What is Science fiction: Definition and 103 Discussions

Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the "literature of ideas", and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations.Science fiction, whose roots go back to ancient times, is related to fantasy, horror, and superhero fiction, and contains many subgenres. Its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, scholars, and readers.
Science fiction literature, film, television, and other media have become popular and influential over much of the world. Besides providing entertainment, it can also criticize present-day society, and is often said to inspire a "sense of wonder".

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  1. Scott Baker

    Physics curious

    I've been a subscriber to the blog for ~10 years. I am an outside-the-box thinker with 4 books: a 2 book novel, 1 economics book, 1 memoir science fiction book: [Embedded book removed by moderators] . All available on Amazon under my name: Scott Baker. Designer of the RiverArch - an East River...
  2. sbrothy

    Science Fiction Media Representations of Exoplanets...

    Stumbled over this one. Thought it might be pertinent. Science Fiction Media Representations of Exoplanets: Portrayals of Changing Astronomical Discoveries. "Interest in science fiction's (SF's) potential science communication use is hindered by concerns about SF misrepresenting science. This...
  3. S

    Could Cephalopods Be the Dominant Species in Parallel Worlds?

    I have a story idea involving MWI and a world where the evolutionary branches that would produce octopuses and mammals split 500+ million years ago. A group of conspiracy theorists think cephalopods became the dominant species in some worlds and want to "visit," and it might be possible. I want...
  4. Aldarion

    What diverse interests shape a scientist's curiosity?

    While I am currently primarily interested in fantasy (and science fiction), my interests overall run a gamut of media, history, paleontology, astronomy and astrophysics. My introduction to the last one was Kratka Povijest Svemira, a Croatian translation of excellent book by Gerhard Staguhn, Die...
  5. DennisN

    3 Body Problem (upcoming TV series)

    I just saw this trailer and got a bit excited :smile:. It is an upcoming tv series based on a novel I had never heard about, and I have no idea about the plot. But there is some Contact feeling in it, and it also seems there is a voiceover of Carl Sagan in the trailer. According to the trailer...
  6. gmax137

    Are Stephen Coonts' Saucer Series Books Worth Reading?

    I recently picked up Stephen Coonts, "Saucer" at a public library book sale. Have just finished it, a very fast read 340 pages. In another thread I learned: I had no idea that this is a three-book series. I suppose now I will have to find the other two books. It is a good example of...
  7. jedishrfu

    What once was Science Fiction now is Fact

    Today I learned that once again a Star Trek story is soon to become fact: In the story of the M5 computer, human engrams were used to augment a new class of computers to supercede the duotronic ones on the starship Enterprise. Now in real life, we have one based on mouse cells...
  8. Maarten Havinga

    ChatGPT and the movie "I, robot"

    For those who do not know the movie/story: this thread is about whether AI such as chatGPT is - on the long run - a danger to humanity, and why or why not. With its popularity rising so quickly, chatGPT has influence on our societies, and it may be prudent to ponder about them. I, Robot is a...
  9. X

    B Could satellite be geo-stationary away from equatorial plane?

    I hope this is okay to ask here. I'm working on a sci-fi short story, and for the purposes of the story I want to have a small ship that maintains its position over a specific location on the Earth's surface. Originally, I thought this would be easy. After all, that's what geostationary...
  10. DennisN

    Dune (2021) movie discussion (incl. spoilers)

    This is a thread for discussing the SF movie Dune (2021). Please post your opinions and reviews of the movie here, which may contain spoilers. There will be spoilers in this thread so please don't read it if you haven't seen the movie and don't like it spoiled! My short review: I really liked...
  11. BWV

    Is Science Fiction really a genre?

    So is Science Fiction really a separate genre, or just a way to create a new setting for existing genres (action, war, sea stories, spy, westerns, horror, epic fantasy etc)?
  12. DennisN

    Collection of Science Fiction jokes

    I recently saw some very funny memes about Star Wars (which I'll post below), so I thought about starting a thread about jokes about science fiction, e.g. SF movies. Please share funny jokes, pictures and memes about SF and their stories in this thread. And, yes, I know, I'm such a huge SF...
  13. S

    Can science and fiction merge to create mathematical theories?

    Summary:: Science fiction mathematical theories Can I model fantasies into something similar to physics or maths? Making theories to fit imagination? Is there something like that exist? I am a high school student and I am learning things like calculus.
  14. The Bill

    The real 2020 as a 1980s science fiction story?

    What could a good science fiction writer of the 1980s have made with details consistent with the real world of 2020? So, fictional cahracters, but with technology and broad events the same as what's happened this year? Which author would you think would have made the most entertaining stories...
  15. Quotidian

    Evaluating the Scientific Accuracy of an EMP in a Hard Sci-Fi Novel

    I'm a sometime visitor here over the years, and have posted a few questions about philosophy of physics. But I'm now working on a sci-fi novel - actually the genre is 'hard sci-fi', that is, sci fi with a realist edge. Which is what leads me here. I have what I consider to be a good idea, but I...
  16. Lars278

    All science fiction movies are wrong

    According to the Drake Equation there are probably 10,000 communicable civilizations in the Milky Way at the same level of development as the human civilization on Earth or even more advanced. And if there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe there should be 10^15 communicable civilizations...
  17. M

    Which of these would be the hardest to do (based on known science)?

