Science fiction Western

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A science fiction Western is a subgenre of science fiction in a Western setting.

Since the characteristic elements of science fiction can occur in any setting, science fiction lends itself to combination with other genres.[1] In 1953, J. B. Priestley described the "Western" as one of the three types of science fiction.[2] The film serial The Phantom Empire has been cited as possibly the earliest science fiction Western primarily because it takes place on a dude ranch (with many of the props associated with conventional 19th century westerns) while showcasing technology not in existence during that period.[3] Since then, science fiction Westerns have appeared in film, television, novels, comic books, and other media.[3] The 2002 television series Firefly was described as a science fiction Western, since it combined the visual elements associated with Westerns (revolvers, horses, etc.) with those associated with science fiction; however, creator Joss Whedon said that the term made people "cringe".[4][5] Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke is considered another example.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gunn, James (1995). "Teaching Science Fiction". Center for the Study of Science Fiction. University of Kansas. Retrieved 2006-01-15. 
  2. ^ Priestley, J. B. (December 5, 1953) "Thoughts in the Wilderness." New Statesman, p. 712. Cited in Michael A. Padlipsky (1960), "More Than Pulp(?): Science Fiction and the Problem of Literary Value", undergraduate thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. URL accessed on August 12, 2011
  3. ^ a b Richardson, Jeffrey (2009). "Cowboys And Robots: the Birth of the Science Fiction Western". Crossed Genres. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Chocano, Carina (October 3, 2002). "Giddyup, spaceman". Salon. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Whedon seeks return of 'gritty' sci-fi". BBC News. London: BBC. October 7, 2005. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ 5 fantastic nautical science fiction novels