A Definition Of What Science Fiction Is In The 20th Century,

1180 words - 5 pages

The rapid pace of technology and the advancement of scientific understanding in the past one hundred years are at the backbone for the distinctly twentieth century genre -- science fiction. Such rapid advancement in these fields of technology have opened up literally worlds of possibilities for the future. One hundred years ago the possibility of simply flying from city to city may have seemed nothing more than a distant futuristic dream to most. While a mere sixty years later the impossible was achieved -- a human being on the moon. Since technology has brought as much change as it has in the past one hundred years the next hundred should be entirely incomprehendable to us. Who knows what to expect? 'The modern discoveries and applications of Science throw deeply into the shade the old romances and fanciful legends of our boyhood' (James 8) observes James. Technology has made what was once thought impossible, plausible and weather or not technology is directly incorporated into a science fiction story as an obvious vehicle, the author knows that it is always present in the mind of the reader. It is this plausablilty of what conventionally should not be acceptable that has led to science fiction's increasing popularity over the years. As James explains, 'much sf is concerned with the future and with the possibilities presented by scientific and technological change' (James 3). Truly, humans exploring and even colonizing other worlds, the plot of many a science fiction novel, has to many become inevitable. The successful series of Apollo moon landings in the 1960's and the knowledge that we already possess the technology to send humans to other worlds leads many to believe that it is only a matter of time. Even such a notably respectable news source as Newsweek has detailed the future maned missions to Mars (September, 23 1996). When I look forward to the future I can hardly imagine the changes that will occur as a result of new discoveries in science and new technologies. With so many possibilities for the future, science fiction is able to capitalizes on this by showing the audience entirely new worlds and alternatives to our own.Technology presented in science fiction stories most commonly serves a very important role in the stories plausablilty to the audience. While this does not mean that technology is necessarily the focus of such stories it is often used as the vehicle for which such alternative and wonderous events occur. Without the advanced spaceship how could the Segnauts have gotten to the planet Zorgon and defeated the evil empire? In 2064, or Thereabouts by David R. Bunch, the robotic men and the mechanical world play a secondary role to the importance of the human traits these half man half machines possess. Despite the fact that these people have become converted into a part robot for increased strength and, apparently, longer life the mind still searches for something that technology apparently has not solved -- the meaning of...

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