Topics of the science fiction
One of the most notable characteristics of the Science-fiction is that it is made up broad recurrent themes which form a kind of common culture. Certain topics exist since the origins of the SF and continue to be very current, for example the voyage in space, the Voyage in time, the extraterrestrial life, the Robot S etc Of others, on the other hand, fall sometimes temporarily in disuse (the Surhomme, end of humanity) while new topics appear and permanently come to enrich the universe in evolution by the SF (the Cyberespace, genetic modifications). There exist broad major topics (the revolt of the machines, the parallel universes) and secondary topics which are used as elements of decoration with a general history (the space elevator, the solar veil). Within this collective universe, the author of science fiction draw permanently, unceasingly enriching the ideas by their predecessors and the pool.
Space explorationThe exploration of the Earth being finished, and the terrestrial regions thus having lost of their exoticism, the science fiction opened new opportunities with the accounts of adventure.
The adventures could change scale, passing from people with civilizations, of wild beasts with races extraterestres, ships with spaceships, hostile jungle with unknown constellations. An good example is the work of Jules Verne.
This adventure can be used to emphasize qualities of the characters. The adventure also makes it possible to oppose values métaphoriquement. An good example is the fight between the good and the evil put in scene in Star Wars.
Planet colonizations return to the American myth of the Conquête of the West.
The otherThe meetings and relationship with others make it possible to wonder about the specificity of the mankind. Descriptions of the Other draw up into negative a portrait of the man. The set of themes of the other also makes it possible to put in scene the difficulties of communication between different people, the phenomenon of fear or racism. This topic was also approached in the Fantastique with for example Horla of Maupassant.
Races aliensThe race can be originating in another planet or live on Earth. The species can be completely imaginary or a terrestrial species having evolved/moved as monkeys in the the Planet of the monkeys of Pierre Boulle, or dogs in Demain the dogs of Clifford D. Simak. The meeting can be done indirectly by the means of objects as in 2001, the odyssey of space of Stanley Kubrick. The race can be very different from the mankind like an ocean in Solaris of Stanislas Lem.
The conflicts between the mankind and extraterrestrial races were often used like metaphor of the all-out wars. The topic was particularly popular at the time of the Cold war or humanity was comparable with the free block. Other authors insisted on the destroying or aberrant side of the wars and or simply of the ideologies.
Robots and artificial intelligencesThe authors wonder about the place of the man compared to the machines which it created. It is basically different from them? This topic goes back to Frankenstein of Mary Shelley. It was particularly developed by Isaac Asimov in its collections on the robots of which I, Robot . Do the ambiguity of the distinction was accentuated with the Androide, in particular in works of Philip K. Dick such as Androïdes dream of electric sheep? .
RealityScience fiction often approached the set of themes of reality in particular Philip K. Dick. The Rêve of the fantastic accounts is replaced by unstable universes, changing or parallels. Good examples are Ubik of P.K. Dick and separation of Christopher Priest
Policy and companyThe ideologies pushed to the maximum, the influence of the State on the individuals is often studied in the form of Dystopie. The most famous examples are 1984 of George Orwell, Brave New World of Aldous Huxley and Fahrenheit 451 of Ray Bradbury.
The SF also abounds in accounts of destruction of the world such as the Forest of crystal of James Graham Ballard and in post-apocalytpic accounts such as Ravage of Rene Barjavel, Akira of Katsuhiro Ōtomo or the Planet of the monkeys of Pierre Boulle. These accounts can have an ecological dimension, of terror, to study the social and political, or psychological changes. This topic is close to that of the end of humanity.
Time and historyThe Uchronie S study what would have been the History if an historical event had been different. They make it possible to wonder about the evolution, the history or the characteristics of a company. The topic is present in the science fiction but the kind is former for him since it goes back to Histoire of Rome since its foundation of Tite-Live. The kind gave the traditional ones to the SF such as the Master of the High Castle of Dick, Roma Aeterna of Robert Silverberg or Rêve of iron of Norman Spinrad.
This topic is close to the parallel Univers S and the Steampunk.
The Voyage in time also makes it possible to question the history, but also the nature of time. The precursor is the Machine to explore time Wells. Many authors wondered about the temporal Paradoxe S which resulted from this such as Isaac Asimov in the End from Eternity and Poul Anderson in the Patrol from time .
The human oneThe modification of the man by science are often evoked. In particular the Cloning, the Eugenisme, modifications genetic, implants. They raise ethical questions and return to the concept of humanity.
Sur-homme and the capacities are popular topics in particular in the supermen of the American Comics. One studies the consequences of the increase in the human capacities, that it is the force, the intelligence, the psychic capacities, immortality… That raises in particular the questions of the responsibility, the capacity and the personality of a person different and thus misunderstood. A precursory work is the invisible Man of H.G. Wells. The set of themes was abordéé by Theodore Sturgeon in Cristal which thinks and more than human .
A contrario of sur-homme, of the authors show his unimportant place in the Universe, in particular Lovecraft.
The metamorphosis is a recurrent theme which draws its source in the Fantastique ( the Metamorphosis of Kafka, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Robert Louis Stevenson). The authors wonder about the difficulty in becoming different, defining its identity or becoming banal. An good example is flowers for Algernon of Daniel Keyes on acquisition then the loss of the intelligence by simple of spirit. Halfway between the set of themes of the metamorphosis and that of the super-capacities are the novel of Robert Silverberg the Internal ear on a thélépathe losing her exceptional capacity.
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