Game Development Reference
Science fiction can often be emotionally cold and unforgiving. Whether this
comes from the environment so often playing a role in sci-fi stories or the other
way around, it is true. The emotion present in a fantasy story is replaced with
In science fiction, there is often a scientific (or pseudo-scientific) explanation
for events. All these events are perceived to be somewhat beyond the control
of the protagonists, so there is a man-versus-environment feeling to the stories.
In fact, in detective science fiction, the plot is often about the uncovering of
that plausible explanation which roots the story.
Philosophy is a viable topic in sci-fi. The stories may deal with the clash
between, say, science and superstition, progress and the status quo. What
should we do to solve our problems? Since sci-fi is often analytical, paths for
all of us are presented, wrangled with, and argued over. Science fiction often
posits to what may happen in the future, so at stake is nothing less than our
future. “If we don't turn away, this is where we might end up.” With our
children's future up for grabs, the stakes are very high indeed, and arguments
get heated. Fantasy, being the past, can certainly teach us lessons, lessons we
might need to learn yet again, but those people in that fantasy story lived their
lives; we have yet to live ours.
While fantasy deals with, “What should I do?” science fiction worries about
what should we (read here humankind) do?
Science fiction often deals with the many as opposed to the individual .In
Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, the story centers on mankind's advance-
ments, extrapolating at great length on how mankind grows its galactic em-
pire so large that we lose touch with our history. The scale of that story is
Sci-fi worries about how things happen, rather than why. How does society
go off the tracks when Star Trek -like teleportation actually works? In Larry
Niven's Known Space series, he wrestles with this idea, positing that if the
world were covered with teleportation booths, not only would you be able to
commute anywhere you wanted (one obvious fallout), but when an interesting
event was taking place, people from all over the world would instantaneously
flock to that event, creating riots. That's science fiction at its best, extrapolating
a societal change from a technological change.
Science fiction, especially through the “robot” and “artificial intelligence” mo-
tifs, can neuter much of the potential for sexuality. Because in part futuris-
tic worlds are portrayed as “without emotion” or “sterile,” romance and sex
don't work as well and appear more rarely. It is hard to be concerned about