A Deep Dive into Sci-fi: What does Twitter Think?

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

To be honest, I saw this blog post going in an entirely different direction. I only expected a few responses from Twitter, but here I am, with HUNDREDS! Wow! The original direction I wanted to take isn’t changed, but I did want to bring up the general thoughts on sci-fi from twitter users. I will analyze my post first, the responses, and then dive into the original point of this post.

The post in question!

Now, it’s time for me to define my audience/subject base. On twitter, my following involves mostly writers, as I’m a self-published author. However, the retweets likely also carried it through creative bases like movie enthusiasts and artists as well. I also am in the gaming sphere, so this might apply to gamers as well. There’s a healthy mix of creatives here, and I never specified who should respond (be them authors, movie enthusiasts, et cetra). We can therefore assume the response pool is ‘a bunch of creatives on Twitter’.

Oh yes, and for the record, I’m aware I misspelled ‘sci-fi’ in that post, but hey, I was excited. MOVING ON!

Here is a chart I curated. I included as much as I could curate for this chart, which did take quite a bit of time! But it was worth it. I put down all of the responses Twitter actually showed me. Some things like “planets” I included in space, and such like that. If a word roughly fell into the category, I tossed it in. I included a point for everything said in a tweet, so some people did say 3 or more things–which added a point to the category.

Word~# of times mentionedExample Tweet
Aliens27“Wee aliens.” – @AngelaMunro28
Technology17“Advanced technology and aliens!” -@Hey_Jaynae
Time Travel5“Lately that means time travel, and/or aliens or supernatural (mix with technology)” – @HoppyAgarwal
Space28“Space. Aliens. Technology. Advanced civilizations. Ruminations on the human condition and/or the future. Dystopian societies” -@bristokeswrites
New4“Sci-fi imo is (very simply put), fiction based on science. Creating the plausible and almost achievable, of the currently impossible. Personally, I like to write sci-fi that’s believable, which means a lot of research into what’s happening today, to show what could be, tomorrow.” – @terryjgeo
Future15“That there’s a brighter future for us, maybe not always the easy way to there, but usually brighter.. SCI-FI allows us to look at the possibilities & inspires us to create better things to give us a better life… I mean, look at developments in science that came from sci-fi.” – @design_rat
General innovation/Exploration23“As a queer POC, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for sci-fi bc while representation is not great, the beauty is that it’s a more modern, unique world. I love fantasy but so much of it is based on history and is mostly heteronormative and Eurocentric..” – @LillithLemore
Steam/Cyberpunk3“To me sci-fi is best described as future streampunk.” – @Derpametric
Ships/flying machines18“Space ships! Faster-than-light travel!” – @sg1marzipan77
Neat Props5“My first thought is awesome set design and props. Everything just looks cooler in sci-fi.” – @ESGibson1
Robots10“Robots and terraforming planets.” – @HLeeDavisWriter
Wastelands1“Robots, space and wastelands.” – @soumwise
Superheroes1“I used to watch predators, terminators, johny robot series but now SciFies comes in my mind as Avengers, Interstellar, Marvels and specially IronMan” – @Syed23Jahangeer
Bio-sci-fi (Ex: Frankenstein)3“Mary Shelley/Frankenstein for sure.” – @LilyLuchesi
Advanced civilization3“Future cities!” – @bry_yvette_gary
Franchise/Author~# of times mentionedExample Tweet
Dr. Who3“Me: Dr. Who
Husband SG1″ – @FJ_Thomas_
Star Wars10“Star Wars because I’m a flithy casual” – @ias_am
Twilight Zone1“Watching classic Twilight Zone episodes in B&W as a kid and being blown away!” -@AmericanBadOZ
Alien3“Aliens, as in quite literally the franchise, but more specifically the second movie where the xenomorph rises out of the water to abduct Newt.” – @AsherSRaithe
The Matrix2“The matrix”- @AjcreamerA
Blade Runner1“It’s so much broader than people believe. Alien, The Matrix, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, even Back to the Future. Then there’s the masterclass of light and shadow that is Blade Runner.” -@InkaYork
Asimov 9(See Picture) – @LeaderMorton
Star Trek21“Star Trek, geekiness, aliens” – @aleekwrites
Zelazny1“The Amber series by Zelazny, the first sci-fi books I read, and I was hooked!” – @PhilipMeowlowe
Dune3“Dune series and prequels plus several different movies based on the works of the author.” – @ClarissaCarisma
The Invisible Man2“Due to impeccable timing of re-reading my literature mug, sci-for makes me think of
-The invisible man
-but also generally semi-complicated novels that I don’t usually gravitate toward bc STEM has never really been my jam”-@h_elisestewart
Firefly2“The first thing that popped into my head was the short lived but much loved show “Firefly” Because nothing says Sci-Fi quite as much as a futuristic, dystopian, steampunk, spaghetti-weastern, love story, in space.” – @davidbaynewrite

