Wells, H. G. (1960) The War of the Worlds. New Zealand: Macmillan Publishers New Zealand Ltd
Perhaps one of the most versatile genres in films, television, books, artwork and any number of things today is science fiction. Many times I have seen a sci-fi movie filed under comedy or drama. That is one of the major things that has led to my love for science fiction, the simple fact that it can be so much more than just science fiction. I would like to present a definition of what science fiction is in this paper. My definition will not be exact, because so many people have a different idea of what counts as sci-fi and, not only that, but we may have found yet another venue for science fiction by the time this paper is complete. In order to define what science fiction is and to support my definition, I am going to give some examples of stories that I think fall into this genre first and then give a semi-solid definition of what I think science fiction is.
Science fiction is a genre that has evolved significantly over time, but has still kept its identity and essence of advanced technology and applied sciences alive. Over the years, a genre being read only by a minority is now the choice of billions. Visualizing and correlating various science fiction tales, such as “The Man Who Evolved” and “An Express of the Future”, brings out innumerable resemblances and variances between publications of this genre between the years. Published in different centuries, these tales, when compared, enable us to observe the change that has gone through in this genre, along with the constants that have remained with the genus since its start. Even though these stories have orientations of technology and themes that are poles apart in concept, the central theme that conceptualizes these narratives is that the future in store for mankind is common for both these stories, along with some similar literary elements.
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...
Huntington, Samuel, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Print.