List of science fiction themes

List of science fiction themes

The following is a list of science fiction themes.

Common themes and tropes


*Creation of the Universe
*The future
*Omega Point
*Quantum suicide and immortality
*Parallel worlds or universes.
*Ultimate fate of the Universe


*"Age of Greater Scarcity", often in connection with ecological or post-apocalyptic themes. In such dystopias, people are poorer and have fewer resources to draw on.
*Post-"Age of Scarcity" (arguments over how to distribute resources are irrelevant since anyone can have anything they reasonably want). Examples include:


**Alternate history
**Historical cycles: history repeating itself (either on long or short scales)
**Scientific prediction of the future (e.g. psychohistory)
**Secret history


**Alien languages (e.g. Klingon)
**All humans speaking one language
**Current human languages evolving/splitting
**The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis being strongly true (e.g. Babel 17 by Samuel R. Delany or The Languages of Pao by Jack Vance)
**Universal Translators (e.g. Babel fish)


*Military - strategy, weapons, ranks, technologies.
**Ray guns
**Space warfare
**Alien invasion


*Sociology and sociobiologyFact|date=September 2008
*Religious ideas in science fiction
*Sex (including gender roles, polygamy, sexuality and procreation)
** Homosexuality in science fiction
** Gender in science fiction
** Sex in science fiction
** Reproduction and pregnancy in science fiction
** Nudity in science fiction
*return to feudalismFact|date=September 2008
*hive-like eusocial societies
*caste systemsFact|date=September 2008
*Zero population growthFact|date=September 2008
*Symbionts & Co-evolution
*Solipsism - a belief that the universe is entirely the creation of one's own mindFact|date=September 2008
*First contact

Types of beings

*Alternate intelligences
**Artificial intelligence
**Hive minds
**Infomorphs - memories, characters and consciences of persons being uploaded to a computer or storage media
**Noosphere - the "sphere of human thought"
**Androids and Gynoids
**Robots and humanoid robots
*Extraterrestrial life (see Extraterrestrial life in culture)
*Uplifted animals - using technology to "raise" non-human animals to human evolutionary levels

*Characters archetypes
**The Absent-minded professorFact|date=September 2008
**RedshirtFact|date=September 2008
**The ScientistFact|date=September 2008
***The Mad ScientistFact|date=September 2008

Body and mind alterations

**Body modification, including genetic modification
*Intelligence amplification
*Life extension, Biological immortality, Universal immortalism and immortality
**Artificial organs
**The Organ Bank Problem
**Mind control
**Mind uploading
**Neural implants to directly interface with machinery
*Molecular manufacturing & Nanotechnology
*Psi powers and psychic phenomenon
*Paradise engineering

Possible futures

*Alien invasions
*Apocalypses or world wide disasters
*Post-apocalyptic life - new societies that develop after the event
*Ultimate fate of the Universe & Kardashev scale

Political structures

*Alien Contact
*Anarcho-capitalism (see: Anarcho-capitalist literature and Libertarian science fiction)
*Dystopias and utopias
*Galactic empires
*Interstellar federation of planets
*Mind reading and mind control
*National security state
*Totalitarianism vs. Libertarianism (see: Libertarian science fiction)
*World government


*Alien Reality Television, usually the protagonist discovers his life has been one big reality television show for aliens.
*Alien Zoo, a zoo where humans are kept as exhibits.
*Arcologies - enormous habitats (hyperstructures) of extremely high human population density
*Domed city
*Exploring alien habitats.
*Floating City
*Seasteading & Ocean colonization
**Pirate utopia
*Space colonization
**List of largest known stars & List of most luminous stars
*Underground city
*Walking City


*Colonization of other planets, moons, asteroids, etc.
*Moving planets
*Space exploration
**Interstellar travel
***Faster-than-light travel and communications
****Warp drives
**Much slower than Light
***Generation ship
***Sleeper ship
**Very nearly light speed
***Bussard ramjets
***Ursula LeGuin's NAFAL ships, and the Twin paradox
**Space stations
*Time travel
**Alternate histories: time travel can be used as a plot device to explore parallel universes. While alternate history has its own category (see above), it often occurs in time travel stories as well.
**The Grandfather paradox -- e.g. Can someone go back in time and kill his parents before they beget the killer?
*Travel to the Earth's center


*Artificial gravity
*Artificial intelligence
**von Neumann machines
*Star lifting & Stellar engineering
*Megascale engineering & Planetary engineering
**Far advanced technology for the time.
**Alien technology being found and used by humans. Most of the time for selfish purposes, or is being used incorrectly (not how it's supposed to work)

*Virtual reality and simulated reality

ee also

*Fictional technology
*List of science fiction topics
*Science fiction genre

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