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Home: Science Fiction

What is Science Fiction?

Science fiction is a genre that takes an imaginitative perspective on a real scientific principle or idea.

Science fiction asks the question: "What if ...?" eg

  • What if we could halt ageing?
  • What if aliens landed on Earth?
  • What if robots became sentient?
  • What if civilisation was destroyed by a virus?
  • What if we could travel in time?

Science Fiction Reading List

Visit the library's Pearltrees page to see our science fiction titles.

For Teachers

Science Fact and Science Fiction

Science Fact and Science Fiction

1791       Luigi Galvani’s experiments with making dead frogs move using electricity inspire Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein(1818).

1860s     Jules Verne, “the father of science fiction”, predicts submarines (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1869), skyscrapers (Paris in the Twentieth Century 1863) and a flight to the moon (From the Earth to the Moon 1865) long before they became reality.

1903       K.E. Tsiolkovsky writes Exploration of Space. His ideas on rocket design and fuelling are used by scientists to design the Skylab space station.

1921       Karel Capek writes Rossum’s Universal Robots which introduces the concept and word “robot” into the English language.

1942       Isaac Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics in “Runaround” which have been adopted by scientists trying to develop artifical intelligence.

1944       Cleve Cartmill in “Deadline” describes a bomb powered by uranium-235.  His technical details were so close to the top secret Manhattan Project which was developing the world’s first nuclear weapon that for a time authorities believed they had a spy.

1949       George Orwell’s dystopia 1984 introduced many terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole. “Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which refers to official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past in service to a totalitarian political agenda.” The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Sixth Edition. University of Oxford Press: 2000. p. 726

1966       Star Trek introduces concepts such as the hand held communicator, the hypospray and the cloaking device  http://www.silicon.com/technology/mobile/2001/05/30/trekkies-see-science-fiction-become-science-fact-11024745/

1977       George Lucas writes the movie Star Wars based on mythologist Joseph Campbell”s Hero with a Thousand Faces.

1982       William Gibson invents term “cyberspace” in “Burning Chrome”.

The origins of post-apocalyptic fiction

The Real History of Science Fiction

Ten Things You Should Know About The Time Machine

Top Ten Best Time Travel Movies

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