What is a Science Fiction Novel

What is a science fiction novel? This is a question for which knowing the answer will open doors to a new world of fiction for you as a reader. There are different types of fiction available for anyone’s perusal in today’s world. Science fiction is one of the many genres of fiction such as drama, fantasy, thriller, horror, etc. Just as each of these genres present a different experience to its readers, science fiction also captures the attention of the reader with what it has to offer.

Definition of Science Fiction Novel

As we all know, fiction is those stories created by the complete imagination of the writer. These stories speak about make believe characters and incidents. Science fiction is such a story based on imagination. However, science fiction differs from other types of fiction because of one reason. In the imaginary world the topics this science fiction deals with is based on scientific subjects such as future technology, future science, extraterrestrial life, time travelling, space travelling, etc. Parallel universes are also a very popular and savory topic in the field of science fiction. So, a novel that uses one of these topics and weaves its story in such a setting is known as a science fiction novel. Nowadays, the word sci-fi is used to refer to science fiction. It is the short form of the word science fiction.

The science fiction world is again divided into two main categories as Hard Science Fiction and Soft Science Fiction. Hard science fiction is the work that gives attention to clearly and precisely stating the facts of natural sciences. This category includes writer who are working scientists in the real world such as David Brin and Robert L. Forward. Then, soft science fiction category describes work that is based on social sciences such as anthropology, psychology, economics, etc. Ray Bradbury is an author who falls under this category of soft science fiction.

Science fiction authors

There are a number of science fiction authors who have contributed to the development of this field. From among them there are a few whose names are popular throughout the world. Some of them are Arthur C. Clarke, Jules Verne, and Isaac Asimov. The stories of Arthur C. Clarke were mostly focused on space travel. He vividly spoke about visiting different planets. His most famous work is the Odyssey series. This series include four novels. They are, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey. They speak about different experiences met by astronauts. They have the presence of robots, artificial intelligence and even aliens. His books have even been made into films.

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Jules Verne is another notable science fiction writer. His work is so popular and inspiring that people even use the words ‘the father of science fiction’ to refer to him. His most famous books include Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the World, From the Moon to the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and the Mysterious Island. The character of Captain Nemo in the story of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea is very famous. Even the story, the way it describes how this wonderful and mysterious captain lives with his crew in a submarine is very beautiful even in the 21st century. The book was written at a time when submarines were not so advanced vessels. However, since Verne’s submarine description of Nemo’s Nautilus (the name of Nemo’s submarine) remained true even when the submarines developed, this is considered as Verne’s most remarkable work as a science fiction.

Isaac Asimov dealt in a whole new level of science fiction novels. His main focus was not space travelling or travelling in futuristic vessels. His main focus was robots. His books are still embraced by people because they are beautiful and very much futuristic when it comes to robotics. His short story I, Robot was made into a film.

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Science fiction is a sub genre of fiction. Science fiction novels speak of themes related to science such as space travel, time travel, robots, etc. Science fiction is mainly divided into two main categories as hard science fiction and soft science fiction. Notable science fiction writers are Arthur C. Clarke, Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov.



Images Courtesy:

  1. Sir Arthur C. Clarke  via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Isaac Asimov stories by CHRIS DRUMM (CC BY 2.0

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