    Hardest to do in the real world AND hardest to do in the Star Wars universe so two. They can also be the same one. 1.) SQUID like device- https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.engadget.com/amp/2009/07/31/movie-gadget-friday-strange-days/ 2.) Mind scanner- Something that can scan an organic beings...
  18. X

    Writing: Input Wanted Questions about Rovers: Get Answers from NASA Scientists

    Alright, so I'm a screenwriter and I've come across a problem; scientific accuracy. I'm not very smart in terms of science, so I need a little help. The premise of the story goes like this; A group of NASA scientists send a rover up to Europa. It gives them video footage, and they can control...
  19. Lren Zvsm

    Slightly More Plausible Barriers Than Force Fields

    I am contemplating writing a science fiction story involving flexible barriers that can be erected in a very short time. Force fields are pervasive in science fiction, but from what little I've read, they're not very plausible. Is there a flexible material, or class of materials, that...
  20. ZapperZ

    Artificial Gravity in Science Fiction

    We get this type of question now and then, even in the main physics forums. One such question in the Sci Fi forum is from this one: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/what-is-the-largest-possible-rotating-wheel-space-station.950770/ So I don't know of people have seen this video from a few...
  21. R

    Exploring the Intersection of Science and Fiction: A Writer's Perspective

    Hi, gang. Thanks for letting me join. Being that I am an author rather than an expert in physics, perhaps you wonder what drives me to join this forum. It is as simple as the need for new and current science fiction or fantasy story ideas. Thus I track the current conversations in most every...
  22. P

    Quantum Locking and the Earth's Magnetic Field

    Don't know if this is the right place to post this, but it seemed like the best place to start. I'm wondering how much stronger would the Earth's magnetic field need to be in order to make quantum levitation using Earth's magnetic field alone a possibility. Bonus: Effects the change in strength...
  23. hsdrop

    Exploring the Personification of Universal Laws in Physics Science Fiction

    I have a fun idea that I would love to get outside input on to help character building. What if the laws of our universe were beings that keep the laws in place by being them: like entropy, gravity, or electromagnetism? I'm not looking so much for how that would look but more personalities of...
  24. F

    Need Forum for Outlandish Science Ideas

    Hello, Does anyone know of a science forum that deals with far out, controversial theories & ideas? This would be similar to the science fiction forum here at PF but may even be more outlandish, however postings would receive serious consideration. I have made some simple animations that I...
  25. W

    Writing: Input Wanted Alternative energy sources? How about photons?

    I'm looking to get into the realm of science fiction writing and am currently working out how the main "SciFi energy source" works in this world I'm trying to make. Fusion reactors are the obvious go-to, but I wanted to get creative, that said: how plausible/effective would it be to directly...
  26. RosutoTakeshi

    Superman created virtual particles?

    Comic is Superman/Batman #80 Superman explains that virtual particles are always spontaneous generated And that he's using his heat vision to (excite) the vacuum in order to accelerate the process. He's generating more virtual particles So my question is, how much energy or heat did...
  27. S

    Making Science Accessible: A Journey Through the Natural Sciences

    Just joined and glad to be here. I am passionate about making science popular among non-scientists and among young people, telling them science like a story instead of lecturing.
  28. S

    I Mysterious Agent Blows Up Moon: Can Earth Survive?

    Story in brief: An unknown agent blows up the moon, initially into 7 major pieces and a bunch of little ones. The pieces are gravitational bound, but collisions between the pieces continues the break up process. Stephanson postulates that the number of pieces reaching the Earth's atmosphere...
  29. B

    Research for Science Fiction Story

    I'm researching a topic for a sci-fi story. One of the elements is a "space glove", basically a network of nets that "catch" rods of ballistic projectiles launched from the peaks of mountains by railgun. Any comments or insights would be helpful. Here is a data dump of my scribblings on the...
  30. Aaron1947

    Quantum entanglement: need ideas for creative writing....

    So I'm working on a creative writing exercise, and I need some ideas. It's futuristic science fiction, set about 100 years in the future. The plot in a nutshell is that a rogue element of the government (think DARPA, only more evil) is trying to develop faster than light communication using...
  31. Hoverdasher

    Exploring the Wonders of Science Fiction and Science Education with Hoverdasher

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=183085938837672&set=a.106465973166336.1073741828.100014088005333&type=3&theater My screen name is Hoverdasher; my friends call me Katie. Hoverdasher is a fictional character. Thank you for having me, I hope to enjoy dialogue with many of you. I may...
  32. Carlos PdL SdT

    How Fast Does Air Escape from a Pressurized Suit into Space?

    I have a weird question here. At what speed does air flow from a pressurized container at one atm into vacuum (rupture in ISS for example). I was watching the Martian and I wanted to see how much deltaV Mark Wattney can get by puncturing his suit, so I did my homework and saw that the spacesuit...
  33. GW150914

    I What would the world be like if c→∞ and h=0?

