علمی–تخیلی گونهای داستانی است که در ادبیات، هنر، تلویزیون، بازی ویدئویی، سینما، تئاتر و دیگر رسانهها یافت میشود. در گونه علمیتخیلی فناوری یا علوم امروزی یا مربوط به آینده دستمایهٔ هنرمند و آفرینشگر قرار میگیرد.
تعریف و دامنه [ ویرایش ]
ژانر علمی–تخیلی اثری است که در صورت حذف علم از آن ساختار آن از هم بپاشد. تعریفهای مختلفی از این ژانر وجود داد، از جمله تعریف جالبی که میگوید: «اثری علمی-تخیلی است که ناشرش بگوید علمی-تخیلی است!» اما شاید پرطرفدارترین آنها تعریف اخیر باشد، حتی اگر دانش امروز پاسخی برای پرسشهای چرایی و چگونگی مطرح شده را نداشته باشد.
ابهامی که وجود دارد مربوط به زمانی است که عنصر خیال چنان با توجیههای علمی در هم میآمیزد که جدا کردن آن ممکن نیست و ماهیت
علمی بودن اثر زیر سؤال میرود. البته چنین ابهامی معمولاً در آثار علمی–تخیلی نویسان شاخص مانند آسیموف یا آرتور. سی. کلارک وجود ندارد.
در اثر علمی–تخیلی نویسنده فکر خود را رها میکند تا به آینده برود و آنچه را در اثر پیشرفت علمی امکانپذیر شدهاست را به تصویر بکشد. در اثر علمی تخیلی نویسنده گاهی تمایلات و آرزوهای انسانها و گاهی بیمها و ترسهای آنها را بیان میکند.
اهمیت و اثرات [ ویرایش ] ری بردبری، نویسندهٔ آمریکایی و یکی از بزرگترین نویسندگان علمی–تخیلی قرن (اگرچه خودش چنین اعتقادی به این مسئله ندارد)، میگوید: « هر چه تصور میکنیم تخیل و هر چه انجام میدهیم علم است، کل تاریخ بشر چیزی جز داستانی علمی-تخیلی نیست.»
ادبیات علمی–تخیلی میتواند
تاریخ آینده باشد. بسیاری اختراعات و اکتشافات ابتدا در ادبیات علمی–تخیلی چهره نشان دادهاند و سپس در دنیای واقعی ظاهر شدهاند.
نویسندگان مشهور [ ویرایش ] آرتور سی. کلارک، آیزاک آسیموف و رابرت ای. هاین لاین را به عنوان سه نویسندهٔ بزرگ علمی–تخیلی تمام زمانها میشناسند. امروز تعداد نویسندگانی که کارهایشان را میتوان در سبک علمی–تخیلی طبقهبندی کرد بسیار زیاد شدهاست. شاید حتی افلاطون، فیلسوف یونانی، را بتوان یکی از اولین علمی–تخیلی نویسان شمرد، چه داستان آتلانتیس را اول بار او نقل کرد. اگر چه به صورت نقلی از حقیقت.
اما بی شک میتوان
ژول ورن را نویسندهای دانست که سبک ""علمی-تخیلی" را به بلوغ خود رساند.
جاناتان سویفت، نویسندهٔ سفرهای گالیور را هم شاید بتوان کج دار و مریز به این سبک داخل کرد. فصل سوم کتاب اخیر، جزیرهای به نام لاپوتا را توصیف میکند که با کمک نیروی آهنربایی عظیم در هوا شناور مانده و حرکت میکند.
رسانههای دیگر [ ویرایش ]
نمایشنامههای رادیویی و تلویزیونی هم بستری مناسب برای سبک علمی–تخیلی هستند.
اورسن ولز، سینماگر و بازیگر معروف (که او را به خاطر شاهکارش همشهری کین میشناسند)، زمانی جنگ دنیاها اثر ولز را چنان در رادیو به صورت نمایشنامه اجرا کرد که بسیاری از مردم آمریکا باور کردند که واقعاً بیگانهها به زمین حمله کردهاند.
