I believe that, as any Genre, the spectrum of Sci-Fi is not self-defined. It is not the authors’ intention to create “Sci-Fi films/novels” and thus get such a category, but that some works are shaped and referred to as “Sci-Fi” by cultural forces and contexts. Therefore, from a genre perspective, “science fiction” is flux. At its beginning, Sci-Fi may be a kind of wonder related to geographical discoveries and the unfolding of human history. It is an imagination of folded space and unknown time, thus expanding them. For example, The War of the Worlds can be seen as a kind of geographical fiction with a fixed narrative method, similar to nautical novels such as The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and the stranded genre such as Robinson Crusoe. Such stories always create extreme environments, place the protagonist in a dangerous situation that he has no choice but to face, rely on science and technology to push the narrative and accomplish the re-understanding of the world at the end. With its shell of an alien invasion of Earth, the War of Worlds may not have been written for science fiction at its origin, but it objectively created long aftermath for Sci-fi.

Thus, Sci-fi is not necessarily about specific “props” such as aliens, space ships, and interstellar wars. Still, some stories that incorporate these elements do not make much sense to constitute a transcendence or questioning of the existing order. So, Sci-Fi should be viewed beyond an essentialist perspective, i.e. Sci-Fi is a worldview and methodology. It is a narrative approach to perceive human beings and the world differently. As such, it has only gained widespread attention and entered popular culture after human life has been highly dominated by technology. Sci-Fi allows people to see the invisible, in a physical sense, epistemically, such as the physical rules like quantum mechanics, but more in a psychological sense, which enables people to leave their mundane lives and see a larger space-time that is full of change, and Sci-Fi is about the change and the inevitability of that change, about how the future may be different from the past. Sci-Fi tells people that the world will become a different place than it has ever been, and this can happen in many different ways, perhaps in the form of technological or social transformation. Things that we once took for granted are now experiencing shifts, and what we once thought odd is becoming quite ordinary. And such kind of questioning of existing orders is the fundamental content of Sci-Fi.