contrasts it to both mainstream poetry and to prose science fiction. An early example of science fiction in poetry is in Alfred. Science-fiction poetry is poetry that has the characteristics or subject matter of science fiction. The former. Divergent. where he introduces a picture of the future with "When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see. Akira.[80] The Science Fiction Association is an international organization of speculative poets. whereas these details can be key elements in science-fiction poetry. Minority Report. fantasy. mad scientists. uses figures of speech unencumbered by noncompliant details. They Live.[82] Related genres Other speculative fiction. The Maze Runner. These are stories that take over as we usher in the machine-heavy eras of WWI and WWII." This poem was written in 1835. Robocop. the focus is on the technology. Equilibrium. The use of dieselpowered machines plays heavily. Predator. Paycheck. Lord Tennyson's Locksley Hall. The Hunger Games. Prose in science fiction has the time to develop a setting and a story. The Island. Mad Max 2. and even literary stories that contain fantastic elements. Escape From New York and The Fifth Element. Transformers. The broader category of speculative fiction[83] includes science fiction. An extended discussion of the field is given in Suzette Haden Elgin's The Science Fiction Poetry Handbook. whereas a poem in the field is normally constrained by its short length to rely on some device to get a point across quickly.

supernatural transportation (flying broomsticks.[90] In general." The term "science fantasy" is sometimes used to describe such material. magic realism is considered to be within the broad definition of speculative fiction. Oz. supernatural creatures (witches. Hogwarts). while writers such as Anne McCaffrey. usually absent in science fiction. K. Le Guin.[86] SF conventions routinely have programming on fantasy topics. man into wolf or bear.[92] Literary critic Fredric Jameson has characterized the difference between the two genres by describing science fiction as turning "on a formal framework determined by concepts of the mode of production rather than those of religion" – that is.[85] The authors' professional organization is called the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). and a number of writers have worked in both genres. For some editors. Such things are basic themes in fantasy. harm to opponents). ruby slippers. windows between worlds). lion into sheep).[94] Science fantasy Main article: science fantasy .[93] Some narratives are described as being essentially science fiction but "with fantasy elements. science fiction differs from fantasy in that the former concerns things that might someday be possible or that at least embody the pretense of realism. is the distinctive characteristic of fantasy literature. orcs. vampires. A dictionary definition referring to fantasy literature is "fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements. Supernaturalism. and shapeshifting (beast into man. Middle Earth. trolls).Luis Borges or John Barth. Rowling have won the highest honor within the science fiction field. Ursula K. magical places (Narnia. science fiction texts are bound by an inner logic based more on historical materialism than on magic or the forces of good and evil.[87][88][89] and fantasy authors such as J. and Marion Zimmer Bradley have written works that appear to blur the boundary between the two related genres. the Hugo Award.[84] Fantasy Main article: Fantasy Fantasy is commonly associated with science fiction." [91] Examples of fantasy supernaturalism include magic (spells.

Historically it has also been known as weird fiction. Much of the thriller genre would be included. or the James Bond . some works of horror literature incorporates science fictional elements. Supernatural fiction Main article: Supernatural fiction Supernatural fiction is a genre that features supernatural and other paranormal phenomenon in stories and settings.Science fantasy is a genre where elements of science fiction and fantasy co-exist or combine. sorcery or/and "magical technology" are considered science fantasy. may be considered mainstream fiction. with the aim of unsettling or frightening the reader. Although horror is not per se a branch of science fiction. where the manufacture of the monster is given a rigorous science-fictional grounding. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. but based on current reality. is the first fully realized work of science fiction.[95] Today horror is one of the most popular categories of films. etc.[96] Horror is often mistakenly categorized as science fiction at the point of distribution by libraries. One of the defining classical works of horror. Stories and franchises that display fictional science as well as supernatural elements. Spy-fi Main article: Spy-fi A mixed genre that combines elements of science fiction with spy fiction. The works of Edgar Allan Poe also helped define both the science fiction and the horror genres. sometimes with graphic violence. video rental outlets. Mystery fiction Main article: Mystery fiction Works in which science and technology are a dominant theme. Horror fiction Main article: Horror fiction Horror fiction is the literature of the unnatural and supernatural. such as the novels of Tom Clancy or Michael Crichton.