مجلههای و کتابهای کمیک بسیاری فقط در زمینه سبک علمی–تخیلی وجود دارند. فیلمها و سریالهای این گونه هم که جای خود دارند. بسیاری پخش پرطرفدار سریال
پیشتاران فضا (عنوان اصلی:Star Trek: Original Series) در سالهای دهه ۵۰ از تلویزیون وقت ایران به یاد دارند.
امروزه شاید پرطرفدارترین رسانه در زمینهٔ علمی–تخیلی فیلم باشد. فیلمهای علمی–تخیلی را فقط طرفداران علمی–تخیلی نیستند که میبینند. این موضوع به خصوص در مورد
ایران صادق است. زیرا اساساً فیلمهایی که در ژانر علمی–تخیلی جای میگیرند مملو از جلوههای ویژه و بعضاً عنصر هراس هستند و این دو کیفیت باعث جذابیت آنها شدهاست.
درونمایهها [ ویرایش ]
سبک علمی–تخیلی از سبکهایی است که زمینهٔ بسیاری برای کار دارد. از جمله این زمینهها عبارتاند از:
زمینیسازی، تبدیل سیارههای دیگر به صورت مناسب برای زندگی انسان
بیگانهها، زیست فرازمینی، برخورد نژادهای هوشمند غیرانسانی با انسان، چه در زمین، چه در فضای خارج و چه در ابعاد و فضاهای غیر فیزیکی.
سفر فضایی، جهش، کرمچالهها و… سفر در زمان
زیستشناسی، ژنتیک، همانندسازی (تاگ سازی)، قدرتهای ذهنی و… زمانها و دنیاهای موازی (Multi-verse)
شیمیهای حیاتی متفاوت
تأثیرات آینده اکتشافات علمی، خیالپردازی دربارهٔ مرزهای علم
کتاب عناصر داستانهای علمی-تخیلی در سال ۱۳۷۷ توسط نشر نی چاپ شد که گردآورنده و مترجم آن خیام فولادی تالاری بوده است. این نخستین کتاب درباره نوشتن داستانهای علمی-تخیلی در ایران است.
ادبیات علمی–تخیلی در ایران «ادبیات علمی» (مجلهٔ دُردانه) یا «افسانهٔ علمی» (
هوشنگ غیاثینژاد، مقدمهٔ خورشید عریان) یا «دانش فسانه» هم خوانده شدهاست، اما اصطلاح «علمی-تخیلی» عامهپسندتر و جاافتادهتر است. ادبیات علمی–تخیلی در ایران بین طبقهٔ کتابخوان عادی، طرفدار چندانی ندارد. این ژانر برای مخاطبان ایرانی بیش از حد شاعرانه و روشنفکرانه است و بیشتر با ادبیات کودکان در یک طبقه قرار میگیرد؛ که البته استثناهایی هم وجود دارد، اما امروز هم ادبیات علمی–تخیلی در ایران مبدل به جریانی جدا و مستقل نشدهاست.
از نویسندگان معاصر علمی -تخیلی میتوان به ایرج فاضل بخششی اشاره کرد که ۸ کتاب از او تاکنون به چاپ رسیدهاست. نخستین مجموعه داستان کوتاه علمی تخیلی ایرانی در فصلنامهٔ ادبستان (ص ۱۵۱ - تابستان و پاییز ۱۳۷۸) تحت عنوان «آخرین بنیاد کهکشانی» نوشتهٔ فرهاد ارکانی (نشر دنیای قلم - ۱۳۷۵ - به همراه دو داستان ترجمه از ایزاک آسیموف معرفی گردید که آخرین داستان این مجموعه به شیوهای تخیلی به نحوهٔ شکلگیری سری کتابهای بنیاد توسط آسیموف میپردازد.
جستارهای وابسته [ ویرایش ]
ویکی انگلیسی lمدخل Science-Fiction
آکادمی فانتزی، تاریخچه و نمونهٔ آثار سایت سابق
بعد هفتم به نشانی www.haftom.org (غیرفعال) سایت
طرفداران فانتزی سایت شهر عصر فضا، نقل قولها و برخی قسمتهای تاریخچه
پیوند به بیرون [ ویرایش ]
Science fiction (sometimes called sci-fi or simply 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. However its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, and scholars.
