What is Science Fiction?

Science fiction is a genre of media creation that includes books, television programs, movies and art. In science fiction science its self becomes a character. This character is developed through the merging of real science with predictive science concepts. This merger creates a new reality in which the other characters of the story live in.

Origins of Science Fiction

Science fiction has been around for a long time. However, it became an official genre in the 1800s when Jules Verne launched a very successful career creating science fiction novels like “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “From the Earth to the Moon.” While Jules Verne was credited as being one of the pioneers of science fiction he was not alone. Other pioneering authors in their new genre included H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury.

Each of these authors explored science concepts that were not being explored, at least effectively, by their contemporary scientists. This doesn’t mean that their science fiction stories were based on pure fiction, quite the contrary. These authors, particularly Jules Verne, researched their story concepts by talking with the leading scientific minds of their time and by conducting their own research and experiments. As a result, many of the science concepts and technologies discussed in early science fiction works were later developed and utilized by humanity.

The Science of Science Fiction

In order for a work of science fiction to be believable it needs to be based in real-world science. This means that the theories about physical science and chemical science are utilized as the basis for most science fiction works. Science fiction writers therefore tend to be interested in science as either a hobby or as a profession. From this background the writer is able to take the most important concepts of science and weave it in with more evolutionary and abstract concepts.

Another tactic that science fiction writers can take is to base their stories on theoretical science concepts. These concepts have not yet been proven 100 percent true, or they may not have been proven physically as of yet, but they are still sound concepts. The writer can take these theories and develop them with the creative process. This creative development allows the writer to create a world that has its own set of scientific rules and standards.

Making Science Fiction Seem Real

There is a skill involved in the development of a good piece of science fiction. You cannot simply create a fictional realm with science concepts that have not been strategically designed and implemented. When a science fiction setting has not been fully developed scientifically, the characters and story lines are hard to believe and follow.

In order to make a science fiction story come alive and seem plausible science rules need to be established and followed strictly. This is usually done by creating a “Bible” for the setting. This Bible sets out the rules of science that govern the world in which the characters live. For example, in the world that Star Wars takes place in telepathy and psychokinetic energy are both real skills that can be used and developed by characters. This truth is believable and acceptable for the Star War stories because it is defined as a truth and a science from the onset of the tales.

Over the last several decades I have worked to promote science to students. Through experimentation with science fair supplies and work with science fair projects kids of all ages have learned to be scientifically innovative.

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