Science Fiction Research Paper
Whenever science fiction is read, tales of spaceships, lasers, and amazing technology fill the heads of the readers. However, science fiction is one of the most difficult genres to identify. Often times a science fiction novel will be written off as a fantasy or the other way around. Science fiction is one of the most interesting genres of literature, yet so little is known of it. First, what is science fiction and what makes it so difficult to tell apart from the fantasy genre? Second, Many people think that science fiction is relatively new because these past few centuries have been the most scientific of all time… how long has science fiction been around. Lastly, one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so what makes Frankenstein a science fiction novel not a fantasy and what makes Frankenstein such a great example of science fiction? These questions seem so simple and yet they are difficult to answer. One truth already, however, is that many people enjoy reading science fiction and the topic of science fiction is exciting for those who like to read it as well as for those who don’t. First, what is science fiction? It is extremely difficult to analyze and explain exactly what the science fiction genre is. Many educated people have completely different views on the genre. For example one science fiction writer, Kathryn Cramer, had this to say about science fiction, “In general, science fiction is considered to be a genre that explores the question ‘what if’?”(Cramer 1). Another writer, Diana Herald, said that, “Science Ruiz 2 fiction deals with scientific topics, space travel, aliens and recognizably Earth-variant worlds or life forms that have not been touched by magic" (Cramer 1) [the quote was actually said by Herald but mentioned in the article by Cramer]. It is obvious to see that all writers have very different opinions on how science fiction is classified. But the differences in science fiction are much like the differences in monotheistic religions. In the three major monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; the small little differences are in a large quantity and vary in every form. However, the main idea, or the belief in one god, is existent in all. Similarly, while there are many minor differences most definitions include the fact that they most often have intellectual content, technology that does not yet exist, and scientific themes.[there is no source, this is my idea] Within science fiction, however there are many subgenres, for example, military science fiction (Goldshlager 1). This subgenre refers to a science fiction story with an army unlike todays, “Basically, the armed forces in space” (Goldschlager 1). Another is ‘hard science fiction’, or a Sci-Fi novel written by a writer with heavy knowledge of science who provide well researched possible future science in their novels (Goldschlager 2). One could spend months simply naming subgenres of science fiction. In modern writing how can one tell the difference between a science fiction novel and a fantasy novel? First one must know exactly what both are. Fantasy, or fantasy fiction, is known as a story that could not happen in reality, most commonly having to do with magic and mythical creatures (Herald 1). “In Fantasy Fiction readers are allowed to visit a world they never would have been able to otherwise” (Herald 1). Like the science fiction genre it is filled with subgenres, including ‘Dark Fantasy’, ‘Sword and Sorcery’, Ruiz 3 and ‘Fairy tales’ (Herald 2)). All of these subgenres are a little bit different. For example, Dark Fantasy is “the conflict between good and evil…. but focusing...
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