Superhero fiction Main article: Superhero fiction Superhero fiction is a genre characterized by beings with much higher than usual capability and prowess. Spider-Man. [98] According to Robert J. or "The Idylls of the Queen" set in the mythical King Arthur's court. Dean Wesley Smith (Smallville. and other writers incorporate mystery elements in their science fiction. and X-Men novels) and Superman writers Roger Stern and Elliot S! Maggin. set in a world thousands of years in the future and presenting the Robot detective R. Walter Mosley. a full-fledged Science Fiction Mystery is one which is set in a completely different world from ours. and both require stories to be plausible and hinge on the way things really do work. "Science fiction and mystery have a great deal in common. in which the circumstances and motives of the crime committed and the identity of the detective(s) seeking to solve it are of an essentially science fictional character. Fandom and community For more details on this topic. alien worlds. Distinct from the above. the Iron Man. and the Hulk). . Dick. and Stanisław Lem have focused on speculative or existential perspectives on contemporary reality and are on the borderline between SF and the mainstream. Sawyer.such as the Lord Darcy mysteries taking place in a world where magic works. but the standards of scientific plausibility are lower than with actual science fiction. A prime example is Isaac Asimov's "The Caves of Steel" and its sequels. the Fantastic Four. and interdimensional travel."[99] Isaac Asimov. Marv Wolfman. An allied genre is the Fantasy Mystery. the X-Men. the creator of Blade for Marvel Comics. a detective mystery set in a world of fantasy . and The New Teen Titans for DC Comics. Both prize the intellectual process of puzzle solving.films. generally with a desire or need to help the citizens of their chosen country or world by using their powers to defeat natural or superpowered threats. time travel. Authors of this genre include Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man. including advanced technologies. see Science fiction fandom. Philip K.[97] Modernist works from writers like Kurt Vonnegut. and vice versa. Daneel Olivaw. A number of superhero fiction characters involve themselves (either intentionally or accidentally) with science fiction and fact.

[104] Awards For more details on this topic. . the Nebula Award. for decades. fans wanted to meet each other. the culture in which new ideas emerge and grow before being released into society at large. One notable award for science fiction films is the Saturn Award. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for short fiction. regional awards. presented by SFWA and voted on by the community of authors. SF fandom emerged from the letters column in Amazing Stories magazine. clubs. and they organized local clubs. the first science fiction conventions gathered fans from a wider area. In the 1930s. Authors Science fiction is being written worldwide by a diverse population of authors. see List of science fiction awards. and then grouping their comments together in informal publications that became known as fanzines. and other resources. are in contact with each other at conventions or clubs. and the John W."[100] Members of this community..Science fiction fandom is the "community of the literature of ideas. or "fanac". through print or online fanzines. There are national awards.[103] A controversy about voting slates in the 2015 Hugo Awards highlighted tensions in the science fiction community between a trend of increasingly diverse works and authors being honored by awards. men outnumber women by 78% to 22% among submissions to the publisher. like Canada's Prix Aurora Awards. or on the Internet using web sites. Soon fans began writing letters to each other.[101] Once they were in regular contact. like the Endeavour Award presented at Orycon for works from the Pacific Northwest. and fanzines were the dominant form of fan activity. "fans".[102] Conventions. and a backlash by groups of authors and fans who preferred what they considered more traditional science fiction. Fantasy. It is presented annually by The Academy of Science Fiction.. and Horror Films. presented by the World Science Fiction Society at Worldcon. According to 2013 statistics by the science fiction publisher Tor Books. mailing lists. Among the most respected awards for science fiction are the Hugo Award. until the Internet facilitated communication among a much larger population of interested people.

filking. pubs or restaurants. notably the Locus Award. Most are organized by volunteers in nonprofit groups. community centers. and hospitality lounge (or "con suites"). though most media-oriented events are organized by commercial promoters.[105] Conventions may host award ceremonies. shortened as "cons"). autograph sessions. including media fandom. Fandom has helped incubate related groups. national. or have regular club meetings. The convention's activities are called the "program".[107] the Society for Creative Anachronism. etc. these commonly include a dealer's room. Activities that occur throughout the convention are not part of the program. Most groups meet in libraries. readings. Long-established groups like the New England Science Fiction Association and the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society have clubhouses for meetings and storage of convention supplies and research materials. and other events.[108] gaming. catering to a local. costume masquerades. regional. while others focus on a particular interest like media fandom. General-interest conventions cover all aspects of science fiction. art show. schools and universities.[86] 24 years after his essay "Unite or Fie!" had led to the organization of the National Fantasy Fan Federation.[109] filking. or the homes of individual members.[106] The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) was founded by Damon Knight in 1965 as a non-profit organization to serve the community of professional science fiction authors.special interest or subgenre awards like the Chesley Award for art or the World Fantasy Award for fantasy. see Science fiction convention. and furry fandom. SF societies. are held in cities around the world. see Science fiction fanzine. Magazines may organize reader polls. . or international membership. clubs. which may include panel discussions. or both. and organizations For more details on this topic. Conventions. Pamela Dean reading at Minicon Conventions (in fandom. Worldcons present the Hugo Awards each year. referred to as "clubs" except in formal contexts.[110] Fanzines and online fandom For more details on this topic. They may be associated with an ongoing science fiction convention. form a yearround base of activities for science fiction fans.

