Techno-thriller  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Techno-thrillers (or technothrillers) are a hybrid genre, drawing subject matter generally from spy thrillers, war novels, and science fiction. They include a disproportionate amount (relative to other genres) of technical detail on its subject matter (typically military technology); only science fiction tends towards a comparable level of supporting detail on the technical side. The inner workings of technology and the mechanics of various disciplines (espionage, martial arts, politics) are thoroughly explored, and the plot often turns on the particulars of that exploration.

Techno-thrillers tend to have a broad scope in the narrative, and can often be regarded as contemporary speculative fiction—world wars are a common topic—and techno-thrillers often overlap, as far as the genre goes, with near-future science fiction. To the extent that technology is now a dominant aspect of modern global culture, most modern thrillers are 'techno-thrillers', and the genre is somewhat diffuse. The category of technothriller blurs smoothly into the category of hard science fiction; the defining characteristics of technothriller are an emphasis on real-world or plausible near-future technology and a focus on military or military-political action.

Michael Crichton is considered as the father of the "modern techno-thriller;" his book The Andromeda Strain set out the type example which defined the genre, although many authors had been writing similar material earlier. Nigel Balchin wrote earlier examples of similar stories during the 1940s. Other early examples of techno-thriller, written before the category had been well defined as a subgenre, include Fail-Safe (1962) by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, The Penetrators (1965) by Hank Searls (writing as Anthony Grey); Tree Frog by Martin Woodhouse (1966), North Cape (1969) by Joe Poyer, and Firefox by Craig Thomas' (1977), later made into a movie, and Shuttle Down, by G. Harry Stine (writing as Lee Correy) (1981).

Significant techno-thriller authors and works




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Techno-thriller" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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