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".
"Science fiction" is difficult to define precisely, as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes.
James Blish wrote: " Wells used the term originally to cover what we would today call "hard" science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to already known facts (as of the date of writing) was the substrate on which the story was to be built, and if the story was also to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."
Isaac Asimov, "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology."  Robert A. Heinlein wrote that "A handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."
 Tom Shippey compared George Orwell's (1939) with Coming Up for Air Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth's (1952), and concluded that the basic building block and distinguishing feature of a science fiction novel is the presence of the The Space Merchants , novum a term  Darko Suvin adapted from Ernst Bloch and defined as "a discrete piece of information recognizable as not-true, but also as not-unlike-true, not-flatly- (and in the current state of knowledge) impossible."
Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and the lack of a "full satisfactory definition" is because "there are no easily delineated limits to science fiction." Author and editor  Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassey described science fiction as  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described pornography: " I know it when I see it." 
Science fiction had its beginnings in ancient times, when the line between
myth and fact was blurred. Written in the 2nd century CE by the  satirist Lucian, contains many themes and tropes characteristic of modern science fiction, including travel to other worlds, A True Story extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, and artificial life. Some consider it the first science-fiction novel.     Some of the stories from  , The Arabian Nights  along with the 10th-century  The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and  Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus, also contain elements of science fiction.
Products of the
Scientific Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment, Johannes Kepler's (1634), Somnium Francis Bacon's (1627), New Atlantis  Cyrano de Bergerac's (1657) and Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon (1662), The States and Empires of the Sun Margaret Cavendish's " The Blazing World" (1666),     Jonathan Swift's (1726), Gulliver's Travels Ludvig Holberg's (1741) and Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum Voltaire's (1752) are regarded as some of the first true Micromégas science-fantasy works.   Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story; it depicts a journey to the Moon and how the Earth's motion is seen from there. 
Following the 18th-century development of the
novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's (1818) and Frankenstein (1826) helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. The Last Man Brian Aldiss has argued that Frankenstein was the first work of science fiction.   Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered to be science fiction, including " The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (1835) which featured a trip to the Moon.   Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy, especially in (1870). Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea    In 1887, the novel  by Spanish author El anacronópete Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. 
Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors,
 or even "the  Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include  (1895), The Time Machine (1896), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1897), and The Invisible Man (1898). His science fiction imagined The War of the Worlds alien invasion, biological engineering, invisibility, and time travel. In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, and something resembling the World Wide Web.
 Edgar Rice Burroughs' , published in 1912, was the first of his three- A Princess of Mars decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels which were set on Mars and featured John Carter as the hero.
Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, . In its first issue he wrote:
By 'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive. They supply knowledge... in a very palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written... Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well.
E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, written in collaboration with The Skylark of Space, Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in . It is often called the first great Amazing Stories space opera. The same year,  Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, , also appeared in Armageddon 2419 Amazing Stories. This was followed by a Buck Rogers comic strip, the first serious science-fiction comic.
John W. Campbell became editor of , an event which is sometimes considered the beginning of the Astounding Science Fiction Golden Age of Science Fiction, which is characterized by stories celebrating scientific achievement and progress. In 1942,  Isaac Asimov started his Foundation series, which chronicles the rise and fall of galactic empires and introduced psychohistory.  The "Golden Age" is often said to have ended in 1946, but sometimes the late 1940s and the 1950s are included. 
 Theodore Sturgeon's (1953) explored possible future More Than Human human evolution.   In 1957,  by the Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale Russian writer and paleontologist Ivan Yefremov presented a view of a future interstellar communist civilization and is considered one of the most important Soviet science fiction novels. 
Robert A. Heinlein's marked a departure from his earlier juvenile stories and novels. Starship Troopers It is one of the first and most influential examples of  military science fiction,  and introduced the concept of  powered armor exoskeletons.   The  German space opera series , written by various authors, started in 1961 with an account of the first Perry Rhodan Moon landing and has since expanded in  space to multiple universes, and in time by billions of years. It has become the most popular science fiction  book series of all time.
