Richard HawkinsAbout Scifi UK ReviewRichard Hawkins / Ever since reading a short story by Philip K Dick entitled The Electric Ant back in the school library, he has been hooked on speculative fiction, and scifi and fantasy in general.

The distinct possibilities outlined in SF are fascinating. Since then he has read innumerable novels ranging from Christopher Priest to H.G. Wells. He is an avid reader and subscriber of Interzone, the British speculative fiction and science fiction periodical.

He particularly enjoys perusing second hand bookshops for old and out of print novels and magazines. He can’t help but compare original novels to their movie adaptations; be it recent movies or older movies against their 21st Century remakes. He has the bad habit of buying books based on their cover designs! He also enjoys reading and watching psychological, weird films which make you re-think the whole story and need to re-read/ re-watch it.

He resides close to where H.G. Wells‘ martians originally landed. And if he happens to pass a second hand bookshop, or a comic store like Forbidden Planet - well, he’s straight in there!

Peter Smith / Pete reads as much SF as he can. and particularly likes hardcore SF like Greg Egan (most definitely hardcore, brain straining SF) and Iain M Banks (imaginative space opera).

One of his favourite recently viewed films is Donnie Darko. Being into Quantum Physics from the theoretical and philosophical standpoints he is rather good at interesting talk around a beer loaded table. His thoughts meander one way and then another, from one subject to the other, but always on track, and always interesting.

Pete is working on an idea for a home made SF movie, complete with script, scenery and actors. He has already gone on a scouting excercise in his local Sheffield for Blade Runner looking buildings as backdrops.

Gareth D Jones / Gareth is a science fiction writer from England, with stories published both on line and in print and translated into Hebrew, Greek and Spanish. He also writes reviews of UK SF magazines and drinks lots of tea.

You can keep an eye on what he’s up to at: http://garethdjones.blogspot.com/.

Marcello Nicolini / Born on 8th December 1976 in Palermo, Italy, he started to write fourteen years ago. During the last few years, he has written many short stories of different genres: a western trilogy, stories of general fiction and a short novel with roots among the sword and sorcery genre. Now he is working on stories of dystopian and science fiction. He lives in Monza, Italy, but travels a lot to seek inspirations for his writings.

Simon Hope / A freelance journalist with a passion for reviewing and reporting the sci-fi genre (amongst others areas).

In General / Even though we’re a SciFi UK based site, we aren’t focusing the content on only UK tv, novels, magazines or movies, as SciFi itself is multicultural and interlinked across the world; it could even be construed as intergalactic and multi dimensional too.

We hope you enjoy your stay, and take something useful from our opinions, rants, reviews and discussions. In particular, we hope our essays encourage you to think sideways.

To contact the editors, please use the contact form.

What is SF?

Before I started to write this article, I had a look around the internet and some books I have, trying to find out how other people define Science Fiction/Sci-Fi/SF. And you know what? I don’t think people can agree. There seems to be so many definitions - even ‘official’ ones seem to differ with each other. There doesn’t seem to be any definitive definitions.

Science Fiction, apparently, is in the majority of cases: A literary or cinematic genre in which fantasy, typically based on speculative scientific discoveries or developments, environmental changes, space travel, or life on other planets, forms part of the plot or background.

Sci-Fi is an abbreviated version which is mostly frowned upon by Science Fiction fans, as an almost derisory term.

Another abbreviation is SF, which is more accepted by hardcore fans. Also, SF can mean Speculative Fiction.

To me, Science Fiction is not anything to do with space ships, lasers or technology as a whole, it is to do with ideas. It is the exploration of the human mind in an arena which quite possibly will include androids or rockets or alien planets. Because it contains androids or rockets or alien planets does not make it Science Fiction, it is the idea, the strangeness, the environment in which the author does his or her ‘What if…?’.

Philip K Dick once said that you could make a story appear to be Science Fiction by chucking in one word in one sentence (”Darling, where are the anti-grav boots?”. “In the cupboard where they always are.”). This on the face of it will make it Science Fiction because of the unknown science aspect, but doesn’t alter the story at all, it makes it obviously Science Fiction. So therefore it still would be Science Fiction without the anti-grav sentence.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that because the realms of Science Fiction is so fluid, the rules are being rewritten all the time, so that is probably why the definition of Science Fiction is so elusive. The market and readers (and the publishers/editors to some extent) dictate (albeit possibly unconsciously) what Science Fiction is.

Personally, I prefer the term SF (meaning Speculative Fiction), although I do let slip with Sci-Fi or Science Fiction during conversations sometimes.

Whatever the boundaries of Science Fiction are, one thing is for sure, it is always interesting, and you just know when it’s an SF story (either written or in a film).

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