What is Sci-fi?
Science fiction for me now is more like a prediction or prophecy. For science as an adjective provides the fiction with more logic and makes it more rational for the reader to follow. And it is supposed to be depicting something that happened in the future or parallel universe which means it hasn’t happened before. But does it mean science fiction eliminates some of the whimsical fantasies? It seems not to be the case, the science fiction writer combines their imagination and their science knowledge to expand some of the territories, some of the successful sci-fi pieces, with their hypotheses and theories used in the fiction, can be explained appropriately, they have explanations that can be traced back with evidence to support them. In the end, my definition for science fiction comes out to be: a combination of credible scientistic knowledge and imagination with a rational boundary which makes it readable science fiction.
The tricky characteristics of science fiction, part of it is because sci-fi is a branch of fiction, which means the author should not only better master the art of language, but also he or she should be a science nerd. The demanding educational background made lots of science fiction lose the elegance of language. It is the unprecedented world view that drags the reader into the book. In this case, the world view setting is especially important to set up in science fiction. It should be persuasive, credible and interesting. A lot of sci-fi have bugs, making fans spinning their heads to find faults with. The problems mainly lie in its world view, it cannot be supported by the information provided in the text. Now we can see that good science fiction is hard to write because it has high requirements of its literary value and its creative value need a lot of work and talent to achieve. In most of cases, we can find some sci-fi interesting, but we cannot expect the author is a Balzac or wrote something amount to “Madame Bovery”.The first sci-fi writer I know is Asimov, He earned a doctoral degree in philosophy of chemistry, in a sense explain how he wrote those short stories both we can appreciate as sci-fi and as a literature piece.
Apocalypse can be considered as a possibility of sci-fi, but the word “apocalypse” itself includes a political side of the future. Until now, based on my understanding, sci-fi writers should be almighty, for we expect so much of their books. But sci-fi has picked its reader at the beginning because of the requirement of the genre. If we consider comedy or romance as a universal favorite, then sci-fi is definitely not as mainstream for its jargon and professional idioms. It can be a philosophy piece as well, and this philosophy-producing process will make it a more distant one because of its profoundness. Because philosophy and its relative theories are the most opaque and puzzling knowledge I ever have known. But philosophy can be contained everywhere which makes it an everyday thing. Sci-fi comes from every day and will end in everyday life. While talking about this characteristic, sci-fi shares a commonality with all other fiction.
Sci-fi is enchanting but distant, demanding but readable, commonplace but profound(if you want it to be). To be honest, I cannot imagine a better genre to study the complexity of Anthropocene, for it combines science and social science, reason and emotion, past and future, known and unknown, you and me(you and the other in a macroscopical view).