Exploring Genre: Science Fiction

Author: Barbara Stanners, Publisher: Phoenix

Each title in this series of teacher resource books, intended for use with students in middle and senior secondary years, starts with a detailed definition of the genre, followed by an examination of a wide range of texts with:

  • background information
  • information about text and context
  • ideas on genre conventions, representation of themes, characters, style
  • suggestions and strategies for dealing with the texts
  • a wide range of student activities to suit different year levels, with emphasis on what is being said and how it is being said, with questions
  • response tasks

Science Fiction and the ways in which the genre has evolved over time involves a panorama of imaginary worlds. Notions of humanity, progress and the role of science and technology in relationship with humanity, have remained popular themes, represented in a range of styles and mediums. The speculative nature of science fiction has conjured alternative worlds, races and situations which often juxtapose the ordinary and familiar with the extraordinary and unfamiliar: space travel, aliens, science and technology remain some of the better known motifs.

A range of appropriate texts have been selected that seek to demonstrate the changing face of Science Fiction over time. Detailed analysis of the conventions, themes, techniques and contextual impact has been provided to help teachers develop and deepen student understanding, critical evaluation and personal interpretation.

Exploring Genre: Science Fiction is an invaluable resource with in depth analysis and student exercises to help students analyse, question, interpret and articulate their understanding of the text.


Defining Genre

  • Defining Science Fiction
  • The Evolution of Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction Conventions and Motifs
  • ‘Aliens have taken the place of Angels’- M. Atwood

Robots, Cyborgs and Aliens

  • ‘Metropolis’ by F. Lang
  • ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’- J. Wyndham
  • ‘200: A Space Odyssey’ S. Kubrick

Exploring Time and Space

  • ‘The Time Machine’ by H.G. Wells
  • ‘The Dragon’ by R. Bradbury
  • ‘Dune by F. Herbert
  • ‘Space Oddity’ – D. Bowie
  • ‘Contact’- Robert Zemeckis
  • Space Opera-‘Star Wars-A new Hope’- G. Lukas

Dystopic SF

  • ‘Brave New World’ - A. Huxley
  • ‘Fahrenheit 451’ – R. Bradbury
  • ‘Planet of the Apes’ -F. Schaffner
  • ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’-M. Atwood
  • ‘Prayer before Birth’ – L. MacNeice

Postmodernist SF

  • Tech Noir and Cyberpunk
  • ‘Neuromancer’- W. Gibson
  • Steampunk- ‘The Mysterious Exploration of Jasper Morello’- A. Lucus
  • ‘Brief Thoughts on a Test Tube’ – M. Holub

Responding and Composing

  • ‘Breakfast’ - L Herbert
  • ‘Cinderella’ – anonymous
  • ‘The Pedestrian’ - Ray Bradbury
  • Creative Writing
  • Visual Texts
  • Creative Questions


More Information
Year Level Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12
Date of Publication 2009
ISBN 9781921586002
Subject English