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The comic strips and derivative movie serials greatly popularized science fiction. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and a critical mass of new writers emerged in New York City in a group called the Futurians, including Isaac Asimov, Damon Knight, Donald A. In 1942, Asimov started his Foundation series, which chronicles the rise and fall of galactic empires and introduced psychohistory. Heinlein's Starship Troopers marked a departure from his earlier juvenile stories and novels.

Wollheim, Frederik Pohl, James Blish, Judith Merril, and others. In the 1950s, the Beat generation included speculative writers such as William S. The German space opera series Perry Rhodan, by various authors, started in 1961 with an account of the first Moon landing and has since expanded to the entire Universe and billions of years of time; becoming the most popular science fiction book series of all time. Le Guin was set on a planet in which the inhabitants have no fixed gender.

Historically, science-fiction stories have had a grounding in actual science, but now this is only expected of hard science fiction.

Science fiction is difficult to define, as it includes a wide range of subgenres and themes.

Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well." James Blish wrote about the English term "science fiction": "Wells used the term originally to cover what we would today call ‘hard’ science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to already known facts (as of the date of writing) was the substrate on which the story was to be built, and if the story was also to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them." According to Robert A.

Heinlein, "a handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method." Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado—or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is", and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no easily delineated limits to science fiction." The author is entitled to One Big Lie.

In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the world wide web. "Doc" Smith’s first published work, The Skylark of Space written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. The 1928 publication of Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419, in Amazing Stories was a landmark event.

In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long series of Barsoom novels, situated on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. This story led to comic strips featuring Buck Rogers (1929), Brick Bradford (1933), and Flash Gordon (1934).

What comes after that may not be a lie, however; it must follow naturally and inevitably from that first premise.first appeared in the late 1970s; referring to the popular distinction between the "hard" (natural) and "soft" (social) sciences.Science fiction critic Gary Westfahl argues that neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy; instead they are approximate ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful.His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering.

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