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A Universe of Stories for Teens: Science Fiction

To go along with our summer reading program theme “A Universe of Stories” we put together a guide of items in our collection that relate to the theme.

Science Fiction or Sci-Fi is the genre that relates best to this summers "A Universe of Stories" theme. Science Fiction is defined as fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets. There are debates as to when science fiction first appeared, some argue that The Epic of Gilgamesh from 2000 BC was the first since it contains elements common to science fiction, however with a lack of technology and science in the story others argue it is better classified as fantasy. Other early books include Ramayana from 500-400 BC and One Thousand and One Nights from 800-1000 AD which include travel between planets and advanced weaponry. The book Utopia from 1516 created the idea of a perfect world that is commonly featured in science fiction, and Somnium from 1634 explores the idea of looking at the Earth from the Moon, and was the first credited science fiction book by Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley published in 1818 is the most commonly accepted book for the beginning of science fiction. The main character uses science and technology not then available, and looking at the main character from an outsider perspective. Other Shelley works are also considered early science fiction, so clearly Mary Shelley had an important role in the beginnings of science fiction.

Though science fiction can be based on Earth, it usually deals with space travel or life on other planets. Since we have made great leaps in technology here on Earth, it makes sense that the next logical step would be exploring other planets. Space has long been considered the next frontier to be explored, and science fiction is a great way to explore the possibilities of what we could find out there!

There have been some things that were discussed in works of science fiction that have since become reality. Check out this timeline to see what went from fiction to fact!

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Evans. “Fiction to Reality.” Mr. Evan's Website,

“History of Science Fiction.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Mar. 2019,

“Science Fiction.” Google Search, Google, fiction.