Outline of science fiction  

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A science fiction genre is a sub-category within the broader context of the science fiction genre as a whole. Science fiction may be divided along any number of overlapping axis. Gary K. Wolfe's Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy identifies over 30 definitions of SF, not including speculative fiction and science fantasy.




Genres concerning the emphasis, accuracy, and type of science described include:

  • Hard science fiction - a particular emphasis on scientific detail and/or accuracy
  • Soft science fiction - focus on human characters and their relations and feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws
  • Social science fiction - concerned less with technology and space opera and more with sociological speculation about human society


Themes related to science, technology, space and the future, as well as characteristic plots or settings include:


Genres concerning politics, philosophy, and identity movements include:


Genres concerning the historical era of creation and publication include:

  • Cyberpunk - noted for its focus on "high tech and low life" and taking its name from the combination of cybernetics and punk.
  • Golden Age of Science Fiction - a period of the 1940s during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published.
  • New Wave science fiction - characterised by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content.
  • Pulp science fiction
  • Scientific romance - an archaic name for what is now known as the science fiction genre, mostly associated with the early science fiction of the United Kingdom.


Genres that combine two different fiction genres or use a different fiction genre's mood or style include:

See also

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