Sub-genre of the Week: Near-future SF
Last week, I talked about Portal Fantasy. This week, I’m going to tackle another tough to categorize genre.
Near-future SF is a sub-genre of SF dealing with science fiction stories and concepts just the other side of contemporary. I’ll limit it to the next fifty years for the purposes of this post.
There can be no true history of the genre, since what qualifies changes as time passes. But the concept originated as a sub-genre in the 90s and grew to its present size and description in the late 2000s.
Common Tropes and Conventions
Besides the fifty-year time frame, there are few major tropes and conventions. There’s a tendency towards exploration of the solar system, biological advances, punk themes, climate change, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, occasionally fusion reactors and green energy.
Near-future SF crosses over with dystopian fiction, Mundane SF, and social science fiction. It may also share traits with some hard sf.
Near-future SF rarely gets attention in video media, due to its often lack of flashy technology. It does come up now and again in anime and manga. Otherwise, it’s mostly a print genre.
By definition we’re going to have more of this. The popularity of near-future SF and its related genres has gone up quite a bit since the post-cyberpunk movement and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.
9. Anime: Planetes
10. Anime: Dennou Coil
Goodreads list of Near-future SF
Check in next time for a discussion of Fairytale Fiction.