known to aficionados as "fanfic". the copyright owners of the books.[111] Fanzine printing methods have changed over the decades. though sites like SF Site and SFcrowsnest offer a broad range of references and reviews about science fiction. Other fanzines to win awards in recent years include File 770. In the 1990s. Science fiction studies For more details on this topic. edited by David Langford. and Joe Mayhew. written starting in 1956 by Irish fan John Berry and published in his and Arthur Thomson's fanzine Retribution. The Comet. In the last few years. ephemeral. the development of the World-Wide Web exploded the community of online fandom by orders of magnitude. to modern photocopying. is non-commercial fiction created by fans in the setting of an established book. originally a mailing list in the late 1970s with a text archive file that was updated regularly. video game. film. Usenet groups greatly expanded the circle of fans online. Modern fanzines are printed on computer printers or at local copy shops. Distribution volumes rarely justify the cost of commercial printing. interactive media and on to whatever new . often with members of fandom as characters therein. or they may only be sent as email. In some cases. films. see Science fiction studies. from the hectograph.[113] In the 1980s. and Plokta. Mimosa. or television series have instructed their lawyers to issue "cease and desist" letters to fans. or television series. [Science fiction] is the one real international literary form we have today. with thousands and then literally millions of web sites devoted to science fiction and related genres for all media. and/or very narrowly focused.[106] Most such sites are small. where the term meant original or parody fiction written by fans and published in fanzines. Fan fiction. sites have appeared such as Orion's Arm and Galaxiki. the mimeograph.The first science fiction fanzine. Examples of this would include the Goon Defective Agency stories. The best known fanzine (or "'zine") today is Ansible. see Fan fiction. Foster.[112] Artists working for fanzines have risen to prominence in the field. was published in 1930. [114] This modern meaning of the term should not be confused with the traditional (pre-1970s) meaning of "fan fiction" within the community of fandom.[112] The earliest organized fandom online was the SF Lovers community. winner of numerous Hugo awards. Teddy Harvia. and the ditto machine. which encourage collaborative development of science fiction universes. and as such has branched out to visual media. including Brad W. the Hugos include a category for Best Fan Artists. Fan fiction For more details on this topic.

“ ” George Edgar Slusser[115] The study of science fiction..The same study also found that students who read science fiction are much more likely than other students to believe that contacting extraterrestrial civilizations is both possible and desirable (Bainbridge 1982).. film. politics. interpretation. or science fiction studies. is the critical assessment. and Science Fiction Studies (1973). Science fiction studies has a long history dating back to the turn of the 20th century. A number of respected writers of mainstream literature have written science fiction. Foundation . new media. and is treated as a major Romantic writer.."[116] They write that "Interest in science fiction may affect the way people think about or relate to science. The field has grown considerably since the 1970s with the establishment of more journals. but it was not until later that science fiction studies solidified as a discipline with the publication of the academic journals Extrapolation (1959). in study found a strong relationship between preference for science fiction novels and support for the space program. including Aldous .media the world will invent in the 21st century.. organizations. crossover issues between the sciences and the humanities are crucial for the century to come.The International Review of Science Fiction (1972). Science fiction scholars take science fiction as an object of study in order to better understand it and its relationship to science. fandom. and culture-at-large. and science fiction degreegranting programs such as those offered by the University of Liverpool and Kansas University. and the establishment of the oldest organizations devoted to the study of science fiction. and conferences with ties to the science fiction scholarship community. and discussion of science fiction literature.. technology... and fan fiction. the Science Fiction Research Association and the Science Fiction Foundation.[118] A number of science fiction works have received critical acclaim including Childhood's End and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner). The National Science Foundation has conducted surveys of "Public Attitudes and Public Understanding" of "Science Fiction and Pseudoscience.[117] As serious literature Mary Shelley wrote a number of science fiction novels including Frankenstein.

