Basis of Science Fiction (03:22)
Science fiction doesn't predict. It prepares the reader for the future. Science fiction and time travel deals with controlling the environment and the effect the past has on the present.
Science Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s (05:20)
Science fiction's first mass audience came from the pulp magazines of the 1920s with stories of time travel and the world to come. An innocent world view ends in the 1940s science fiction.
Science Fiction of the 1940s (01:48)
Robots battle for supremacy in 1940s science fiction. Isaac Asimov creates valiant robots and "Forbidden Planet's" robot is a trustworthy character. It is the golden age with serious writers.
Science Fiction of the 1950s (05:00)
The 1950s robots became more complex. Phillip K. Dick is the prime writer of the decade. There is less optimism of science and more fear of nuclear war. It is a world of change.
Science Fiction of the 1960s (03:35)
The "new wave" science fiction mixes imagery and real world. "Star Trek" expands the genre into the visual media. Women writers emerge to reach wider audiences and explore feminist issues.
Science Fiction of the 1970s (01:47)
Science fiction stories are set on earth after the cancellation of the space program. The fear of technology intensified during this time. The role of the genre was as insulator for future shock.
Final Frontier: Theme in Science Fiction (05:10)
Searching for the final frontier began with the 1950s movies, which relied on scientific expertise, allegory, and the classics. "Forbidden Planet" is based on Shakespeare’s "The Tempest."
Special Effects vs. Scientific Accuracy (05:11)
True science fiction relies on scientific accuracy, not special effects. Stanley Kubrick proves this with "2001: A Space Odyssey." Lucas produces the classic space epic with "Star Wars."
Obssession With Invasion (04:20)
The 1950s science fiction is obsessed with invasion. The movies are more horror than science fiction. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Andromeda Strain" are exceptions.
Monsters in Science Fiction (05:15)
Monsters are largely absent in 1960s and 1970s science fiction films. "Dark Star" tries comedy. The creature of “Alien” is metaphorical and multi-layered.
New Literary Form: Cyberpunk (03:14)
In 1984 William Gibson creates "cyberpunk" with streetwise heroes. He puts the disturbing things of the real world into his books. This style’s theme is that the future will be horrible.
Virtual Reality and Science Fiction (02:16)
The visual counterpart to cyberpunk is virtual reality and interactive technology. "Ecophoria" is the prime example. Computer create a new mythology and form of storytelling.
Science Fiction's Future (02:56)
People from all walks of life enjoy science fiction. The many types include social satire, comic science fiction, visual surreal, utopian, etc. Science fiction embraces the whole of humanity.
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