Portal:Speculative fiction/Science fiction

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Science fiction is a genre of fiction. It differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation). Exploring the consequences of such differences is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas". Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possibilities. The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality.

Following the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels was one of the first true science fiction works, together with Voltaire's Micromégas and Kepler's Somnium. This latter work is considered by Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov to be the first science fiction story. It depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earth's motion is seen from there. Another example is Ludvig Holberg's novel Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum, 1741. (Translated to Danish by Hans Hagerup in 1742 as Niels Klims underjordiske Rejse.) (Eng. Niels Klim's Underground Travels.)

The study of science fiction, or science fiction studies, is the critical assessment, interpretation, and discussion of science fiction literature, film, new media, fandom, and fan fiction. Science fiction scholars take science fiction as an object of study in order to better understand it and its relationship to science, technology, politics, and culture-at-large.

The field has grown considerably since the 1970s with the establishment of more journals, organizations, and conferences with ties to the science fiction scholarship community, and science fiction degree-granting programs such as those offered by the University of Liverpool and Kansas University.

Selected science fiction work

Pattern Recognition is a novel by science fiction writer William Gibson published in 2003. Set in August and September 2002, the story follows Cayce Pollard, a 32-year-old marketing consultant who has a psychological sensitivity to corporate symbols. The action takes place in London, Tokyo, and Moscow as Cayce judges the effectiveness of a proposed corporate symbol and is hired to seek the creators of film clips anonymously posted to the internet.

The novel's central theme involves the examination of the human desire to detect patterns or meaning and the risks of finding patterns in meaningless data. Other themes include methods of interpretation of history, cultural familiarity with brand names, and tensions between art and commercialization. The September 11, 2001 attacks are used as a motif representing the transition to the new century. Critics identify influences in Pattern Recognition from Thomas Pynchon's post-structuralist detective story The Crying of Lot 49.

The novel is Gibson's eighth and the first to be set in the contemporary world. Like his previous work, it has been classified as a science fiction and postmodern novel, with the action unfolding along a thriller plot line. Critics approved of the writing but found the plot unoriginal and some of the language distracting. The book peaked at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list, was nominated for the 2003 British Science Fiction Association Award, and was shortlisted for the 2004 Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards.

Science fiction topics

Creators Artists (list· Authors · Editors
Media Animation · Anime and manga · Comics · Films (list· Games (board · role-playing · video· Literature (magazines · novels · poetry · stories· Opera · Radio · Television (films · list · sitcoms· Theatre
Subgenres Alternate history · Apocalyptic · Christian · Comedy · Cyberpunk (derivatives· Dying Earth · Feminist · Hard · Human society · Libertarian · Military · New Weird · Planetary romance · Recursive · Social · Soft · Space opera · Sword and planet · Tech noir · Space Western
Related genres Fantasy (Science fantasy· Mystery · Horror · Slipstream · Speculative (Weird) · Superhero
Themes Artificial intelligence · Extraterrestrials (First contact· Floating city · Lost World · Planets · Politics (Utopia/Dystopia · World government· Religion (ideas· Resizing · Sex (gender · homosexuality · reproduction· Simulated realities/Virtual worlds · Space warfare (weapons· Superpowers · Timeline (Alternative future · Future history · Hyperspace · Parallel universes · Slipstream · Time travel)
Subculture Fandom: By nationality · Conventions (list· OrganizationsStudies: Awards · Definitions · History · Journals · New Wave
By Country Australia · Bangladesh · Brazilian · Canada · China · Croatia · Czech Republic · France · Japan · Norway · Poland · Romania · Russia/Soviet Union · Serbia

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