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Types of Science Fiction

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Jon Tully

on 3 August 2017

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Transcript of Types of Science Fiction

The World of Science Fiction
Hard Sci-Fi
Soft/Social Sci-Fi
Utopia / Dystopia
Alternate History
Future History
Space Opera
Space Westerns
Time Travel
pays rigorous attention to the detail of quantitative sciences (physics, astrophysics, chemistry, quantum physics, etc) or gives minute detail to advanced technology
focuses on the social sciences (psychology, economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology) or character emotions and feelings
human beings are mechanically enhanced and/or can interact with machines; antihero usually utilizes technological means to overthrow the totalitarian technological government
totalitarian gov. controls through genetic engineering (offshoot of cyberpunk that grew out of increases in medical and bio technologies)
futuristic style technology that is present in the Victorian Era; usually portrays machinery downgraded and powered by steam or coal
shows the reader a society that is (supposedly) perfect from the point of view of an outsider to that regime
takes readers on a “what if” tour of history, looking at how events in the past have affected the future (e.g. What if the Nazis had won WWII?)
postulates how events within the context of a story will affect that universe; usually shows up in a series but not always
deals with how human civilization was destroyed (virus, weapons, self-destruction, ecological accident, etc)
deals with the aftermath of the end of civilization
emphasis is on story rather than science and technology; story could be put in another setting and still play out
new terraformed worlds are analogous to the Wild Frontier-in mindset, technology, society, and denizens
the equivalent of a space epic that showcases the journey of the characters
focuses on going back in time and trying to change horrendous events, usually highlights the inevitability of predestined pathways
large scale war (usually interplanetary or intergalactic) from a soldier’s point of view
emphasizes the expansion of the human race with those of greater than average ability and the subsequent alienation of those individuals
exploits the oddities within the genre for comedic effect
Ex. The Time Machine or
The Time Traveler's Wife
Ex. Starship Troopers
Battle: Los Angeles
Rogue One
Ex. Any superhero movie ever.... also:
The Last Mimzy
The One
Ex. Evolution
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Ex. Firefly
Cowboys & Aliens

Ex. Hunger Games
Minority Report
Maze Runner
Ex. Johnny Mnemonic
The Matrix
Ex. Gattaca
The Island

Ex. Enemy Mine
Ex. 2012
Deep Impact
The Day After Tomorrow

Ex. Mad Max
The Book of Eli
I Am Legend
Ex. Star Wars
The Fifth Element
Ex. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Titan: A.E.
Ex. Andromeda Strain
Jurassic Park
Ex. Wild Wild West
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Ex. Iron Sky
C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America
The Man in the High Castle
Ex. Life After People
Cloud Atlas
Ex. Alien films
The Fly
The Thing
looks at the horrifying side of science and the unknown
Other Notable "Punks"
Science Fantasy
Science Romance
Focuses on a romantic story that just happens to have sci-fi elements in it.
Ex. Starman
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Space Between Us
Has elements that would traditionally be categorized as fantasy, but uses science to explain their existence (e.g. dragons are genetically bred, magic is superior technology, elves are aliens, demons are extradimensional beings, etc)
Ex. Thor 2
Fantastic Voyage
What Else is Out There?
This list is not exhaustive. People are creating new sub-genres all the time. Some have written examples, but haven't been translated into film while others have yet to be created.
Other examples: Religious Sci-Fi
Mystery Sci-Fi
(Sci-Fi + Romance)
(Sci-Fi + Horror)
(Sci-Fi + Westerns)
(Sci-Fi + Military Fiction)
(Sci-Fi + Comics)
(Sci-Fi + Comedy)
(Sci-Fi + Fantasy)
Japanese for "strange creature", this sub-genre depicts wide-scale destruction linked to a giant monster
Ex. Godzilla
Pacific Rim
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