Science fiction is a genre of fiction in which the stories
include science and technology of the future. It is
important to note that science fiction has a relationship with
the principles of science—these stories involve partially true-
partially fictitious laws or theories of science. It should not be
completely unbelievable, because it then ventures into the
The plot creates situations different from those of both the
present day and the known past. Science fiction texts also
include a human element, explaining what effect new
discoveries, happenings and scientific developments will have
on us in the future.
Science fiction texts are often set in the future, in space, on
a different world, or in a different universe or dimension.
Early pioneers of the genre of science fiction are H. G. Wells
(The War of the Worlds) and Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues
Under The Sea).
If you have extra time, view this short animated video of Ray Bradbury's The Pedestrian about a future world where everyone stays indoors watching screens, and to walk around outside for no reason is considered odd behavior. Is this far from our current world? I wonder...
Directions For This Cafe Station:
Madeleine L'Engle is the author of many science fiction/fantasy youth novels. At this café station you will learn about the characteristics and nature of the science fiction genre.
Work in pairs and follow these directions below to read and view videos to learn about the science fiction genre and extend your learning by completing the described activity.
1. On the iPad mini, open up Safari. Click the open book icon (Bookmarks).
2. Click the bookmark labeled Science Fiction.
3. Read the What is Science Fiction? box.
4. View the first 4 minutes of the PBS Science Fiction video and then STOP the video.
ACTIVITY: Think about what your life might be like 30 years from now - identify a scientific or technical capability we don't have now, but that COULD be possible in 30 years, given our current knowledge of science and technology. How might you include that capability in a science fiction story? Look at the back of the green sheet. Use these questions to help expand your thinking before you decide on a capability.
Be creative, but remember that your idea must be grounded in science. Consider cloning, robotics, travel, mobile devices, how we get our information, or any other scientific or technical area. Use the nonfiction science/technology books at your table or the website links in the Science and Technology Topics box to help you generate ideas based on current science and technology.
6. (If you have extra time) Browse the summary (inside front cover or back of book) of one of the science fiction books on your table. Identify a characteristic of the story that makes it science fiction and share with your partner.