What Is Science Fiction?


The novel that you select for this module will focus on the future as various authors have envisioned it. The French author, Jules Verne started it all with his books, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon . Many other authors have followed in his literary footsteps as they wrote about the future and what it might hold. A list of other famous science fictions writers includes Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Frederik Pohl, and Aldous Huxley, to name only a few.


"Science Fiction is a branch of fantasy identifiable by the fact that it eases the 'willing suspension of disbelief' on the part of its readers by utilizing an atmosphere of scientific credibility for its imaginative speculations in physical science, space, time, social science, and philosophy."
-- Sam Moskowitz, in "Explorers of the Infinite" (1963)

"Science fiction is that branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings."
-- Isaac Asimov, in "Modern Science Fiction," edited by Reginald Bretnor (1953)

"Modern science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions."
-- Isaac Asimov

"A literary genre developed principally in the 20th century, dealing with scientific discovery or development that, whether set in the future, or the fictitious present, or in the putative past, is superior to or simply other than that known to exist."
-- Fred Saberhagen, in "Encyclopedia Britannica" 15th edition (1979)

"Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together."
-- Ray Bradbury

"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. It often concerns itself with scientific or technological change, and it usually involves matters whose importance is greater than the individual or the community; often civilization or the race itself is in danger."
- -James E. Gunn - Introduction, The Road To Science Fiction, Vol 1, NEL, New York 1977