    What would the world be like if the speed of light is infinity and the Planck constant is zero (therefore the world is totally Newtonian)?
  34. Hoverdasher

    How Can I Control Buckyballs Using Electrostatics in My Novel?

    I am completing a science fiction novel. The novel takes place in a universe that is twin to ours. Two children and a bitter maid--via scientific accident--were scanned and copied through a tear (created by resonance) in the membrane separating this universe and my make believe universe. In...
  35. N

    B Why technology & science progress slow / slower than sci-fi?

    In science fiction (sci-fi), everything seems to be much more 'cool' / cooler than in reality. Space travel (like Interstellar), teleport / teleportation, time travel / time machine, going to another planet / another dimensions / another universes, cell regeneration even to the point of...
  36. hsdrop

    Science fiction stuff that could never happen

    I would not mind hearing about some of the things that we have either read or watched in the sci-fi world that could never happen in real life (pet peeves and/or total imposables) just to have a little fun debunking and setting strate some of the thing that we have all seen that other may...
  37. VNV

    How can you negate impact force?

    In my science fiction universe, I have a small technology called a 'Kinetic Absorption Module'. It's not mentioned very often, but it's a key component of my supersoldiers' armor. How it works is it acts like a shock absorber, but within a small, one inch long by one and a half inch wide...
  38. W

    B Could a parallel universe exist?

    I'm just being introduced to quantum mechanics and physics, and I was wondering if the possibility of a parallel universe could exist. And if so, how do we know? I read some articles about the research done with Australian researchers who theorize that parallel universes do exist and interact...
  39. N

    I Why teleportation, time travel, virtual reality haven't happened yet?

    (I apologize beforehand if I'm asking such an 'amateur' question , I admit that I'm not a physics student / physicist nor scientist / science student ,.. but , as just a 'normal ordinary' person, at least I am very interested in these things ,. and how I deeply wish Humanity / Mankind can 'leap...
  40. DCR

    I need some science fiction help

    Hello, all. In my spare time I enjoy writing short stories in various themes. The one I'm currently working on is in the Science Fiction genre—a fairly standard "starships and space exploration" job. I've devised some extensive background for this particular storyverse (I intended these...
  41. writer

    I Time dilation time travel for novel - I need a calculation

    Hi! I've written a novel in which my main character travels through time (into the future) 18 years. While the concept of time travel is necessary to the plot, the details are not. Meaning, the book isn't sci-fi, but contains elements that wouldn't normally exist in a contemporary novel, so...
  42. Khatti

    Science Reading List for Science Fiction Authors

    This question is for the scientists and academics out there. What books on the scientific disciplines do you wish Science Fiction writers would read? I can think of books written by people like Brian Epstein and Michio Kaku. Another source would be textbooks. Anyone out there have any thoughts...
  43. Ogi

    Writing Sci-Fi Story: Creating an Alien World - Help Needed

    Hi, everybody :) I joined this forum because I'm currently writing a sci-fi story and I want to create an alien world that is scientifically correct, but due to my lack of knowledge and experience I'm facing some big troubles. I have a ton of questions(I hope I won't bother you much). So here is...
  44. Toby N

    An Endless Fall: Exploring a Fictional Paradox

    So I'm just really curious and this question is fictional, I'm new so i don't know if this is the right place to post this. Anyway, if there is 2 portal facing each other vertically and a person jump on to it, end up falling forever, i wonders how much could that person reach and is there anyway...
  45. L

    Optimizing High Speed Transit for Comfort and Safety: A Scientific Approach

    Hi everyone, I am an aspiring writer, and I have come here seeking some insight/a second opinion. I recently decided to work on my one novel, a science fiction story, and unlike some other sci-fi writers, I want to make my book as scientifically plausible as I can, without relying on something...
  46. K

    How can we protect against laser weapons in future warfare?

    Suppose lasers become a common weapon for medium range anti-drone use. Maybe they've gotten too good at dodging gunfire. What kind of laser countermeasures exist? I was thinking, maybe some kind of mist generator to block out vision of the drone. But that would be limited to drones moving at low...
  47. M

    Discover Literary Science Fiction: Exploring Depth and Value in the Genre

    An coworker's loves Charles Dickens and reads all sorts of other books with "high literary content". Most science fiction doesn't qualify as great literature. Lots of shallow character development, generally simplistic moral conflicts, etc. Mostly we have good stories in interesting...
  48. X

    Fiction/Nonfiction novel explaining Magnetism?

    Hi, I am new to the forums and thought of asking this question convenient right here. So, I was wondering that we have many novels explaining Astronomy and Particle physics for non physicists or physics enthusiasts. For example books on Biographies of say Einstein go a little deep into his...
  49. B

    Overpowered technology and Murphy's law

    I am going to write a scifi comic and it has technology that we would see in the 22nd century. People have become spacefaring and they have built colonies on the moon and mars. Nanotechnology, robots and AI such as Cortana are commonplace. Extinct species can be cloned along with a lot of other...
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