Science Fiction Futures: Aliens and Robots Need Not Apply: On a Recent Afternoon on Twitter, We Pondered Some of the Stereotypes about How the Future Is Depicted in Science Fiction Books and Movies

The Futurist, July-August 2011 | Go to article overview
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Science Fiction Futures: Aliens and Robots Need Not Apply: On a Recent Afternoon on Twitter, We Pondered Some of the Stereotypes about How the Future Is Depicted in Science Fiction Books and Movies


Our Twitter followers responded to our quest to find robot- and alien-free scifi with a very diverse reading and movie-renting list of suggestions. And they reminded us that good science fiction also doesn't have to be about the future, though of course that is our preference.;)

@WorldFutureSoc: Can anyone name a good #scifi story (book, play, movie) that does not involve aliens or robots?

@ebonstorm: The Foundation Series--No aliens or robots are harmed in the making of these three books by Isaac Asimov. #scifi

@Geofutures: It has robots.

@heathervescent: I don't think these have either: The Stars My Destination. Trouble on Triton.

@Geofutures: 11 of my top 20 #futurist #movies involve neither (Blade Runner more clones than robots) http://bit.ly/cr7Km1 #scifi

@WorldFutureSoc: @ Geofutures Thx for link to www.Futuristmovies.com! Just bookmarked it.

@heathervescent: I believe you can substitute the Foundation series as God Emperor Leto's unwritten 10000 yr rule. #scifi #mashup

@heathervescent: If that last tweet was too cryptic it was a Dune + Foundation Series mashup.:)

@WorldFutureSoc: Yeah, it kinda was!;)

@heathervescent: Its a challenge to fit two major scifi series' mashed up in a 140char tweet.:)

@jasonporath: Primer. The Fountain.

@jlindenger: I love "The Fountain"

@MattCCrampton: Easy, any book by William Gibson. Start with Neuromancer.

@JasonSwanson: OHHH good suggestion!

@jlindenger: Sharon Shinn's Samaria series which starts a bit more fantasy and shifts to scifi as things are explained.

@jlindenger: Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents/Parable of the Sower are probably among the best in that category.

@jlindenger: I think she takes issue with labeling it SF, but ... @margaretatwood 's "The Handmaid's Tale"

@johnadamyates: What about giant bunny rabbits? - Donnie Darko

@heathervescent: Here's the FTW submission: Clockwork Orange. (via Andrew on FB) Extra Credit: Solaris.

@jotaace: Those who mentioned Solaris: It's a story about a BIG alien.

@Geofutures: And an unusually realistic one http://bit.ly/guBpEJ

@ahnie: No idea if they're "good" but CSI (TV)-based should qualify as #scifi w/o aliens/robots

@WorldFutureSoc: @ahnie My mind-set is toward the future, so I sometimes forget that not all #scifi is set in the future.

@ahnie: I *think* Firefly/Serenity was w/o aliens except (d)evolved humans. Can't remember if any robots. Clearly time to re-watch.

@jlindenger: bazinga!

@ahnie: had to check Urban Dictionary for "bazinga" Is it definition 2, 5, or 6? #TragicallyUnhip

@heathervescent: Just search for Sheldon and Big Bang Theory.

@ahnie: BBT& Sheldon are UD def #1. Sometimes being TV-less is el-sucko. #ThemeSonglsNowMyEarworn

@WorldFutureSoc: The #scifi chat took on a life of its own! #BBT is science, fiction, robotless except for Sheldon's "virtual presence"

@OscarMopperkont: I believe 1984 by Orwell isn't mentioned yet #scifi

@jlindenger: there's a ton. Enjoy!

@WorldFutureSoc: Great list! Thx so much! (#scifi books/movies w/o robots, aliens)

@WorldFutureSoc: smacks forehead for forgetting great movies like Jurassic Park and WarGames.

The Futurist List (SciFi free of aliens and robots)

Literature

* Air by Geoff Ryman (St. Martin's Griffin, 2004). @justinpickard

* The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (Michael Joseph, 1955). @OscarMopperkont

* A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (William Heinemann, 1962; also a film). @heathervescent

* Dune by Frank Herbert (Chilton Books, 1965; also a film). @JITHyperion

* The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (Doubleday, 1955).

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Science Fiction Futures: Aliens and Robots Need Not Apply: On a Recent Afternoon on Twitter, We Pondered Some of the Stereotypes about How the Future Is Depicted in Science Fiction Books and Movies
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