In the 1960s and 1970s,
New Wave science fiction was known for its embrace of a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content, and a highbrow and self-consciously " literary" or " artistic" sensibility.   In 1961,  by Solaris Stanisław Lem was published in Poland. The novel dealt with the  theme of human limitations as its characters attempted to study a seemingly intelligent ocean on a newly discovered planet.  1965's  by Dune Frank Herbert featured a much more complex and detailed imagined future society than had previous science fiction.
Philip K. Dick's was published. It is the literary source of the Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner movie franchise.  1969's  by The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin was set on a planet in which the inhabitants have no fixed gender. It is one of the most influential examples of social science fiction, feminist science fiction, and anthropological science fiction.  
C. J. Cherryh published and Gate of Ivrel , which began her Brothers of Earth Alliance-Union universe future history series.   In 1979,  began publication in the Science Fiction World People's Republic of China. It dominates the Chinese  science fiction magazine market, at one time claiming a circulation of 300,000 copies per issue and an estimated 3-5 readers per copy (giving it a total estimated readership of at least 1 million), making it the world's most popular science fiction periodical.
William Gibson's first novel, helped popularize Neuromancer, cyberpunk and the word " cyberspace," a term he originally coined in his 1982 short story . Burning Chrome   In 1986,  by Shards of Honor Lois McMaster Bujold began her Vorkosigan Saga.  1992's  by Snow Crash Neal Stephenson predicted immense social upheaval due to the information revolution. In 2007,  Liu Cixin's novel, , was published in China. It was translated into English by The Three-Body Problem Ken Liu and published by Tor Books in 2014, and won the 2015  Hugo Award for Best Novel, making Liu the first Asian writer to win the award. 
Emerging themes in late 20th and early 21st century science fiction include
environmental issues, the implications of the Internet and the expanding information universe, questions about biotechnology, nanotechnology, and post-scarcity societies.  Recent trends and  subgenres include steampunk,  biopunk,  and  mundane science fiction. 
The first, or at least one of the first, recorded science fiction
film is 1902's , directed by A Trip to the Moon French filmmaker Georges Méliès. It was profoundly influential on later  filmmakers, bringing a different kind of creativity and fantasy to the cinematic medium.  In addition, Méliès's innovative  editing and special effects techniques were widely imitated and became important elements of the medium. 
, directed by Metropolis Fritz Lang, is the first feature-length science fiction film. Though not well-received in its time,  it is now considered a great and influential film.    In 1954,  , directed by Godzilla Ishirō Honda, began the kaiju subgenre of science fiction film, which feature large creatures of any form, usually attacking a major city or engaging other monsters in battle. 
, directed by 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick and based on the work of Arthur C. Clarke, rose above the mostly B-movie offerings up to that time both in scope and quality, and greatly influenced later science fiction films.    That same year,  (the original), directed by Planet of the Apes Franklin J. Schaffner and based on the 1963 French novel by La Planète des Singes Pierre Boulle, was released to popular and critical acclaim, due in large part to its vivid depiction of a post-apocalyptic world in which intelligent apes dominate humans.
George Lucas began the with the film now identified as " Star Wars film series " Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The series, often called a  space opera, went on to become a worldwide  popular culture phenomenon,  and the  second-highest-grossing film series of all time.
Since the 1980s,
science fiction films, along with fantasy, horror, and superhero films, have dominated Hollywood's big-budget productions.  Science fiction films often "  cross-over" with other genres, including animation ( - 2008, WALL-E - 2014), Big Hero 6 gangster ( - 1937), Sky Racket Western ( - 2005), Serenity comedy ( -1987, Spaceballs - 1999), Galaxy Quest war ( - 1985), Enemy Mine action ( - 2014, Edge of Tomorrow - 1999), The Matrix adventure ( - 2015, Jupiter Ascending - 2014), Interstellar sports ( - 1975), Rollerball mystery ( - 2002), Minority Report thriller ( - 2014), Ex Machina horror ( - 1979), Alien film noir ( - 1982), Blade Runner superhero ( - 2008-), Marvel Cinematic Universe drama ( - 2016, Arrival -2001), and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence romantic comedy ( - 2004). Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Don Hastings (left) and Al Hodge from
Captain Video and His Video Rangers
Science fiction and
television have consistently been in a close relationship. Television or television-like technologies frequently appeared in science fiction long before television itself became widely available in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The first known science fiction television program was a thirty-five-minute
adapted excerpt of the play , written by the RUR Czech playwright Karel Čapek, broadcast live from the BBC's Alexandra Palace studios on 11 February 1938. The first popular science fiction program on  American television was the children's adventure serial , which ran from June 1949 to April 1955. Captain Video and His Video Rangers
 (the original series), produced and narrated by The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, who also wrote or co-wrote most of the episodes, ran from 1959 to 1964. It featured fantasy, suspense, and horror as well as science fiction, with each episode being a complete story.   Critics have ranked it as one of the best TV programs of any genre. 
