Science Fiction - an Elastic Genre

Science Fiction: the Elastic Genre
Jennine Bloomquist, Leatherstocking, 2014
Science fiction--Illustrations
Positronic brain
Life on other planets › Fiction
speculative fiction
Interplanetary voyages › Fiction
Space warfare › Fiction
planetary romance
Science fiction plays, Italian
Space colonies › Fiction
space opera
Science fiction--Periodicals
Soft Science Fiction
science fantasy
Science fiction comic books, strips, etc.
Science fiction--Religious aspects
Monsters and Mutants
Supernatural/Psychic Powers
Space Travel/Colonization
Time Travel, Inter-dimensional Travel,
Alternate Worlds
What is it ?
Good science fiction is intelligent. It asks
big questions that are on people's
minds. It's not impossible. It has some
sort of root in the abstract.
Nicolas Cage fiction is something that could
happen - but usually you wouldn't want it
Arthur C. Clarke
Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the
head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will,
and will change everything for everybody,
and nothing will ever be the same again. As
soon as you have an idea that changes
some small part of the world you are
writing science fiction. It is always the art of
the possible, never the impossible.
Ray Bradbury
Science fiction writers foresee the
inevitable, and although problems and
catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions
are not.
Isaac Asimov
Science fiction is no more written for scientists
that ghost stories are written for ghosts.
Brian Aldiss
I think science fiction helps us think about
possibilities, to speculate - it helps us look at
our society from a different perspective. It lets
us look at our mores, using science as the
backdrop, as the game changer.
Mae Jemison
Science Fiction Awards
Nebula Award
Hugo Award
Prometheus Award
If we can’t define it, what good is it?
Common Core
99 # of items in CC Appendix B
Grades 9-12
3 Science Fiction titles:
 Fahrenheit 541 9.3
 The Invisible Man 11.4.alt1
 Frankenstein 12.4.alt1
55 # of items in CC Units
Module Lesson Plans
Grades 9-12
2 Science Fiction titles:
 The Invisible Man 11.4.alt2
 Frankenstein 12. 4. alt1
STEM and Science Fiction
Norbert Weiner
Leo Slizard
Stephen Baxter
Julian Huxley
James McConnell
Miles J.Breuer
Eric Temple Bell
Gregory Benford
Arthur C. Clarke
Isaac Asimov
J.B.S. Haldane
Fred Hoyle
Chad Oliver
Chan Davis
Robert S. Richardson
Willy Lay
Ralph S. Cooper
Alistair Reynolds
Dr. Louis N. Rideourr
Arthur C. Clarke, “V-2 for Ionospheric Research,” Wireless, 1945
Geosynchronous Satellite Communication, 1964
Victor Appleton, Tom Swift and his Electric
Rifle, 1911
Taser 1974
H.G. Wells, When the Sleeper Wakes, 1899
Automatically opening doors
Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961
Waterbed 1968
Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1875
Nuclear submarine , 1954
Other examples:
HEAT RAY: The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells, 1898. Winston Churchill
spent time and money during WWII to create a “death ray”; out of which
came modern day RADAR technology…
CRYOGENICS: “The Jameson Satellite” by Neil R. Jones 1931 inspired Robert
Ettinger to create this field of study.
ORGANIC CIRCUITRY TATTOOS: Pandora’s Star by Peter Hamilton, 2004.
Motorola in 2003 was applying for a patent for “Coupling an Electronic Skin
Tattoo to a Mobile Communications Device”.
5D SUPERMAN MEMORY CRYSTALS: (referencing the memory shard in
Fortress of Solitude) layered quartz memory storage system
Want more examples?
Explore the inventions, technology and ideas of science fiction writers at
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) - over 2,400 are available. Use
the Timeline of Science Fiction Invention or the alphabetic Glossary of Science
Fiction Technology to see them all, look for the category that interests you, or
browse by favorite author / book. Browse more than 4,100 Science Fiction in
the News articles.
MIT MAS S650: Science Fiction to
Science Fabrication: Pulp to Prototype
Pataphysics (French: ‘pataphysique): The science of imaginary solutions.
For decades, science fiction authors have explored both our wildest dreams and
greatest fears for where technology might lead us. Yet, science fiction is fueled by
the concerns of today just as much as it is about fantastic imaginings of the
future. This class ties science fiction with speculative/critical design as a means to
encourage the ethical and thoughtful design of new technologies.
With a focus on the creation of functional prototypes, this class combines the
analysis of classic and modern science fiction texts and films with physical
fabrication or code-based interpretations of the technologies they depict. Topics will
include virtual/augmented reality; networks; artificial intelligence; nanotechnology;
humanism and transhumanism; cyborgs and robotics; environmental issues; biology;
utopias and dystopias; surveillance; music and art; interfaces; wearables; and/or
religion, culture, and society. Guest lecturers and representatives from sponsor
companies working in these areas will contribute to select project critiques. Requires
regular reading, discussion, bi-weekly projects, and a final project.
BIO-SYNTH: creating a musical composition based upon a live feed or video clip of the
movement of a micro-organism. From “Inside Ulam’s Body”/Blood Music by Greg Bear
(HUGO) 1983, 1985. (MIT Imaginarium)
“Reading Science Fiction
is like an ethics class for inventors.“
Sophia Bruekner, MIT
University of Arizona
The Center for Science and the Imagination
Project Hieroglyph
The Tomorrow Project (Intel)
Evoke (World Bank)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Media Lab (Imaginarium)
University of California San Diego
The Center for Human Imagination
Partnership with the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation
Where do you come up with this stuff?
(In no particular order…),9171,2048299,00.html

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