Project Collusion Series:
Let’s cut to the primary definition here: What is science fiction?
Well, it is first and foremost, fiction. It may be based on or inspired by, scientific facts, but the story being told is made up, fabricated. It is not a science text. This means the author is free to follow the scientific laws and maxims at the story’s core, or they can bend them a little.
Dictionary.com had the most succinct definition of the genre (good job Dictionary!):
“Science fiction, popularly shortened as sci-fi, is a fiction genre that creatively depicts real or imaginary science and technology as part of its plot, setting, or theme.”
So this could be a story about robots, about a pandemic, about aliens, about space, about planets, about nutrition, about famine, about nuclear fusion or fission, or about radioactive spiders. Is it based on the world of science? It’s science fiction!
When I put out the call for questions for the genre series, I did get a few that related to science fiction, so I’m going to answer those here:
What is the difference between hard sci-fi v soft sci-fi: the best definition I could find here came from Masterclass:
Hard sci-fi novels are based on scientific facts. They’re inspired by “hard” natural sciences like physics, chemistry, and astronomy.
Soft sci-fi novels can be two things: Either they are not scientifically accurate or they’re inspired by “soft” social sciences like psychology, anthropology, and sociology.
This is interesting because I had someone classify and refer to Nailbtiers as Hard Sci-Fi and I would say it is not scientifically accurate, but if that person was led to believe I am smart enough to not make stuff up, I’ll take it!
Space Operas v sci fi
Another question was about Space Operas and again the best definition I found was from masterclass and they said that Space Operas were Soap Operas set in space. So technically Star Wars with all the family drama is a Space Opera.
There are so many different subgenres within science fiction and I’ve written in a few of them. It is so vast and I love this genre. It is fun and interesting to think about what could be. What might be invented or what might have happened if something on our timeline was altered. It’s fun. And while there are many stories that show how technology can turn against us, the creation harms the creator, I think there are a lot of fun and brilliant ideas of how we might be able to use technology to help our species and our planet out there. And it gives me hope. Also, nervous about SkyNet becoming self-aware.
And for all the haters who are about to post on this video that women don’t know science and ruin or water down science fiction. Keep in mind that this entire genre was invented when a little story about a reanimated creature, Frankenstein, was published and the world hasn’t forgotten it since. And who wrote that, oh, Mary Shelley. A woman!
Alright so, science fiction. Do you like it? Do you love it? Do you write it or read it? What subgenre is your jam? Let’s keep nerding out in the comments below.
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