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Strange New Worlds: Exploring the Dynamic Relationship Between Science and Science Fiction

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This paper explores the complex, multifaceted relationship of science and science fiction. Because of our rapidly evolving, technology-driven world, the question of how science fiction changes, and is changed by,

This paper explores the complex, multifaceted relationship of science and science fiction. Because of our rapidly evolving, technology-driven world, the question of how science fiction changes, and is changed by, science is more relevant today than ever before. The nuanced relationship of science and science fiction can first be explored by analyzing the influence of science fiction on science with examples such as the XPRIZE Foundation. At the same time that science fiction influences science, changes in science will also resonate in the future of science fiction. New developments like the open-source movement and the success of platforms like Kickstarter, which allow science to be crowdsourced at unprecedented levels, are changing the landscape of scientific development. These changes are causing increased public engagement with science. Based on these changes in the way science and technology are developed, the science fiction genre seems on the cusp of a dramatic shift. Science fiction has long been dominated by dystopian and apocalyptic visions for the future, frequently the result of some catastrophe of our own making. However, because of the changes in science and technology and the public's engagement with those changes, the next generation of science fiction writers and filmmakers is likely to see a more positive outlook for humanity. Based on the interlocked past of science and science fiction, this paper argues that the changing landscape of science and technology will cause a change for the positive in the tonality of popular science fiction.

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  • 2015-12