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RE 3240, RE 3902, and RE 5140 Evaluating Literature for Children: Science Fiction

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Science Fiction: A Definition

Works of Science Fiction feature characters, events, and settings that, though imaginary, are still considered plausible within the realm of scientific probability and/or the laws of nature. Because Science Fiction focuses so heavily on speculative technologies and hypothetical realities, it is sometimes referred to as "futuristic fiction."

Types of Science Fiction include:
- Stories set in the future or in an alternative timeline
- Utopias/dystopias
- Stories that involve speculative technologies or scientific fields
- Stories involving time travel, robots, or extraterrestrials. 

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Works of Science Fiction

Are the work's futuristic elements presented in a way that leads the reader to believe them scientifically or technologically plausible?

Does the work make good use of known science while exploring alternative realms or possibilities?

Is the work's fictional world internally consistent? Does the author succeed in suspending the reader's disbelief?

Are the work's characters and settings vivid, imaginative, and original?

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Margaret Gregor