animated series , while intended as The Jetsons comedy and only running for one season (1962–1963), predicted many inventions now in common use: flat-screen televisions, newspapers on a computer-like screen, computer viruses, video chat, tanning beds, home treadmills, and more. In 1963, the time travel-themed  premiered on BBC Television. Doctor Who The original series ran until 1989 and was revived in 2005.  It has been extremely  popular worldwide and has greatly influenced later TV science fiction.   Other programs in the 1960s included  (1963-1965), The Outer Limits  (1965-1968), and Lost in Space (1967). The Prisoner  
 (the original series), created by Star Trek Gene Roddenberry, premiered in 1966 on NBC Television and ran for three seasons. It combined elements of  space opera and Space Western. Only mildly successful at first, the series gained  popularity through syndication and extraordinary fan interest. It became a very popular and influential franchise with many films and television shows, novels, and other works and products.     (1987-1994) led to four additional Star Trek: The Next Generation shows ( Star Trek (1993-1999), Deep Space 9 (1995-2001) Voyager , (2001-2005), and Enterprise (2017–present))--with more in some form of development. Discovery   
miniseries premiered in 1983 on NBC. V It depicted an attempted takeover of Earth by  reptilian aliens.  , a Red Dwarf comic science fiction series aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999, and on Dave since 2009.  , which featured The X-Files UFOs and conspiracy theories, was created by Chris Carter and broadcast by Fox Broadcasting Company from 1993 to 2002,  and again from 2016-2018.    , a film about Stargate ancient astronauts and interstellar teleportation, was released in 1994. premiered in 1997 and ran for 10 seasons (1997-2007). Spin-off series included Stargate SG-1 (2002-2003), Stargate Infinity (2004-2009), and Stargate Atlantis (2009-2011). Stargate Universe Other 1990s series included  (1989-1993) and Quantum Leap (1994-1999). Babylon 5
SyFy, launched in 1992 as The Sci-Fi Channel, specializes in science fiction,  supernatural horror, and fantasy. 
Science fiction's great rise in popularity during the first half of the 20th century was closely tied to the popular respect paid to science at that time, as well as the rapid pace of
technological innovation and new inventions. Science fiction has often  predicted scientific and technological progress.  Some works predict that new inventions and progress will tend to improve life and society, for instance the stories of  Arthur C. Clarke and . Star Trek Others, such as  H.G. Wells's and The Time Machine Aldous Huxley's , warn about possible negative consequences. Brave New World 
In 2001 the
National Science Foundation conducted a survey on " Public Attitudes and Public Understanding: Science Fiction and Pseudoscience." It found that people who read or prefer science fiction may think about or relate to science differently than other people. They also tend to support the  space program and the idea of contacting extraterrestrial civilizations.   Carl Sagan wrote: "Many scientists deeply involved in the exploration of the solar system (myself among them) were first turned in that direction by science fiction."
Brian Aldiss described science fiction as " cultural wallpaper." Evidence for this widespread influence can be found in trends for writers to employ science fiction as a tool for advocacy and generating cultural insights, as well as for educators when teaching across a range of academic disciplines not limited to the natural sciences.  Scholar and science fiction critic  George Edgar Slusser said that science fiction "is the one real international literary form we have today, and as such has branched out to visual media, interactive media and on to whatever new media the world will invent in the 21st century. Crossover issues between the sciences and the humanities are crucial for the century to come."
