Science fiction is a fantastic medium to discover and explore ideas and possibilities, ethics and morality, and worlds and civilizations just beyond our reach. Scifi elements blend into all types of genres and mediums and have inspired countless scientists, researchers, artists, innovators, and explorers to push the boundaries of humanity and disrupt the status quo. Science fiction is a universal language in which the world can communicate the humanity and potential we are capable of while warning us of the dangers of our own doing.
I’ve compiled a short, but approachable, list of revolutionary science fiction stories from around the world. This is by no means a finite list, but a great primer for more discovery into this amazing medium.
(In no particular order)
5) INDIA – Priya’s Shakti (http://www.priyashakti.com)
Ancient matriarchal traditions have been lost in modern Hindu culture, according to Rattapallax, the film production company and publisher behind Priya’s Shakti. The strength of this story is in combating the issues of rape in India by educating and inspiring youth through activism by way of updating India’s rich mythological culture. Ram Devineni, co-creator of the comic series, believes that the problems with gender-based violence is cultural, not legal. He and his team (poet Vikas K. Menon, artist Dan Goldman, and producer Lina Srivastava)has been featured on TED, recognized by the U.N., and are advocates for social change through comic books.
4) United States – Stargate SG-1 (http://stargate.mgm.com/view/series/1/)
Based off of the film by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, this series takes Arthurian, Norse, and Egyptian mythology and adds a bit of “what-if” to the mix. The series surpassed The X-Files as the longest running science fiction series in the U.S. The series deals with religious fundamentalism, slavery, planes of existence, and military influence (among others). It has spawned two other series, two other films based off of the series, books, comics, games, and a large fan base that MGM is proud to have developed. There’s also talk of rebooting the films into a trilogy.
3) United Kingdom – V For Vendetta (http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/V_(V_for_Vendetta))
The acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore David Lloyd is about an anarchist revolutionist named “V” who stirs up a massive revolution in a dystopian UK after most of the world has been destroyed and a fascist party has turned the rest of it all into a police state. This little bit of revolutionist philosophy spawned off a Hollywood film, but more importantly, the iconic Guy Fawkes mask has symbolized real life political movements like Occupy, the online hacktivist, Anonymous, and pretty much everywhere you see anti-establishment protests around the world.
2)Russia – Metro 2033 (http://www.metro2033.com)
Based on a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, in 2005, the story has been translated into many languages. It has also been adapted into an award winning game series. The dystopian story takes place in an air raid shelter in futuristic Moscow when radiation has taken over Earth’s surface and humanity is near extinct. The game and the book differ pretty radically. The characters in the book are far more grim but less violent than the game. The story’s strength is in the ideologies that surface in a grim and isolated world.
1)China – The Three Body Problem (http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/04/09/398519222/cultural-revolution-meets-aliens-chinese-writer-takes-on-sci-fi)
Written by Liu Cixin, this book is the beginning of a trilogy called Remembrance of Earth’s Past. The story takes place in the middle of China’s cultural revolution where aliens are contacted by a secret military project. Of course, the aliens aren’t seeking peace. China doesn’t have very many science fiction stories as critics see the genre as juvenile, but it thrived with high school and college students, the tech industry, scientists, and engineers.
This article does a great job of explaining the impact this story has had.
We’re always looking for new stories from around the universe! If you have any recommendations, leave a comment or send us an email!