#8 Speculative Fiction Vs. Science Fiction
Today on The Film Podcast, Matthew and Kierston skim the surface on one of the most popular, complex, and intense genres in media. What exactly is speculative fiction and science fiction? What purpose do these genres play in our society? Kierston and Matthew take on a huge topic and break down what it means in media.
- Science fiction and Speculative fiction could each be their own podcast and one day they might be, but let’s just skim the surface for today with what they are and the differences. Science Fiction can be difficult to define and it is often considered a genre within speculative fiction, however Isaac Asimov was reported to have said “ Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature that deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology.” Key characteristics of science fiction often include a society which is utterly altered by changes in science, technology, and automatism. People or their society are now almost unrecognizable to today because of the changes technology has had on them.
- Spec-fi, however, is a wider umbrella genre that includes science fiction but taps into more possible sub genres not limited to science. Fantasy, supernatural, they call all fall under Spec-fi. But the idea behind spec-fi is to put our world as more or less the same as it is now- with one or two massive key differences.
- To distill it down and slightly oversimplify it: Spec-Fiction could happen today If… and; Science-Fiction might happen someday If…
- GENERAL EXAMPLE: Science-Fiction: Metropolis (1927- Fritz Lang), The Jetsons, you can even make a case for Futurama. Spec-Fiction: George Orwell’s Classic 1984 or X-Men.
Why it is used: the amazing thing about good spec and sci-fi, is that at their core, they are here to tell a story about our real world- through the lens of something fantastical- either scientifically possible, plausible or absurd.
- If you want to make a commentary on violence in our society and how it affect us as a population- but don’t want to come under fire for criticizing the world you actively live within- set up your story is a world already overrun by violent technology that has caused the world to collapses. We haven’t collapsed as a society, so we are NOT them, we can watch there story, learn from it, and alter our own thoughts about our world by having it’s influence from a safe distance.
- If you want to talk about society’s dependancy on technology and how it relates to social status- but you don’t want to horrify them into throwing away their iphones- set the piece safely in another reality that is JUST different enough to be distant- but familiar.