I couldn’t include everyone, so I apologize for that. This also doesn’t add up to all of the responses, so I might have missed some hidden replies, or Twitter simply wasn’t loading. We get a good idea here, however, from the pool of responses, and it went as I expected.

The three most common things mentioned were: Aliens, Space, and Innovation. I also wanted to point out a few interesting tweets that I saw on my adventures that struck me as really sweet or interesting:

This explores the idea of how sci-fi has changed and their experiences with what they’ve seen in that regard.
I thought this tweet was particularly sweet, I’ve seen a couple of tweets mention a positive thing about childhood.

This one rang as very sweet to me! I love seeing people enjoy this sort of thing, and it was a great example of how some sci-fi feels.
This one struck my heart for obvious reasons. This goes to show just how much the arts impact our lives — in this case, sci-fi. Wonderful story, and I wish them well.

Now for the big secret–the original point of this post was to say that most people don’t think of ‘biology’ when they think of sci-fi. Given the sheer amount of responses I got, however, I wanted to put much more energy into this blog post and do it justice. Therefore, I did a casual ‘research project’ of sorts. I stated my subject pool above.

Here’s a particularly grisly example of biology in scifi! Gene combination…and ending of it.

When I think of sci-fi, the two topics that come to mind are aliens or robots. I don’t often think of biology, but it’s true, in the genre, there’s a whole lot when it comes to medicines & disease which would fall under this genre. Combine it with fantasy, and you have a truly interesting concoction.

I asked my lover if he thought the movie Daybreakers was fantasy or sci-fi. Admittedly it was a silly question, but when I think of vampires, I go to ‘fantasy’. He said ‘sci-fi’, then told me when he thinks of ‘sci-fi’, he considers ‘technological advances’. To him, this would encompass biological advancements as well. That movie genre is sci-fi, so my question was… a bit odd. However! The method to my madness is, in fact, that vampires are usually fantasy creatures. The lore I have for my vampires happens to be sci-fi in nature, but with a dash of magic.

Daybreakers is a great example of Earth-grounded sci-fi, as is Jurassic Park. But are the topics of disease and evolution thought of as frequently when it comes to sci-fi?

The answer is… well… not really! That much was very confirmed by the responses I got from my post.

This person puts into words my thoughts here! It seems sci-fi, right now, is seen as more related to technology versus biology or psychology. I LOVED seeing this response.

I actually do write in sci-fi — but sci-fi fantasy. You see, I nab my biology knowledge for my works and use it to explain the bestiary of some of my creatures. This also applies in part (well, not the biology part) to my magic, where mana is a fuel source.

There you have it! Twitter was a lot of fun to discuss this matter with, and even though I derped by saying “SCIFI!” I got some really rich responses. I’d love to explore this idea with fantasy too! I tweeted out asking about thoughts on high fantasy, but did not get nearly as much engagement. I think I will try again later.

For now? Thank you Twitter so much for giving me this project, and I hope I did it justice!

Published by Des M. Astor

Heya, I'm an author. Typically I write Urban Fantasy, and I only usually read in that genre as well. My author's website is both a writing blog and a showcase for my work. Check it out if you'd like.

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