The Technological History of Science Fiction

Over on Kirkus Reviews, I’ve got a new column up, The Technological History of Science Fiction. It’s a little different from my others, which focus on a specific topic, such as an author or a book (or publishing trend). This time, I’m looking back over the columns that I’ve written, because I’ve begun to realize that there’s a common thread that’s come out in how Science Fiction has developed over time.

Ask anyone about how to define science fiction, and you’ll come up with a bunch of answers. Based on the work that I’ve done here, I’m ready to offer one: science fiction as a literary genre emerged as a response to technological innovation and the societal changes that accompanied it, such as ethics, politics and so forth. This column puts together the rest in an attempt to make some sense of that, and support it.

I don’t think that this is revolutionary thinking on my part: I’ve seen similar definitions before, but not worded quite like that. No sources this time around, save for the other columns that I’ve written.