As protest literature
Science fiction has sometimes been used as a means of
social protest. George Orwell's (1949) is an important work of Nineteen Eighty-Four dystopian science fiction.  It is often invoked in protests against governments and leaders who are seen as  totalitarian.   James Cameron's 2009 film was intended as a protest against Avatar imperialism, and specifically the European colonization of the Americas. Its images have been used by, among others,  Palestinians in their protest against Israel.
 Robots, artificial humans, human clones, intelligent computers, and their possible conflicts with human society have all been major themes of science fiction since, at least, the publication of Shelly's . Some critics have seen this as reflecting authors’ concerns over the Frankenstein social alienation seen in modern society.
 Feminist science fiction poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, the role reproduction plays in defining gender, and the inequitable political or personal power of one gender over others. Some works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore a society in which gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist, or dystopias to explore worlds in which gender inequalities are intensified, thus asserting a need for feminist work to continue. 
 Climate fiction, or "cli-fi," deals with issues concerning climate change and global warming.   University courses on literature and environmental issues may include climate change fiction in their syllabi, and it is often discussed by other  media outside of science fiction fandom.
 Libertarian science fiction focuses on the politics and social order implied by right libertarian philosophies with an emphasis on individualism and private property, and in some cases anti-statism.
Science fiction comedy often satirizes and criticizes present-day society, and sometimes makes fun of the conventions and clichés of more serious science fiction. 
Sense of wonder
Science fiction is often said to inspire a "
sense of wonder." Science fiction editor and critic David Hartwell wrote: "Science fiction’s appeal lies in combination of the rational, the believable, with the miraculous. It is an appeal to the sense of wonder." Carl Sagan said: "One of the great benefits of science fiction is that it can convey bits and pieces, hints and phrases, of knowledge unknown or inaccessible to the reader . . . works you ponder over as the water is running out of the bathtub or as you walk through the woods in an early winter snowfall." 
In 1967, Isaac Asimov commented on the changes then occurring in the science fiction community: "And because today’s real life so resembles day-before-yesterday’s fantasy, the old-time fans are restless. Deep within, whether they admit it or not, is a feeling of disappointment and even outrage that the outer world has invaded their private domain. They feel the loss of a 'sense of wonder' because what was once truly confined to 'wonder' has now become prosaic and mundane."
Science fiction studies
The study of science fiction, or
science fiction studies, is the critical assessment, interpretation, and discussion of science fiction literature, film, TV shows, new media, fandom, and fan fiction. Science fiction  scholars study science fiction to better understand it and its relationship to science, technology, politics, other genres, and culture-at-large. Science fiction studies began around the turn of the 20th century, but it was not until later that science fiction studies solidified as a discipline with the publication of the academic journals  (1959), Extrapolation (1972), and Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (1973), Science Fiction Studies  and the establishment of the oldest organizations devoted to the  study of science fiction in 1970, the Science Fiction Research Association and the Science Fiction Foundation.  The field has grown considerably since the 1970s with the establishment of more  journals, organizations, and conferences, as well as science fiction degree-granting programs such as those offered by the University of Liverpool and the  University of Kansas.
Science fiction has historically been sub-divided between
hard science fiction and soft science fiction–with the division centering on the feasibility of the science central to the story. However, this distinction has come under increasing scrutiny in the 21st century. Some  authors, such as Tade Thompson and Jeff VanderMeer, have pointed out that stories that focus explicitly on physics, astronomy, mathematics, and engineering tend to be considered "hard" science fiction, while stories that focus on botany, mycology, zoology, and the social sciences tend to be categorized as "soft," regardless of the relative rigor of the science.
 Max Gladstone defined "hard" science fiction as stories "where the math works," but pointed out that this ends up with stories that often seem "weirdly dated," as scientific paradigms shift over time.  Michael Swanwick dismissed the traditional definition of "hard" SF altogether, instead saying that it was defined by characters striving to solve problems "in the right way–with determination, a touch of stoicism, and the consciousness that the universe is not on his or her side."
Ursula K. Le Guin also criticized the more traditional view on the difference between "hard" and "soft" SF: "The 'hard' science fiction writers dismiss everything except, well, physics, astronomy, and maybe chemistry. Biology, sociology, anthropology—that's not science to them, that's soft stuff. They're not that interested in what human beings do, really. But I am. I draw on the social sciences a great deal."
