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ENVIRONMENTAL SCI-FI

Environmental subgenre tales focus on the ecosystem, usually but not always our Earth's. Often there is a direct threat, caused by humanity or some outside force. Though this subgenre is based on plausible or potentially real world scenarios, Hollywood often busts out of the fence with exaggerated or ludicrous circumstances.

Roland Emmerich's feature film The Day After Tomorrow adapted loosely from Bell and Strieber's book The Coming Global Superstorm is a pretty good example.



EROTICA SCI-FI
Science fiction stories containing a strong element of erotica


Explicit sex might be at the center of the plot, or it plays a vivid role in the character's lives. Norman Spinrad's novel The Void Captain's Tale combines these and other SF elements.

In the 60's, the Sex Revolution permeated all media, even sci-fi film got into the act with Barbarella starring Jane Fonda. Set in the 41st century, Barbarella ventures through a series of sexual escapades including a bizarre encounter with a sex machine and seduces an angel.




References and Excerpts:
cuebon.com
editorialdepartment.com
fictionfactor.com
techrepublic.com
wikipedia.org
worldswithoutend.com
writing-world.com






SCI-FI SUBGENRES - E



EDISONADE SCI-FI

Edisonade is a subgenre that was named retroactively, and it dates back to the nineteenth century. As the name Edison suggests, they center upon the adventures of some brilliant young inventor.

In cinema, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (George Pal's 1960 and Simon Wells' 2002 versions) fits this model to a T with the main character, Alexander Hartdegen, a genius level young inventor who is obsessed with the discovery of invention and pitied or scorned by the people around him. It goes without saying what his star invention is.

The best known literature example would be Victor Appleton's Tom Swift stories.



EXOTIC ECOSYSTEMS SCI-FI

Alien worlds offer tremendous possibilities, yet much SF populates them with familiar humanoids. Robert Reed's novels, such as his The Remarkables, depict truly alien beings and environments; as does Ursula LeGuin's novella "The Word for World is Forest."

James Cameron's newly acclaimed box office king Avatar may have an environment and creatures that somewhat resemble Earth, but it probably fits the subgenre's title Exotic Ecosystems more accurately than any other film with it's neon jungles and floating mountains.

Also the planet in the 1972 and 2002 versions of Solaris is certainly alien to our world with a global covering ocean that has the ability of mental thought.



EXTRATERRESTRIAL SCI-FI
The very discovery of life beyond the Earth


Extraterrestrial Life is a huge subgenre, almost a descriptive category. In many of these tales, or even just its signals or ancient artifacts, has a tremendous impact upon current society. Carl Sagan's novel and movie Contact are excellent examples. Jack McDevitt's novel The Hercules Text is another.

SUB-SETS

ALIENS SCI-FI: Other-worldly creatures from outer space or other planets. Possibly the first novel about aliens visiting Earth was "Micromegas", by Voltaire (1750), in which two giants from other worlds come to Earth to humble our primitive mental capacities.

ALIEN INVASION SCI-FI: Alien Invasion stories are self-explanatory and the target is usually, but not always, our Earth. It is a common theme in science fiction stories and film, in which a technologically-superior extraterrestrial society invades Earth.

Either with the intent to replace human life, or to enslave it under a colonial system (as in John Travolta's film Battlefield Earth), or in some cases, to use humans as food.

The classic of this subgenre is H.G. Well's War of the Worlds, which has been presented in radio by Orson Welles' in 1938, the 1951 feature film classic, and Stephen Spielberg's film version.

Niven and Pournelle's novel Footfall is a well-thought-out example. The film Independence Day, by Roland Emmerich, has become a cultural milestone.

ASTROBIOLOGY SCI-FI: Astrobiology centers upon alien life. Not necessarily intelligent or technological beings, but the very presence of life that has evolved beyond our Earth.

Many such tales involve finding mysterious life forms on Mars or Europa, or floating in the atmosphere of Jupiter. An oft-quoted example is Arthur C. Clarke's short story "A Meeting With Medusa."

ASTROSOCIOBIOLOGY SCI-FI: Astrosociobiology is an interstitial subgenre that's both narrow and broad. It focuses on the form and function of alien (non-human) civilizations. There are countless examples.

CJ Cherryh's "Chanur" novels explore the psychology of a spacefaring feline race. (Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for, in part, airing such speculations.)

FIRST CONTACT / ENCOUNTERS SCI-FI: Explores the initial meeting between humans and aliens or, more broadly, of any sentient race's first encounter with another one. First contact ranges from horrific tales of invasions to stories of benign visitors bearing the secrets of advanced technologies and world peace.

This could be an alien arriving here, in space, or a human astronaut reaching, or on another planet. There are hundreds of examples in print and film. A precise example of first contact in cinema is Star Trek's eighth feature film First Contact.

MICROBIOLOGICAL SCI-FI: Microbiological stories feature tiny life-forms, whether Earthly or alien, as a dominating force. They might cause a disease, or act as a transforming agent, deliberately or not. Greg Bear's novel Blood Music is a good example.

Janine Ellen Young's novel The Bridge is another. A film example would be The Andromeda Strain 1971, a group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.









SCI-FI SUB-GENRES - F > > >




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