What is the Science Fiction profile?

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THE SCI-FI PROFILE

This Science Fiction community is an Ambassador-managed profile that aims to be the main hub for exciting new Sci-Fi stories, information about famous Science Fiction authors, badass contests and challenges and of course, the chance to be featured in one of our anthologies or reading lists.

Does it look like your cup of coffee? You are at the right place then, do read on.

WHAT IS SCIENCE FICTION?

Dubbed the "literature of ideas," Science Fiction deals with futuristic concepts such as parallel universes, space exploration, time traveling, extraterrestrial life, fictional and advanced technology. The genre aims to answer questions in ways no one has ever thought with eccentric yet amazing storylines that will have you shook.

"Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible."

- Ray Bradbury

Immediately we can slap in a literary disclaimer and say Science Fiction (SciFi for short) is a tremendously broad genre with one foot in Hard SciFi, another in Cyberpunk, yet another in Space Opera, and many more feet in many other wonderful sub-genres. Given the number of feet mentioned this is probably an alien species, or a sentient centipede.

But what makes SciFi distinct from Fantasy? This is an argument which rages across SciFi forums throughout the multiverse, with people drinking copious amounts of coffee and arguing through the night with folk in different timezones.

Purists may argue only Hard SciFi is the true form, and that Space Opera (Star Wars, for example) is nothing but Fantasy. Some hardcore fans scream and rant at the broadness of the rubric that is SciFi, and maybe they're right to do so. Or maybe they're wrong, and in some realities they may well be both. Wattpad's Science Fiction profile intentionally welcomes more Science Fiction and not less. We happily read everything from superhero stories to tales of inhabited trees shaped liked integer signs (bonus wookie to anyone who gets the reference).

Science Fiction was born of fantasy, and now sub-genres such as steampunk are the progeny of SciFi. Who's to say in twenty years time whether steampunk, for example, will be an established genre in its own right or simply a fad that's died out. In an infinite universe anything is possible after all, but we personally like to take the broader view and celebrate the wonderful diversity of what is a fantastically imaginative and constantly evolving genre.

So, what is Science Fiction? Asimov himself went to great lengths in some of his non-fiction works to explain the overlaps in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and how both genres borrowed from each other, but his simple rule of thumb is the following:

"If a story is set in a universe that follows the same rules as ours, it's science fiction. If it's set in a universe that doesn't follow our rules, it's fantasy.

Or, in other words, science fiction is about what could be, but isn't; fantasy is about what couldn't be."

And yes, that may well categorize things like Star Wars as "fantasy," or Space Opera if you prefer, but rules change, too, and the blurring of the lines between genres is something which is far more common now than it used to be. Or is it simply now that there are more lines to blur?

Ultimately, the best way to find out what science fiction is all about is by reading as much of it as you can get hold of. Study it, enjoy it, then get out there and write it but carry on reading it too as you cannot be a writer unless you read.

One of the wonderful things about writing in any genre is the continual evolution of that genre. Thus, as time progresses, rules get broken, added to or simply ignored, and science fiction constantly changes. Science Fiction is changing faster than most, and this is why it's such an exciting genre to be involved with.

So, here we are. I hope you enjoy what follows, and please feel free to comment as we love feedback. But please don't reply in Klingon as it's a language which involves far too much expectorating, and we've just cleaned the windows.

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