Outline of science fiction

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to science fiction:

Science fiction – a genre of fiction dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting.[1][2][3] or depicting space exploration. Exploring the consequences of such innovations is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".[4]

What is science fiction?[edit]

  • Definitions of science fiction: Science fiction includes such a wide range of themes and subgenres that it is notoriously difficult to define.[5] Accordingly, there have been many definitions offered.

Science fiction is a type of:

  • Fiction – form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s). Although fiction often describes a major branch of literary work, it is also applied to theatrical, cinematic, and musical work.
    • Genre fiction – fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre. Also known as popular fiction.
    • Speculative fiction
  • Genre – science fiction is a genre of fiction.

Genres of science fiction[edit]

Science fiction genre – while science fiction is a genre of fiction, a science fiction genre is a subgenre within science fiction. Science fiction may be divided along any number of overlapping axes. Gary K. Wolfe's Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy identifies over 30 subdivisions of science fiction, not including science fantasy (which is a mixed genre).


Genres concerning the emphasis, accuracy, and type of science described include:

  • Hard science fiction—a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy.
  • Mundane science fiction—a subgenre of hard sci-fi which sets stories on Earth or the Solar System using current or plausible technology.
  • Soft science fiction—focus on human characters and their relations and feelings, often exploring psychology or sociology, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws. In some cases, science and technology are depicted without much concern for accuracy.


Themes related to science, technology, space and the future, as well as characteristic plots or settings include:


Genres concerning politics, philosophy, and identity movements include:


Genres concerning the historical era of creation and publication include:

  • Scientific romance — an archaic name for what is now known as the science fiction genre, mostly associated with the early science fiction of the United Kingdom.
  • Pulp science fiction
  • Golden Age of Science Fiction — a period of the 1940s during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published.
  • New Wave science fiction — characterised by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content.
  • Cyberpunk — noted for its focus on "high tech, low life" and taking its name from the combination of cybernetics and punk.


Genres that combine two different fiction genres or use a different fiction genre's mood or style include:

Related genres[edit]

Science fiction by country[edit]

History of science fiction[edit]

Elements of science fiction[edit]

Character elements in science fiction[edit]

Plot elements in science fiction[edit]

Plot devices in science fiction[edit]

Setting elements in science fiction[edit]

The setting is the environment in which the story takes place. Elements of setting may include culture (and its technologies), period (including the future), place (geography/astronomy), nature (physical laws, etc.), and hour. Setting elements characteristic of science fiction include:


Cultural setting elements[edit]

Sex and gender in science fiction[edit]

Technology in science fiction[edit]

Themes in science fiction[edit]

Style elements in science fiction[edit]

Works of science fiction[edit]

Science fiction art[edit]

Science fiction games[edit]

Science fiction computer games[edit]

Science fiction role-playing games[edit]

Science fiction literature[edit]

Science fiction novels[edit]

Science fiction short stories[edit]

Venues for science fiction short stories[edit]

Science fiction video[edit]

Science fiction radio[edit]

Information sources[edit]

Science fiction in academia[edit]

Science-fiction subculture[edit]

Science-fiction awards[edit]

The science fiction genre has a number of recognition awards for authors, editors, and illustrators.[6] Awards are usually granted annually.

International awards[edit]

Major awards given in chronological order:

Nationality-specific awards[edit]

  • Kitschies—for speculative fiction novels published in the UK
New Zealander
Pacific Northwestern
  • Big Roscon award for outstanding contribution to science fiction[9]

Themed awards[edit]


New artists / first works awards[edit]

Career awards[edit]

People influential in science fiction[edit]

Creators of science fiction[edit]

Science fiction artists[edit]

Science fiction filmmakers[edit]

Creators of science fiction literature[edit]

Science fiction scholars[edit]


Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim (SWCA) - From Droid Builder's Club Room

There are a number of science fiction media franchises of this type, typically encompassing media such as cinema films, TV shows, toys, and even theme parks related to the content. The highest-grossing science fiction franchise is Star Wars.

Space science fiction franchises:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Science fiction - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Definition of science fiction noun from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus". dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  3. ^ "science fiction definition - Dictionary - MSN Encarta". encarta.msn.com. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  4. ^ Marg Gilks; Paula Fleming & Moira Allen (2003). "Science Fiction: The Literature of Ideas". WritingWorld.com.
  5. ^ For example, Patrick Parrinder comments that "[d]efinitions of science fiction are not so much a series of logical approximations to an elusive ideal, as a small, parasitic subgenre in themselves." Parrinder, Patrick (1980). Science Fiction: Its Criticism and Teaching. London: New Accents.
  6. ^ "Science Fiction Awards Index". Locus Magazine.
  7. ^ SRSFF
  8. ^ srsff.ro
  9. ^ "This is fiction: What is Roscon and why", mos.ru, 11 April 2017 (retrieved 15 September 2019)
  10. ^ "Emperor Norton Award". science fiction awards database. Retrieved 28 May 2019.

External links[edit]