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Science Fiction has proved notoriously difficult to define. It has been explained as a combination of romance, science and prophecy; as a genre based on an imagined alternative to the reader's environment; and as a form of fantastic fiction and historical literature. It has also been argued that science fiction narratives are the most engaged, socially relevant, and responsive to the modern technological environment. This Very Short Introduction doesn't offer a history of science fiction, but instead ties examples of science fiction to different historical moments, in order to demonstrate how science fiction has evolved over time. David Seed looks not only at literature, but also at drama and poetry, as well as film. Examining recurrent themes in science fiction he looks at voyages into space, the concept of the alien and alternative social identities, the role of technology in science fiction, and its relation to time - in the past, present, and future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.