As a writer of science fiction I am often asked what is real scifi. The answer is: it depends. Science Fiction has adapted and evolved over time. One of the first science fiction stories was Frankenstein by Mary Shelly–now commonly thought of as horror. As the age of the Comic book invaded the minds of young adults science fiction took a drastic turn.
The scifi of today would not have been possible without the aid of the comic book. Superheros such as Superman, Green Lauren, and Iron Man directed many writers into a new age of fiction. So, what is science fiction? Should it be allowed inside the Western Cannon?
One of the best science fiction TV shows since 1963 is Doctor Who. This beloved British television series began in the 60s and has continued on passing the role of the alien Time Lord to over 13 actors. The show depicts the adventures of an alien called “The Doctor” who can travel through space and time with the aid of his space ship the Tardis.
Doctor Who combines time travel and alien life in a perfect way allowing for an infinite amount of adventures. The main character, The Doctor, can regenerate his body 12 times in order to save himself from dying. But, is Doctor Who really science fiction?
When the genre was first defined the term science fiction was not heard of. But the idea, or earliest form of the genre, would refer to any type of fiction which had hard scientific elements such as gadgets or theories.
Star Trek another TV show that aired during the 60s turned America’s world upside down. Star Trek brought a new perspective and a new story to the households of the average American. The unique story that was told by Captain Kirk on his voyage into space made millions of people wonder what was really out there in the dark sky. The Enterprise carried a crew of scientist and explores which visited several alien planets and encountered marvels.
Even though many of the logic in Star Trek has been proven wrong, the show did make up several theories and ideas which scientists today have proven true.
So what is real science fiction?
The Hunger Games and Divergent have changed the common definition of science fiction with the revival of the Dystopain world. Most people when asked “what is science fiction?” often refer to Doctor Who, Star Trek, or anything that has to do with space travel or aliens. Even though there are several novels and films that have depicted dystopian worlds, in the last three years the idea has been reawakened. Katniss Everdeen lives in a world where justice doesn’t exist and where children are forced to kill each other for a minorities entertainment. In Divergent every human being is forced to be apart of a category–a label with a limited ability to preform free will.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine, we began to debate about the whole Divergent vs The Hunger Games argument. He referenced 1984 by George Orwell in defense for Divergent when I argued the logic behind the book and film were unrealistic. However, as the debate finished we both agreed on something–it doesn’t matter if the logic doesn’t makes sense. To some degree it does matter in the fact that the story, in the story’s universe, it needs to make sense. Divergent presented many problems logically to me because the human brain is way to complex and in reality every single human being would be divergent or at least more than 80%. This made me question what real science fiction was. In reality science fiction is just about the science, there is obviously an element of fantasy and fiction which creates new and a variety of stories. Science Fiction is simply the use of a scientific element, period.