Sci-Fi novels have been around for almost a century. Sci-Fi has the most potential of any genre to capture and explore the imagination of the world we know , or don’t know. Like any other genre Sci-Fi has tried to teach us lessons , or warn us of our arrogant choices as a whole civilization. But like all things, it changes with time. Sci-Fi writers adjust their styles accordingly based on current economic, political, or environmental problems around the world. The language in the writings change as well in an ongoing effort to keep up with the trends of popular culture.
In Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: Voyager we finally see females taking front stage for the first time, unlike the previous series, turning the tables on all other traditional male dominated television shows. Voyager as a whole can be used as a template for writers and producers to follow as the correct way to portray women. In doing so we would begin to change the way young women see these positive role models and strive for higher goals, in turn setting into motion the goals Gene Roddenberry envisioned back in 1966.
Tensions from the great global political contest of the second half of this century formed the subject of much news and academic output, but were also at the core of a great deal of entertainment. We can see this in sci-fi movies from this era: "The Day the Earth Stood Still," in which nuclear weapons testing provokes stern warnings from our galactic neighbors; "This Island Earth," where Earth scientists are forced to help their alien counterparts in a losing battle against an unseen enemy; "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," interpreted as either a McCarthyite warning of Communist infiltration of a denunciation of McCarthyism; and even the many monster movies like "Them" with its giant ants, comments on the destructive effects of heedless technological tampering with nature. Science fiction was not alone in discussing fears about invasions from outside or betrayals within, but it was perhaps the most effective genre in projecting these fears onto the increasingly vast and impersonal screen provided by scientific views of the cosmos.
The sheer mentions of the words science fiction bring to mind certain hackneyed topics we Americans see in the media, those topics being technology and aliens. As different as each topic may be, juxtaposed, they share a key element that fuel the creative minds of science fiction writers. It is not the fact that they each have drastically advancement these past one hundred years, but rather the thought of an invasion. Although the idea of technology one day overpowering us has dominated Hollywood films for the past decade, it is a rather new topic. The War of the Worlds, a novel written by H.G. Wells in 1898, is considered by Kroeber, a professor and writer of the introduction to the Signet Classic version of the same book, to be “the most famous and most important science fiction story ever published.” (Wells, vii) The novel focuses primarily on an unnamed narrator, who struggles to not only save his wife, but himself from the rampaging Martians and their instruments of destruction, such as the Heat-ray and the black smoke. Through mentions of accurate scientific research, fictional news stories, and geographic settings, Wells creatively presents to the reader a story with a sense of verisimilitude that is seemingly produced to create the image that the accounts were real and factual.
Literature and film have always held a strange relationship with the idea of technological progress. On one hand, with the advent of the printing press and the refinements of motion picture technology that are continuing to this day, both literature and film owe a great deal of their success to the technological advancements that bring them to widespread audiences. Yet certain films and works of literature have also never shied away from portraying the dangers that a lust for such progress can bring with it. The modern output of science-fiction novels and films found its genesis in speculative ponderings on the effect such progress could hold for the every day population, and just as often as not those speculations were damning. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and Fritz Lang's silent film Metropolis are two such works that hold great importance in the overall canon of science-fiction in that they are both seen as the first of their kind. It is often said that Mary Shelley, with her authorship of Frankenstein, gave birth to the science-fiction novel, breathing it into life as Frankenstein does his monster, and Lang's Metropolis is certainly a candidate for the first genuine science-fiction film (though a case can be made for Georges Méliès' 1902 film Le Voyage Dans la Lune, his film was barely fifteen minutes long whereas Lang's film, with its near three-hour original length and its blending of both ideas and stunning visuals, is much closer to what we now consider a modern science-fiction film). Yet though both works are separated by the medium with which they're presented, not to mention a period of over two-hundred years between their respective releases, they present a shared warning about the dangers that man's need fo...
Star Trek or Star War, those are probably the names that pops into your head when you think of science fiction. Numerous definition of science fiction can be analyze throughout today’s stories and movies, each different from one another in its own element. Sci-fi involves technology and the science behind it. Movies such as Star Trek take place in a far distant future, where humanity and alien life forms has evolve together. Science fiction not only focuses on the future, but also the past where time travel can takes place. This informs that science fiction is the past, the present and the future of science and technology. For example in Star Trek, an older version of Spock came back in time through a blackhole, saving the
Abe Kobo was involved in a critical discussion on science fiction when it started to be popular in the early 1960s. In this article, Abe argues that “pseudo-science is a huge pillar that supports science fiction world” (28). He details that the characteristics of pseudo-science in SF allow its readers to find their wonder on its description rather than to doubt whether it is true or not, which is a way of literature. In such a way, pseudo-science could become a creative feature as hypothesis helping to make the story intriguing. It was interesting to see how Abe details the aesthetics of pseudo-science in relation to everydayness: he emphasizes that scientific hypothesis in the literature could make everyday unstable and shows it strange.
Science fiction as a genre has often had its stories steeped in allegory and metaphor. From the 1960s Star Trek to James Cameron’s Avatar, sci-fi narratives seeking to impart some greater meaning to their audience have been met with wild success, despite varying degrees of subtlety. In his novel Embassytown, author China Miéville takes this tradition and puts it to the side in lieu of running with it. A self-proclaimed “geek," Miéville has held a lifelong interest in the genres of science fiction and fantasy; an interest reflected in his works, with many of them bearing the genres of “weird fiction” or “New Weird”. While many of his highly acclaimed novels do have the marks of his politics, the award-winning Embassytown among them, in this