Fiction Book Genres – What Is Science Fiction

Genre. Now that’s a fun word to say. Genre.
Do you know what a genre is? A genre is a category. When you like movies, you don’t
always like every kind — or every genre — of movie. You might love comedy movies, but not
the scary ones. Those are two different types, or genres, of movie. We put other things into
genres. We might split our building sets into different categories, like, say, I don’t
know, Space, Castle, or City. Books work the same way. Most chapter books are part of a
large genre called “fiction,” which just means those books tell a story that came from
the author’s imagination. But fiction alone doesn’t give us many details about what’s
in the book. So we can divide books up into more specific fiction genres. Harry Potter
and Charlotte’s Web are both fiction books, but they have very different settings and
characters. So we put them into different fiction genres. Let’s talk about one specific
fiction genre right now. You know those books that have spaceships
and robots and aliens and time travel … stuff like that? We call those kinds of stories
“Science Fiction”, or SCI-FI, for short. Science fiction, like most fiction, tells
a story that came from the author’s imagination. But what makes it different from other kinds
of fiction? Science fiction contains unreal things that
could be real in our world in the future. The unreal things in science fiction could
be those amazing spaceships or robots or aliens or time machines or any other kind of technology
or discovery that just maybe possibly could happen. A lot of imagination goes into writing
science fiction and building a world of possibilities. That’s why it’s so fun to read. Science
fiction often explores what happens when things go wrong with these tools or advancements.
It’s cool to build rockets and explore outer space, but what if the aliens we meet aren’t
so friendly? Sci fi can help us think about the many different outcomes of our actions. Most science fiction takes place in the real
world, or at least in a world with similar rules to ours. Sci-fi books have amazing,
inventive things in them, but those things play by the rules of our world, of what we
know and really experience. In other words, cool stuff happens because of science, not
magic. If someone can turn invisible in a science fiction book, it’s because they
built a light-refracting hologram projection device, and not because they drank an enchanted
potion. Science fiction is typically set in the future.
Now the future might be the next century, or the next day, but in the imagined future,
there is a technology or scientific discovery that makes things possible that would be impossible
in the present. Of course, some science fiction can be set in the present, in an alternative
but familiar world. There are even subgenres of sci fi set in the past, such as steampunk,
where advanced technologies are imagined to exist in a time before electricity. When you
get into genre study, you have to remember that there’s always an exception to every
rule. Genres get mixed and remixed all the time, and that makes it fun. So that’s science fiction. It’s full of
unreal things that could be real in our world or a similar world in the near or distant
future. Sci fi authors write about what if and what could be, and that helps us think
about what’s happening right now and how our choices affect the future and the world.
And the elseworlds beyond the multiverse. Yeah, that’s the kind of stuff you’re
read in science fiction, so get used to it. It’s awesome.

53 thoughts on “Fiction Book Genres – What Is Science Fiction

  1. I am an elementary library media specialist. This video works so well with my students! I wish there was one for every genre I teach them about!!

  2. I'm a school library about to teach genre for the next month – this is fantastic! PLEASE continue to make more in the series. 🙂

  3. Love this for my 5th graders.  Please keep making them for the other Genres!  This one was a big hit!!!

  4. Unfortunately, I see more and more "Sci-Fi" stories being written like literary fiction with small hints of science. I see this especially in contests. And don't get me wrong, these stories usually have well written voices and descriptions, but also have no interesting plot. Sometimes, I see these contest winners barely being Sci-Fi—barely having the robots and aliens and spaceships in the plot. This frustrates the hell out of me. I'd prefer Sci-Fi to be more plot/action driven than literary.

  5. It's kind of obvious some of the things in science-fiction aren't real nor can they ever be, that's why it's fiction, not nonfiction. Also I hope you weren't implying the fantasy genre is bad (not a fan of the genre jsyk).

  6. If you search interviews from past science fiction authors, you will notice that a lot if their thoughts and ideas are now our reality

  7. Love your videos! R u doing any more Genre videos? I teach 3rd grade and my class LOVED the Sci-Fi and Fantasy! Maybe a video that compares the different fiction genres? Hehe. Please!? : )

  8. Please make more videos about genres! I use them as part of lessons as a library teacher.

  9. Just wondering what app or software you used to create your videos. Looks like a lot of fun. My students would love to use mini figures in their own presentations.

  10. I have read 10 books on sf for the purposes of my studies and this quite resumes them all (well, the main ideas and what one will have to remember). Lol. Good job.

  11. "A lot of imagination goes into writing Science Fiction…"
    Except for John Scalzi novels.

  12. Loved both your videos on Sci-Fi and Fantasy! Thank you so much. Please do one on Surreal

  13. Hello,

    I’m writing on behalf of The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) to obtain permission to use the video “Fiction Book Genres – What Is Science Fiction” for educational purposes.

    The ILC is a bilingual educational institution in Canada that produces secondary school courses that meet Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum standards. The ILC is mandated by the government of Ontario as the province’s designated provider of distance education. We provide courses for students who want to earn secondary school diploma credits, upgrade basic skills, or study for personal development. Under our educational mandate, courses are provided to registered students in French and English, both of Canada’s official languages. The ILC is part of The Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO), the province’s educational media organization.

    Should permission be granted, please reply to this message OR send your license agreement or permission release form to the ILC.

    The Works

    Video: Fiction Book Genres – What Is Science Fiction
    Source: Molding Minds
    Website Link:
    Time: 01:05–02:47

    Usage Details

    Course: ENG2D: Grade 10 English
    Language: English
    Usage Term: Non-exclusive, World, In Perpetuity
    Usage Type: All media, currently used as the following:
    1) Online – hosted on a password protected website for the life of the course, starting Fall 2018
    2) A print version for students with no computer access, with a DVD/CD-ROM for audio-visual material – for the life of the course, starting Spring 2018
    Course fee: $40.00 administration fee for students in Ontario, $500 tuition for students outside of Ontario.

    If permission is granted, please make out any license agreements or permissions release, if applicable, to: The Ontario Educational Communications Authority (OECA)

    Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Respectfully Yours,

  14. I.LOVE.YOUR.VIDEOS. I do genre studies with third grade every year and am in the middle of using your two videos for my students. My students relate very well to your videos because of how you use the LEGO characters. They have no idea that Harry Potter is fantasy and boom! Automatic connection with their toys to fantasy genre! Thanks…and how soon before we see realistic fiction, mystery and historical fiction?!?

  15. My daughter and I were reading this togetherness. Great family book to read. Would recommend for 11 and up years old.

  16. When I posted a link to this video on my library's website for my students to watch for an assignment on Sci Fi as a genre, it would not let them view it unless they were logged in to a google account. Is that something you set up on your end? I would really like kids to be able to view it without signing in.

  17. It would be great if you could create a video that introduces genre in general, touching on multiple fiction genres, maybe nonfiction as well (auto/biography, poetry, informational), or a second video for nonfiction. It could begin just like this video.

  18. Sci-fi isn't about aliens, robots and all that, it's just a very superficial and very naive look. It rather works as a parabole, sci-fi creates a world which is an abstraction for this world, in order to achieve some kind of deep existential meaning. Usually in a very human level, in which technology is considered as an extension of humanity.

  19. all the dislikes are the students and all the likes are teachers .,.

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