Science Fiction

(3700 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.


Science fiction is a narrative genre that emerged in response to the revolutions in science, technology, and industrial production that commenced in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Human societies had always experienced periods of tumultuous change from such causes as war, famine, and plague. However, as Robert Scholes has argued, the idea of future societies with radically different social and economic organisation was probably unthinkable before the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while the transformation of societies by irreversible technological change became apparent only in the nineteenth (Scholes 14-15). For the first time, it became possible to think of a future greatly different from …

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Blackford, Russell Kenneth. "Science Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2006
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres
  2. Literary Genres and Modes
  3. Speculative and Science Fiction