A fiction based on science is different from fantasy because in the former case all imaginary elements have much to do with scientifically established or scientifically proposed laws of nature.
Various settings of science fictions
- It can be a sort of future setting or a setting in the historical past that goes against lots of historical facts as well as archaeological records. It can also be a setting in alternative time lines
- A science fiction can also have its setting in outer space or world and can even concern aliens
- Science fictions can be stories where we can see how supposed laws of nature are contradicted and dealt with efficiency. The outcome in fact is very interesting as it can keep the reader stuck to the pages.
How to define a science fiction
This is not so easy. It includes a wide array of themes and sub genres. It is a sort of complication where the reader hovers between what is and what is not. Judged from this perspective Shakespeare’s – The Tempest can be regarded as a fiction of science. According to Robert A. Heinlein in short a science fiction is “the improbable made possible”. If you ever come across a hard-core fan of science fiction – ask the people to describe the concept – you will find the person completely bewildered and not being able to explain it properly.
History of Science fiction
It was in 13th century that science fictions started making their appearances. It was a journey from the 13th to the 17th century with creations like Ibn al-Nafis, Theologus Autodidactus, Voyage de la Terre à la Lune and Des états de la Lune et du Soleil. The 17th century is known as the age of reason and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels too well justifies the category. Towards the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, we can see Edgar Allan Poe writing about a journey to moon. There were one after another in 19th century and with the emergence of new technologies such as electricity, telegraph and new form of power transportation – science fiction got its new dimension, or to put it in a better way it’s updated definition.
However, it has always been a successful journey from the 13th to the 19th century. The popular themes of science fictions emerging in 1990s include environmental issues, the implications of the global Internet and the expanding information universe, questions about biotechnology and nanotechnology, as well as a post-Cold War interest in post-scarcity societies. Then there was Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, which successfully portrayed a general concern regarding rapid and constant pace of technological transformations. Other television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and films such as The Lord of the Rings have much helped in upgrading new interest in all speculative genres of in films, television, computer games, and books. Recently the Harry Porter series too has contributed in encouraging a child’s interest about books on science fiction.
In short, the popularity of a science fiction lies in its perfect blend of reality and relevant imagination.