Canopus in Argos. Le Guin has approached an answer by first citing the essay written by the English author Virginia Woolf entitled Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown in which she states: I believe that all novels.Huxley's Brave New World."[120] the science fiction writer Ursula K. The scholar Tom Shippey asks a perennial question of science fiction: "What is its relationship to fantasy fiction. The great novelists have brought us to see whatever they wish us to see through some character... but poets. and nearly all of Kurt Vonnegut's works contain science fiction premises or themes. has postulated that in science fiction the message and intellectual significance of the work is contained within the story itself and. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Le Guin argues that these criteria may be successfully applied to works of science fiction and so answers in the affirmative her rhetorical question posed at the beginning of her essay: "Can a science fiction writer write a novel?" Tom Shippey[119] in his essay does not dispute this answer but identifies and discusses the essential differences that exists between a science fiction novel and one written outside the field."[121] In science fiction the style of writing is often relatively clear and straightforward compared to classical literature. To this end. Orson Scott Card. and that it is to express character – not to preach doctrines.. sing songs. he compares George Orwell's Coming Up for Air with Frederik Pohl and C. is it a taste which will appeal to the mature but non-eccentric literary mind?"[119] In her much reprinted essay "Science Fiction and Mrs Brown. and alive. . and undramatic. . elastic. Otherwise they would not be novelists. verbose.. is its readership still dominated by male adolescents. Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing wrote a series of SF novels. deal with character. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants and concludes that the basic building block and distinguishing feature of a science fiction novel is the presence of the novum. or celebrate the glories of the British Empire. historians. Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. or pamphleteers. has been evolved . a term Darko Suvin adapts from Ernst Bloch and defines as "a discrete piece of information recognizable as not-true. M.(and in the current state of knowledge) impossible. an author of both science fiction and non-SF fiction. so clumsy. so rich. that the form of the novel. but also as not-unliketrue. not-flatly.

[122] Science fiction author and physicist Gregory Benford has declared that: "SF is perhaps the defining genre of the twentieth century.. commercial. stands as "a hidden tombstone marking the death of the hope that SF was about to merge with the mainstream.. Genre's foot soldiers think that literary fiction is a collection of meaningless but prettily drawn pictures of the human condition."[124] Lethem suggests that the point in 1973 when Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow was nominated for the Nebula Award. encoded fiction would be. but that some writers and critics confuse clarity of language with lack of artistic merit. in an earlier essay had pointed to a new development in this "endless war": [127] What do novels about a journey across post-apocalyptic America. the professors of literature would be out of a job. Barnett. In Card's words: ."[123] This sense of exclusion was articulated by Jonathan Lethem in an essay published in the Village Voice entitled "Close Encounters: The Squandered Promise of Science Fiction. and genetic engineering in a collapsed civilization have in common? . whizz-bang potboilers. a world-girdling pipe of special gas keeping mutant creatures at bay. but pitied for their impenetrability. a clone waitress rebelling against a future society. Or so it goes. not honored.] If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly. endless war between "literary" fiction and "genre" fiction has welldefined lines in the sand..a great many writers and critics have based their entire careers on the premise that anything that the general public can understand without mediation is worthless drivel. a plan to rid a colonizable new world of dinosaurs. although its conquering armies are still camped outside the Rome of the literary citadels. there need not be stylistic gimmicks or literary games.. and was passed over in favor of Arthur C. The literary guard consider genre fiction to be crass. [. and the writers of obscure. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama.therefore." Among the responses to Lethem was one from the editor of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction who asked: "When is it [the SF genre] ever going to realize it can't win the game of trying to impress the mainstream?"[125] On this point the journalist and author David Barnett has remarked:[126] The ongoing.

