science fiction


science fiction

noun

: stories about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future

Full Definition of SCIENCE FICTION

:  fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component
sci·ence–fic·tion·al \ˈsī-ən(t)s-ˈfik-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of SCIENCE FICTION

  1. Time travel exists only in the realm of science fiction.

First Known Use of SCIENCE FICTION

1851

science fiction

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals, or more generally, literary fantasy including a scientific factor as an essential orienting component. Precursors of the genre include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726). From its beginnings in the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, it emerged as a self-conscious genre in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, founded in 1926. It came into its own as serious fiction in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction in the late 1930s and in works by such writers as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein. A great boom in popularity followed World War II, when numerous writers' approaches included predictions of future societies on Earth, analyses of the consequences of interstellar travel, and imaginative explorations of intelligent life in other worlds. Much recent fiction has been written in the “cyberpunk” genre, which deals with the effects of computers and artificial intelligence on anarchic future societies. Radio, film, and television have reinforced the popularity of the genre.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: science of language
Previous Word in the Dictionary: science fair
All Words Near: science fiction

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up science fiction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More