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List of science fiction themes: Wikis


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Science fiction is a broad genre of fiction that often involves speculations based on current or future science or technology. Science fiction is found in books, art, television, films, games, theatre, and other media. In organizational or marketing contexts, science fiction can be synonymous with the broader definition of speculative fiction, encompassing creative works incorporating imaginative elements not found in contemporary reality; this includes fantasy, horror, and related genres.[1]

Science fiction differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation). Exploring the consequences of such differences is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas". Many Science fiction media types are multi-generic, including aspects of other genres for example; action, adventure, horror ect.[2] Science fiction is largely based on writing entertainingly and rationally about alternate possibilities[3] in settings that are contrary to known reality.

These may include:

  • A setting in the future, in alternative time lines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archeological record
  • A setting in outer space, on other worlds, or involving aliens[4]
  • Stories that involve technology or scientific principles that contradict known laws of nature[5]
  • Stories that involve discovery or application of new scientific principles, such as time travel or psionics, or new technology, such as nanotechnology, faster-than-light travel or robots, or of new and different political or social systems[6]

This article lists themes noted by critical commentators as being common to SF, and motifs that are often included in science fiction works.

Common themes and tropes





Alternative societies[8]

Political structures[8]

Body and mind alterations

Possible futures



High Technologies[14]

Types of beings


  1. ^ N. E. Lilly (2002-03). "What is Speculative Fiction?". Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  2. ^ Marg Gilks, Paula Fleming and Moira Allen (2003). "Science Fiction: The Literature of Ideas". 
  3. ^ Del Rey, Lester (1979). The World of Science Fiction: 1926-1976. Ballantine Books. pp. 5. ISBN 0-345-25452-x. 
  4. ^ Sterling, Bruce. "Science fiction" in Encyclopædia Britannica 2008 [1]
  5. ^ Card, Scott (1990). How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. Writer's Digest Books. pp. 17. ISBN 0-89879-416-1. 
  6. ^ Hartwell, David G. (1996). Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction. Tor Books. pp. 109-131. ISBN 0-312-86235-0. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ s
  11. ^ Issac Asimov's planet Trantor was nearly entirely domed(See Wikipedia's Trantor entry)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^


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