With this article I intend to break that barrier that many people maintain making science fiction literature, since most of them have a wrong image of it. Science fiction is not what they think it is. This word does not refer to that which is impossible to happen or unreal.
There are people who when they witness something fantastic or someone tells them something fancy use the phrase: “That’s science fiction, or that reads a lot of science fiction . ” When the unreal or the fantasy are completely opposite terms to science fiction. Today we have many examples that have shown us that science fiction, with the passage of time, can become reality. Most stories of this literary, cinematographic and visual genre are not so crazy if we think about it.
As a science man and science fiction writer, it bothers me that he gets confused with fantasy, something that happens a lot. This is a serious error, since the fantasy lacks that scientific background that must always have a science fiction story, so that logically it is cataloged within this genre. And how do these confusions normally occur? When sometimes it is said that The Lord of the rings , or Game of Thrones is science fiction. Where are the scientific concepts in these stories? I’ve heard this many times. Even television itself is the first to confuse us, selling us certain series as science fiction when they are not. Do you sell more on the screen? The truth, I do not know why. I only know what happens.
With this I do not mean that science fiction is better or worse than fantasy. Only that we should be clear, what is science fiction.
The writers of science fiction are visionaries. Normally the writer who writes science fiction imagines its history from the scientific advances that we have today, or those that predict or believe that they will exist in the future. In fact, most science fiction stories are recreated in hypothetical futures.
Space travel, lost planets, disasters on Earth, robots, super advanced technology … Futures that, from our society, from our comfort zone, we contemplate very distant or impossible. But despite this, some of these concepts could become reality given the technological and social path through which we grow. Science continues to move forward and new spaceships, robots and technology that we could not understand today will certainly develop.
The writer and disseminator Arthur C Clarke quoted: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Many people see science fiction stories as mere entertainment. And although they are, science fiction contains something else. Personally I think that science fiction is important in our lives for two reasons:
1 / Because it opens our mind. Sometimes you yourself would never get to ask certain questions if they do not come from outside. In this case, science fiction makes us rethink where everything that is happening now will come, we want to achieve it as a society, our interests, our cosmic environment, even our origins and our reason for existing.
2 / You can discover parts of our future before they happen. What’s more, he has done it many times in the past. That’s why when we read a science fiction book, or see a movie, we may be seeing parts of that future that will be fulfilled without knowing it.
Some writers of antiquity wrote about things that did not exist in their time, and today they exist. That means that, or they envisioned the future as good observers of their present, who understood our future needs as a society, wrote them and the natural course of evolution and our technology caused them to be invented. Or the option that I like the most. That some scientists have been inspired by the science fiction novels of yesteryear to invent our present.
Undoubtedly, either of these two conclusions is surprising.
For example, Jules Verne considered the father of science fiction, was the writer who has made the most success in future predictions recreated in his novels. It could be said that this is why he has been one of the most successful prophets in the history of mankind. It could be considered that way.
Verne anticipated more than a century before the first trip to the Moon, or the invention of fax. He predicted that the great cities of the future would be illuminated by powerful electric lights. He spoke of a system equivalent to the current email. In 1870 he created the Nautilus , long before the United States built the first submarine in 1955. Even in the year 1863, in his book entitled “Paris in the twentieth century” he wrote about a few things that we see today. the most common, but in their time were unimaginable: The railroad, videoconferences, the helicopter, cars without horses moved by an invisible force, a global communications network similar to a global telegraph (internet) and many other things.
At this point, I think you’ll agree with me, that science fiction writers are inventors. With their letters and imagination they create things to entertain their readers, and subconsciously to make the world better, or solve aspects of our life in the future, more or less distant.
Subgenres of science fiction
Science fiction also has subgenres to more accurately classify each story according to the themes they entail. A science fiction story can belong to the genre Biopunk, post-apocalyptic science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, steampunk, space colonization, robotics, retrofuturism, uchronia and time travel.Several elements of different subgenres can be easily mixed in the same story, since within science fiction it would be, even complicated, to devise a plot that only belonged to one of these subgenres. And at the same time, we can classify any science fiction story corresponding to these subgenres that we have named, in two other subgenres of science fiction (more extensive):Hard and soft science fiction .
Hard science fiction contains data and considerable scientific rigor, while soft science fiction overlooks this to focus more on scenarios, relationships between characters and feelings. although science fiction remains in the background.
Cinema, literature and comics are the three means of expression of this genre par excellence, with its own rules, laws and languages. Although one does not go to the movies, read a novel or comic to learn physics, one could say that writers, scriptwriters and directors, use these means to help the citizen understand and better assimilate the science and technology with which we live or we will live
Summing up: Science fiction shows us possible futures. Also impossible. It is a way to answer the question: What would happen if …? Science fiction helps us to better understand our direction, our life and society. It serves as entertainment, helps us to dream, stimulates curiosity and awakens the imagination. It makes us nonconformists, something that I think is good. It moves us to the investigation of the unknown and to the search for explanations, the same attitudes that are at the origin of science.