Science fiction is a genre of literature defined by its concern with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes or life on other planets. It has been called the “literature of ideas.” Science fiction is often a way for people to explore what might happen in the future when new scientific discoveries are made. Not surprisingly, many popular movies have been based off of famous sci fi books that predicted our future technologies. Here are just a few examples:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a part of science fiction that has become more and more popular in today’s world. There are now countless books, television shows, films, video games (including my personal favorite game series Mass Effect), comics etc., all about AI. Even Doritos has gotten into the act with their own commercial for this year’s Super Bowl.
The first examples of AI can be found in early science fiction literature, but it wasn’t until 1956 that an author created what is considered the “classic” form of modern-day AI; HAL 9000 from Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey . The goal for this type of artificial intelligence (AI) was to create a computer that could think, learn, sense its environment and communicate. Today’s AI are still inspired by the idea of HAL 9000 but they have come to take on different shapes and forms.
The more modern conception of Artificial Intelligence is found in films like The Terminator Series, where the main antagonists were artificially intelligent robots called Terminators who had achieved self-awareness and were actively fighting to wipe out the human race. In this film, humans are able to “win” against the machines when they destroy them by using a computer virus that makes all of their systems go haywire.
Another example of prediction is space exploration, which is a major theme in science fiction. For example, the television show Firefly takes place on an outer space ship named Serenity where humans have colonized other planets. The idea of living outside Earth’s atmosphere was first brought to light by H G Wells’ novel The First Men in the Moon. Since then, there has been an enormous amount of sci fi literature written about space travel, including classics like The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. There have also been many films that depict outer space exploration such as Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey .
And let’s not forget time traveling! Something else science fiction has brought to life. Although this concept was first introduced in H.G. Wells’ 1895 classic The Time Machine , it wasn’t until 1962 when an author named Ray Bradbury wrote the short story A Sound of Thunder that time travel was depicted with any sort of accuracy or recognition in literature and films. In this sci fi masterpiece, a group of people from the present go back to prehistoric times on Earth through a time machine. Once there, they accidentally kill a butterfly which alters the future in an unknown way.
Joanne Pion is a geeky girl who loves sci-fi. She’s been reading science fiction since she was nine years old and has always dreamed of being an author herself. In her free time, Joanne enjoys watching Doctor Who, playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends, and traveling the world to visit places that have inspired her favorite TV shows.