What Is the Science Fiction Genre?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

The science fiction genre is defined by its thematic relationship to issues concerning advanced technology. This is a vast and expansive field, and the answers to what science fiction is can be debated. For the most part, though, science fiction is a genre that takes some aspect of modern technology and pushes it to its extreme limits. This could include a futuristic world, an alternate past, or a virtual reality.

Often, science fiction has rules that must be adhered to. This allows it to be a believable and compelling form of storytelling that creates the world in which your characters live. Having these rules also ensures that any fantasy or outlandish element is firmly grounded in what we already know our technologies can do or are on the verge of doing. It is this grounding that separates science fiction from other speculative genres. For example, genres like steampunk and cyberpunk exist outside of their stories and have their own aesthetics.

Other times, science fiction uses advanced technology to explore societal questions and lingering concerns. This could be the case in a story about a super virus that ravages humanity, or a story set in the future that looks at how humans might have to change their ways to survive interstellar travel.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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