and culture lend themselves well to this comparison. wrote a science fiction allegory about his nation's politics.They are all most definitely not science fiction. produced by Peter Jackson.[129][130] which also holds the distinction of being the first novel in the Shona language to appear as an ebook first before it came out in print. The subgenre also commonly employs the mechanism of time travel to examine the effects of slavery and forced emigration on the individual and the family. as are country. an apartheid allegory featuring extraterrestrial life forms. customs. Canada.or language-specific genre awards. Qui se souvient de la mer (Who Remembers the Sea?) in 1962. The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood from their descriptions above. Literary readers will probably recognize The Road by Cormac McCarthy. [128] Masimba Musodza. In South Africa.[citation needed] Asia . and the United Kingdom. World-wide examples Although perhaps most developed as a genre and community in the United States. Commonalities in experiences with unknown languages. Organisations devoted to promotion and even translation in particular countries are commonplace. but their authors or publishers have taken great pains to ensure that they are not categorized as such. one of the sections of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Africa Mohammed Dib. published MunaHacha Maive Nei? the first science-fiction novel in the Shona language. African science fiction often uses this genre norm to situate slavery and the slave trade as an alien abduction. science fiction is a worldwide phenomenon. The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. a Zimbabwean author. Science fiction examines society through shifting power structures (such as the shift of power from humanity to alien overlords). All of these novels use the tropes of what most people recognize as science fiction. an Algerian writer. a movie titled District 9 came out in 2009.

credit for the first science fiction story is often given to later Bengali authors such as Jagadananda Roy. Humayun Ahmed wrote the first modern Bengali SF novel. Science fiction in China and Japanese science fiction Indian science fiction. Similar traditions exist in Hindi. Vandana Singh and Anil Menon. and Boman Desai's The Memory of Elephants are generally classified as magic realist works but make essential use of SF tropes and techniques. Iqbal transformed his own science fiction cartoon strip Mohakashe Mohatrash (Terror in .[citation needed] Mr. Fiha Somikoron (Fiha Equation) etc.[citation needed] This story was later included in a compilation of Iqbal's work in a book by the same name.Main articles: Bengali science fiction. a famous publishing house of Dhaka was the publisher of this book.[citation needed] Muhammed Zafar Iqbal at Ekushey Book Fair. for example in Punjabi IP Singh and Roop Dhillon have written stories that can clearly be defined as Punjabi science fiction. defined loosely as science fiction by writers of Indian descent. This collection of science fiction stories gained huge popularity and the new trend of science fiction emerged among Bengali writers and readers. Irina.[131] In English. Tamil and English. the modern era of Indian speculative fiction began with the works of authors such as Samit Basu. [citation needed] It was published in 1973. The latter has coined the term Vachitarvaad to describe such literature. Hemlal Dutta and the polymath Jagadish Chandra Bose. Since this story was intended as a political polemic. After his first collection. Tomader Jonno Valobasa (Love For You All).[citation needed] Then he wrote Tara Tinjon (They were Three). Marathi. Eminent film maker and writer Satyajit Ray also enriched Bengali science fiction by writing many short stories as well as science fiction series. This book is treated as the first fullfledged Bangladeshi science fiction novel. Professor Shonku (see Bengali science fiction). Works such as Amitav Ghosh's The Calcutta Chromosome. 1835). Anonto Nakshatra Bithi (Endless Galaxy).[citation needed] But Bengali science fiction leaves its cocoon phase holding the hands of Muhammed Zafar Iqbal. Salman Rushdie's Grimus. began with the English-language publication of Kylas Chundar Dutt's A Journal of Forty-Eight Hours of the Year 1945 in the Calcutta Literary Gazette (June 6. Iqbal wrote a story named Copotronic Sukh Dukho when he was a student of Dhaka University. After Qazi Abdul Halim's Mohasunner Kanna (Tears of the Cosmos) (1970). In recent years authors in some other Indian languages have begun telling stories in this genre. Payal Dhar. Dhaka in February 2015 Bangladesh has a strong Science fiction literature in South Asia. Muktodhara. Mr.