As serious literature
Respected authors of
main-stream literature have written science fiction. Mary Shelley wrote a number of science fiction novels including (1818), and is considered a major writer of the Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus Romantic Age.  Aldous Huxley's (1932) is often listed as one of England's most important novels, both for its criticism of modern culture and its prediction of future trends including Brave New World reproductive technology and social engineering.     Kurt Vonnegut was a highly respected American author whose works contain science fiction premises or themes.   Other science fiction authors whose works are widely considered to be "serious" literature include  Ray Bradbury (including, especially, (1953) and Fahrenheit 451 (1951)), The Martian Chronicles  Arthur C. Clarke (especially for ), Childhood's End  and Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, writing under the name  Cordwainer Smith.
 David Barnett has pointed out that there are books such as (2006) by The Road Cormac McCarthy, (2004) by Cloud Atlas David Mitchell, (2008) by The Gone-Away World Nick Harkaway, (2007) by The Stone Gods Jeanette Winterson, and (2003) by Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood, which use recognizable science fiction tropes, but whose authors and publishers do not market them as science fiction.  Doris Lessing, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, wrote a series of five SF novels, (1979-1983), which depict the efforts of more advanced species and civilizations to influence those less advanced, including humans on Earth. Canopus in Argos: Archives   
In her much reprinted
essay "Science Fiction and Mrs Brown," Le Guin asked: "Can a science fiction writer write a novel?"; and answered: "I believe that all novels, . . . deal with  character, and that it is to express character–not to preach doctrines, sing songs, or celebrate the glories of the British Empire, that the form of the novel, so clumsy, verbose, and undramatic, so rich, elastic, and alive, has been evolved. . . . The great novelists have brought us to see whatever they wish us to see through some character. Otherwise they would not be novelists, but poets, historians, or pamphleteers." Orson Scott Card, best known for his 1985 science fiction novel , has postulated that in science fiction the message and intellectual significance of the work is contained within the story itself and, therefore, does not need stylistic Ender's Game gimmicks or literary games. 
Jonathan Lethem, in a 1998 essay in the entitled "Close Encounters: The Squandered Promise of Science Fiction," suggested that the point in 1973 when Village Voice Thomas Pynchon's was nominated for the Gravity's Rainbow Nebula Award and was passed over in favor of Clarke's stands as "a hidden tombstone marking the death of the hope that SF was about to merge with the mainstream." Rendezvous with Rama, In the same year science fiction author and physicist  Gregory Benford wrote: "SF is perhaps the defining genre of the twentieth century, although its conquering armies are still camped outside the Rome of the literary citadels."
Science fiction is being written, and has been written, by
diverse authors from around the world. According to 2013 statistics by the science fiction publisher Tor Books, men outnumber women by 78% to 22% among submissions to the publisher.  A controversy about voting slates in the 2015 Hugo Awards highlighted tensions in the science fiction community between a trend of increasingly diverse works and authors being honored by awards, and reaction by groups of authors and fans who preferred what they considered more " traditional" science fiction.
Among the most respected and well-known awards for science fiction are the
Hugo Award for literature, presented by the World Science Fiction Society at Worldcon, and voted on by fans; the  Nebula Award for literature, presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and voted on by the community of authors; the  John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, presented by a jury of writers; and the  Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for short fiction, presented by a jury. One notable award for science fiction films and TV programs is the  Saturn Award, which is presented annually by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films.
There are other national awards, like Canada's
Prix Aurora Awards, regional awards, like the  Endeavour Award presented at Orycon for works from the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and special interest or  subgenre awards such as the Chesley Award for art, presented by the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists, or the  World Fantasy Award for fantasy. Magazines may organize reader polls, notably the  Locus Award.
Conventions, clubs, and organizations Conventions (in fandom, often shortened as "cons," such as " comic-con") are held in cities around the world, catering to a local, regional, national, or international membership.    General-interest conventions cover all aspects of science fiction, while others focus on a particular interest like media fandom, filking, and so on.  Most  science fiction conventions are organized by volunteers in non-profit groups, though most media-oriented events are organized by commercial promoters. The convention's activities are called  the program, which may include panel discussions, readings, autograph sessions, costume masquerades, and other events. Additional activities occur throughout the convention that are not part of the program.  These commonly include a dealer's room,  art show, and hospitality lounge (or "con suites").
