Gothic science fiction

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Necron from the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Necrons are an undead robot-like race from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Warhammer 40,000 is a literary and pop-culture example of a Gothic science fiction.

Gothic science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction[citation needed] that, as the name suggests, also involves gothic conventions.

Some of the more obvious examples of the subgenre feature vampires[citation needed] explained in a science fiction context, commonly that vampires are aliens or those infected by a disease as in (Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend), or products of parallel evolution (George R. R. Martin's novel Fevre Dream or in Kate Nevermore's novel Blood of the Living). Some feature entire planets of vampires, or vampire-like creatures (such as the comic book Vampirella).

In his history of science fiction, Billion Year Spree, Brian Aldiss contends that science fiction itself is an outgrowth of gothic fiction-- pointing to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein as an example." Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge (science) and is characteristically cast in the Gothic or post-Gothic mode."[1] The blend can also be detected quite explicitly in Jules Verne's novel Le Château des Carpathes.

Other examples of the subgenre feature other traditionally gothic tropes in new settings, such as:

  • Damsels in distress in faraway future
  • Gothic planetary romance
  • Gothic futuristic romance


  1. ^ Originally published in Billion Year Spree (1973);