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal has written the greatest number of science fiction works in Bengali science fiction. published in 2011. Until recently. Science fiction in Russia.[134][135][136] The upswing that began in 2009 has been attributed by Shin Junebong to a combination of factors.[137] Shin quotes Djuna as saying. had a big impact.the Cosmos) into a novel. there has been little domestic science fiction literature in Korea.'" [137] Another factor cited was the active use of Web bulletin boards among the then-young writers brought up on translations of Western SF. written by Liu Cixin.[138] In spite of the increase. "'It looks like the various literary awards established by one newspaper after another.[132] Within the small field. there were still no more than sixty or so authors writing in the field at that time. A number of works were originally published in it in installments. including the highly successful novel The Three-Body Problem. the author and critic writing under the nom de plume Djuna has been credited with being the major force. All told. The Prophecies Of Karma. Europe Main articles: Science fiction in Croatia. a silent film by George Méliès . Norwegian science fiction.[133] Kim Boyoung. the Lebanese writer Nael Gharzeddine. Czech science fiction and fantasy.[citation needed] Following the footsteps of the ancestors. is advertised as the first work of science fiction by an Arabic author. Bae Myunghoon and Kwak Jaesik are also often mentioned as the new generation of Korean science fiction writers of 2010s. Modern science fiction in China mainly depends on the magazine Science Fiction World. more and more writers. with hefty sums of prize money. especially young writers started writing science fiction and a new era started in Bengali literature.[137] Chalomot Be'aspamia is an Israeli magazine of short science fiction and fantasy stories. Science fiction in Poland. French science fiction. Romanian science fiction. Science fiction in Serbia and Spanish science fiction France and Belgium Moonshot from Le Voyage dans la lune (1902).

René Barjavel and Robert Merle. set in Jodoverse.[139] This probably stems from the fact that science fiction writing never expanded there to the extent it did in the Englishspeaking world. Dadaism. loosely based on books by Verne and Wells. create science fiction and fantasy comics in French aimed at a Franco-Belgian market. A number of artists from neighboring countries.[citation needed] . From the Earth to the Moon) is the prime representative of the French legacy of science fiction. French science fiction films were represented by René Laloux's animated features. bande dessinée ("BD") science-fiction is a well established genre. Giraud also contributed to French SF animation. who created a series of comics. Chilean Alejandro Jodorowsky. particularly with the dominance of the United States. and surrealism. the colloquial use of the term sci-fi is an accepted Anglicism for the term science fiction. Journey to the Center of the Earth. such as Spain and Italy. collaborating with René Laloux on several animated features. science fiction began with silent film director and visual effects pioneer George Méliès. including L'Incal and Les Metabarons. Nevertheless. Immortal. Its major authors include Jean "Moebius" Giraud. a space opera franchise that has lasted since 1967. [citation needed] In French cinema. traditions of French science fiction were carried on by writers like Pierre Boulle (best known for his Planet of the Apes). Serge Brussolo. In the French-speaking world.[citation needed] Notable French science fiction comics include Valerian et Laureline by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. In the 20th and 21st centuries. among others. Although the term "science fiction" is understood in France. Metal Hurlant magazine (known in US as Heavy Metal) was one of the largest contributors to francophone science-fiction comics.Jules Verne. In Franco-Belgian comics. In the 20th century. Bernard Werber. their penchant for the "weird and wacky" has a long tradition and is sometimes called "le culte du merveilleux. France has made a tremendous contribution to science fiction in its seminal stages of development. Luc Besson filmed The Fifth Element as a joint Franco-American production. and Enki Bilal with The Nikopol Trilogy. whose most famous film was Voyage to the Moon. as well as Enki Bilal's adaptation of the Nikopol Trilogy." This uniquely French tradition certainly encompasses what the anglophone world would call French science fiction but also ranges across fairies. a 19th-century French novelist known for his pioneering science fiction works (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. French science fiction of the 19th century was also represented with such artists as Albert Robida and Isidore Grandville. creator of Arzach.

and as booklets published in installments. The history of Italian science fiction recognizes a varied roadmap of this genre which spread to a popular level after World War Two. were the most futuristic masterpieces of the great Emilio Salgari. The earliest pioneers may be found in the literature of the fantastic voyage and of the Renaissance Utopia. Giampietro Stocco. with extraordinary adventures in remote and exotic places.Italy Italy has a vivid history in science fiction. Popular Italian science fiction writers include Gianluigi Zuddas. in literary magazines. In spite of an active and organized fandom there hasn't been an authentic sustained interest on the part of the Italian cultural élite towards science fiction. and in particular in the second half of the 1950s.[140] Also. most notably. considered by most the father of Italian science fiction. Added to these. Valerio Evangelisti is the best known modern author of Italian science fiction and fantasy. . popular Italian children's writer Gianni Rodari often turned to science fiction aimed at children. The true birth of Italian science fiction is placed in 1952. at the beginning of the 20th century. Guido Gozzano. though almost unknown outside her borders. From the end of the 1950s science fiction became in Italy one of the most popular genres. Luigi Capuana. and even works of authors representing known figures of the "top" literature. Ercole Luigi Morselli. and Yambo and Luigi Motta. even in previous masterpieces such as "The Million" of Marco Polo. on the wave of American and British literature. although its popular success was not followed by critical success. such as Milo Manara. Scienza Fantastica (Fantastic Science) and Urania. "novels of the future times" or "utopic". among them Massimo Bontempelli. as well as comic artists. Lino Aldani. and with the appearance of the term "fantascienza" which has become the usual translation of the English term "science fiction." The "Golden Years" span the period 1957-1960. with the publishing of the first specialized magazines. in Gip in the Television. In the second half of the 19th century stories and short novels of "scientific fantasies" (also known as "incredible stories" or "fantastic" or "adventuristic". "of the tomorrow") appeared in Sunday newspaper supplements. the most renowned authors of popular novels of the time.

