scifi rocket

Introduction to Science Fiction

This subject sampler will serve as an introduction to science fiction. Students will gain an understanding of basic elements and tools used by Science Fiction authors.

Terry Bisson and the short story

Webpage 1: Look through Terry Bisson’s short story writing tips. Pick two that appeal to you and write them down. Explain why you think these are good tips.

Webpage 2: Read the They are Meat short story. Look for use of the two tips you picked above. How are they used in this short story?

Webpage 3: Watch the video of They are Meat. Are your two elements used in the video? Also, how is the presentation different than what you pictured in your reading?

David Brin and Extreme Activities

Webpage 4: Read the short story Aficionado. Examine the extremes that the characters experience. Do you see people doing this today? How so? Do you find the scientific developments believable?

Webpage 5: Read the poem An Essay on Man. How do the actions described in the poem parallel the David Brin story? Do you feel that man is trying to become a god after reading these two writings?

Hard Science

Website 6: Read the short story The Cold Equations. Why was this title chosen? Do you agree with the science? What else could have been done to solve the equation?

Website 7: Play the space launch simulator. How does changing the equations help you accomplish your tasks? Can you cheat the equations?


You have learned some of the basic concepts used in science fiction writing. This will serve you well as you continue the unit. Expanding your horizons is the goal of science fiction. Look beyond our world to find ways to help our world.