Definitions of Science Fiction


"Perhaps the crispest definition is that science fiction is a literature of 'what if?' What if we could travel in time? What if we were living on other planets? What if we made contact with alien races? And so on." -- C. Evans


"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not." -- I. Asimov


"Science fiction is a form of fantastic fiction which exploits the imaginative perspectives of modern science." -- D. Pringle


"Science fiction is realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method." -- R. Heinlein


"Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible." -- R. Serling


"Science fiction is a controlled way to think and dream about the future." -- G. Benford


"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, science fiction is par excellence the literature of the open mind." -- J. Brunner


"Science Fiction is literature about the future, telling stories of the marvels we or our descendants hope to see tomorrow, in the next century, or in the limitless duration of time." -- T. Carr


"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today. But the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all." -- I. Asimov


"The touchstone for science fiction, then, is that it describes an imaginary invention or discovery in the natural sciences. The most serious pieces of this fiction arise from speculation about what may happen if science makes an extraordinary discovery." -- J. Bailey


"Science Fiction is the branch of literature that deals with the effects of change on people in the real world as it can be projected into the past, the future, or to distant places." -- J. Gunn


"Science fiction is essentially a kind of fiction in which people learn more about how to live in the real world, visiting imaginary worlds unlike our own, in order to investigate by way of pleasurable thought-experiments how things might be done differently." -- B. Stableford


"Science fiction is a works of fiction that use scientific discoveries or advanced technology - either actual or imaginary - as part of their plot." -- Houghton Mifflin Dictionary


"The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it." -- F. Herbert


"Hard science fiction are stories that feature authentic scientific knowledge and depend upon it for plot development and plot resolution." -- I. Asimov


"Science fiction is a literary or cinematic genre in which fantasy, typically based on speculative scientific discoveries or developments, environmental changes, space travel, or life on other planets, forms part of the plot or background." -- American Heritage Dictionary


"Science fiction is a literary genre that extrapolates from existing knowledge about the real world to speculate about alternative worlds. It always includes an element of the fantastic, since it aims to go beyond what is, to give a literary model of 'what if?'. Unlike pure fantasy or utopian literature, however, science fiction posits a rational exploration of as-yet inexplicable phenomena and unknown corners of the human psyche." -- Encyclopedia of Russian History

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