during the years of divided Germany.Germany Director Fritz Lang and cameraman Curt Courant. is[when?] Austrian Herbert W.[147] despite limitations set up by state censorship. In the second half of the 20th century. whose books The Carpet Makers and Eine Billion Dollar are big successes.[148] The most notable books of the . Franke. among others. Having sold over one billion copies (in pulp format).[citation needed] In the 1920s Germany produced a number of critically acclaimed high-budget science fiction and horror films. First Spaceship on Venus and Hard to Be a God. Top East German writers included Angela and Karlheinz Steinmüller. among others. Gudrun Pausewang. creators of Metropolis The main German science fiction writer in the 19th century was Kurd Laßwitz. which started in 1961. both East and West spawned a number of successful writers. In the 20th century. Algol. A well known science fiction book series in the German language is Perry Rhodan. often in a collaboration with fellow Eastern Bloc countries. Alexey N. Wolfgang Jeschke and Frank Schätzing. SF did not exist as a genre in the country until after World War II and the heavy importing and translation of American works. who in his book The Swarm mixes elements of the science thriller with SF elements to an apocalyptic scenario. as well as Günther Krupkat. Films of this era include Eolomea. Russia and ex-Soviet countries Main article: Russian science fiction and fantasy Russians made their first steps to science fiction in the mid-19th century. according to Die Zeit.[142] Current well-known SF authors from Germany are five-time Kurd-Laßwitz-Award winner Andreas Eschbach. though significant German novels of a science-fiction nature were published in the first half of the 20th century. West German authors included Carl Amery.[143][144][145] Other films of the era included Woman in the Moon. with utopias by Faddei Bulgarin and Vladimir Odoevsky. it was the Soviet era that became the genre's golden age. worldwide. it claims to be the most successful science fiction book series ever written.[141] According to Austrian SF critic Franz Rottensteiner. Alraune. Tolstoy and Vladimir Obruchev. and Frank Schätzing. Early Soviet writers. Soviet writers were prolific. Master of the World. employed Vernian/Wellsian hard science fiction based on scientific predictions. such as Alexander Belayev. The most prominent German-speaking author. East Germany also became a major science fiction film producer. Gold. Metropolis by director Fritz Lang is credited as one of the most influential science fiction films ever made.[146] However.

utopian and dystopian ideas. Other European countries . Early Soviet science fiction was influenced by communist ideology and often featured a leftist agenda or anticapitalist satire. who have greatly contributed to science fiction and fantasy in Russian language. Social science fiction.[126] Late Soviet science fiction films include Mystery of the Third Planet (1981). were banned from publishing until the 1980s. producing only a few science fiction films. who explored darker themes and social satire in their Noon Universe novels. who created Alisa Selezneva (1965-2003). In the second half of the 20th century. ethics. science fiction in the former Soviet republics is still written mostly in Russian. concerned with philosophy. Science fiction media in Russia is represented with such magazines as Mir Fantastiki and Esli. among others. a new generation of writers developed a more complex approach.[154] Among the most notable post-Soviet authors are H. has been less successful recently. re-edited and released in the West under new titles. were pirated. namely Planet of the Storms (1962) and Battle Beyond the Sun (1959). The Air Seller and Professor Dowell's Head. Some of early Soviet films. as well as in their science fantasy trilogy Monday Begins on Saturday (1964). as well as Andrey Tarkovsky's Solaris and Stalker. Probably the best known[148][153] was Kir Bulychov. The Ugly Swans) or Bulychov (Alice's Birthday). starting from the 1924 film Aelita. especially notable are Ukrainian writers. Alexander Zorich and Vadim Panov. a children's space adventure series about a teenage girl from the future. however. The Soviet film industry also contributed to the genre. although they still circulated in fan-made copies.era include Belayev's Amphibian Man.[152] The breakthrough was started by Ivan Yefremov's utopian novel Andromeda Nebula (1957). [149][150][151] Those few early Soviet books that challenged the communist worldview and satirized the Soviets. Oldie. L. A good share of Soviet science fiction was aimed at children. After the fall of the Soviet Union. He was soon followed by brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Ivan Vasilyevich (1973) and Kin-dza-dza! (1986). became the prevalent subgenre. such as Yevgeny Zamyatin's dystopia We or Mikhail Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog and Fatal Eggs. Tolstoy's Aelita and Engineer Garin's Death Ray. most of them are adaptations of books by the Strugatskys (The Inhabited Island. Russia's film industry. which allows an appeal to a broader audience. Aside from Russians themselves. Sergey Lukyanenko. such as Hard to be a God (1964) and Prisoners of Power (1969).