Conventions may host award ceremonies. For instance,
Worldcon presents the Hugo Awards each year. SF societies, referred to as "  clubs" except in formal contexts, form a year-round base of activities for science fiction fans.    They may be associated with an ongoing science fiction convention, or have regular club  meetings, or both. Long-established groups like the  New England Science Fiction Association and the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society have clubhouses for meetings and storage of convention supplies and research materials. The  Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) was founded by Damon Knight in 1965 as a non-profit organization to serve the community of professional science fiction authors.
Fandom and fanzines Science fiction fandom is the " community of the literature of ideas[,] . . . the culture in which new ideas emerge and grow before being released into society at large." Members of this community ("  fans"), as discussed above, are often in contact with each other at conventions or clubs, through print or online fanzines, or on the Internet using websites, mailing lists, and other resources. SF fandom emerged from the letters column in Amazing Stories magazine: soon fans began writing letters to each other, and then grouping their comments together in informal publications that became known as fanzines. Once they were in regular contact, fans wanted to meet each other, and they organized local clubs.   In the 1930s, the first  science fiction conventions gathered fans from a wider area.
The earliest organized online
fandom was the SF Lovers Community, originally a mailing list in the late 1970s with a text archive file that was updated regularly. In the 1980s,  Usenet groups greatly expanded the circle of fans online. In the 1990s, the development of the  World-Wide Web exploded the community of online fandom by orders of magnitude, with thousands and then millions of websites devoted to science fiction and related genres for all media. Most such sites are relatively small,  ephemeral, and/or narrowly focused,  though sites like  SF Site and SFcrowsnest offer a broad range of references and reviews. 
science fiction fanzine, , was published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago, Illionois. The Comet  Fanzine  printing methods have changed over the decades, from the hectograph, the mimeograph, and the ditto machine, to modern photocopying. Distribution volumes rarely justify the cost of commercial printing.   Contemporary fanzines are largely printed on computer printers or at local copy shops, or they may only be sent as email (termed " Ezines") or otherwise made available online (termed " webzines"). One of the best known fanzines today is  , Ansible edited by David Langford, winner of numerous Hugo awards.  Other notable fanzines to win one or more Hugo awards include  , File 770 , and Mimosa . Plokta  Artists working for fanzines have frequently risen to prominence in the field, including Brad W. Foster, Teddy Harvia, and Joe Mayhew; the Hugos include a category for Best Fan Artists. 
Forrest J Ackerman is credited with first using the term "sci-fi" (analogous to the then-trendy " hi-fi") in 1954. As science fiction entered  popular culture, writers and fans active in the field came to associate the term with low-budget, low-tech " B-movies," and with low-quality pulp science fiction.   By the 1970s, critics within the field, such as  Damon Knight and Terry Carr, were using "sci fi" to distinguish hack-work from serious science fiction.  Peter Nicholls writes that "SF" (or "sf") is "the preferred abbreviation within the community of sf writers and readers."  Robert Heinlein found even "science fiction" insufficient for certain types of works in this genre, and suggested the term speculative fiction to be used instead for those that are more "serious" or "thoughtful."
A person reading from a futuristic wraparound display screen
Science fiction elements can include, among others:
Temporal settings in the
future, or in alternative histories.  Spatial settings or scenes in
outer space, on other worlds, in subterranean earth, or in parallel universes.  Aspects of
biology in fiction such as aliens, mutants, and enhanced humans.   Speculative or predicted
technology such as brain-computer interface, bio-engineering, superintelligent computers, robots, and ray guns and other advanced weapons.   Undiscovered scientific possibilities such as
teleportation, time travel, and faster-than-light travel or communication.  New and different political and social systems and situations, including
Utopian, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, or post-scarcity. 
Future history and evolution of humans on Earth or on other planets.  Paranormal abilities such as mind control, telepathy, and telekinesis. 
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