who is probably best known for his science fiction books. . Konrad Fiałkowski. The country's most influential science fiction writer of all time is Stanisław Lem." A number of Australian science-fiction (and fantasy and horror) writers are in fact international English language writers. Zajdel. Jacek Dukaj and Rafał A. Élisabeth Vonarburg and other authors developed a tradition of French-Canadian SF. translation of science fiction prose into French thrives and runs nearly parallel upon a book's publishing in the original English. due to Canada's bilingualism and the US publishing almost exclusively in English. both in Poland and abroad. A sizeable market also exists within Québec for European-written Francophone science fiction literature. and sales abroad are crucial to most Australian writers. The Prix Aurora Awards (briefly preceded by the Casper Award) were founded in 1980 to recognize and promote the best works of Canadian science fiction in both French and English. but who also wrote very successful hard sci-fi such as The Invincible and the stories involving Pilot Pirx. Josef Nesvadba and Ondřej Neff. such as Solaris and the stories involving Ijon Tichy. A number of Lem's books were adapted for screen. Also. Janusz A. such as War with the Newts and The Absolute at Large. Czech writer and playwright Karel Čapek in his play R. This is further explainable by the fact that the Australian inner market is small (with Australian population being around 21 million).Poland is a traditional producer of science fiction and fantasy. (1920) introduced the word robot into science fiction. Oceania Main article: Science fiction in Australia Australia: American David G. Traditions of Czech science fiction were carried on by writers like Ludvík Souček. Other notable Polish writers of the genre include Jerzy Żuławski. Hartwell noted there is "nothing essentially Australian about Australian science-fiction. Čapek is also known for his satirical science fiction novels and plays. Ziemkiewicz.[155][156] North America Main articles: Canadian science fiction and American science fiction In Canadian Francophone province Québec. The Prix Boreal was established in 1979 to honor Canadian science fiction works in French.U. and their work is published worldwide.R. related to the European French literature.

promote their own agendas or tap into the public's interest in pseudo-sciences. O Doutor Benignus by the Brazilian Augusto Emílio Zaluar. science fiction was the work of isolated writers who did not identify themselves with the genre. in turn. All published in 1875. In the mid-1980s. similar to social science fiction and speculative fiction in the English world. Brazil. and Historia de un Muerto by the Cuban Francisco Calcagno are three of the earliest novels which appeared in the continent. it became increasingly popular once more. Brazil and Mexico. Magic realism enjoyed parallel growth in Latin America. Chile.[157] Up to the 1960s. This. and Cuba. El Maravilloso Viaje del Sr.[158] .Latin America Main article: Latin American science fiction Although there is still some controversy as to when science fiction began in Latin America. led to the permanent emergence of science fiction in the 1960s and mid-1970s. with a strong regional emphasis on using the form to comment on social issues. Latin America now hosts dedicated communities and writers with an increasing use of regional elements to set them apart from English-language science-fiction. It received a boost of respectability after authors such as Horacio Quiroga and Jorge Luis Borges used its elements in their writings. notably in Argentina. the earliest works date from the late 19th century. but rather used its elements to criticize society. Although led by Argentina. Economic turmoil and the suspicious eye of the dictatorial regimes in place reduced the genre's dynamism for the following decade. Nic-Nac by the Argentinian Eduardo Holmberg. Mexico.