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Sports Science Fiction

Little green men making the run around a baseball diamond or trying to understand what it means to be a fan.

The sub-genre of Sports Science Fiction is a small sun-genre that focuses on the world of professional sports. There are two types of stories within the sub-genre. The first is aliens visit Earth and develop an interest in some sporting activity. The second shows how science and technology, and genetic engineering in particular, have impacted professional sports.

Other Features of Sports Science Fiction

  • Level of Real Science

    Moderate. Science and technology have impacted sports in this sub-genre, but the emphasis tends to be more on the physical effects and cultural significance—so the specifics of the science may be glossed over.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    Moderate. Technological and scientific advancement impact professional sports. Because sports are part of national culture and often represent the cultural and political mood of the moment—think about the significance of the Olympic Games. Sports Sci Fi writes a story with these implication in mind. So yes, Sports Sci Fi stories will often discuss the importance of sportsmanship, but there are also larger ideas involved about unity, peace, and honest competition. So what happens when science and technology change the very nature of our beloved national pass times?

  • Level of Characterization

    Variable. There are typical jocks, yes, but there are also aliens and genetic engineers. The type of characters readers encounter will depend on how the author chooses to incorporate the sports element.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    Moderate. There is action, there is tension, there is a bit of a thrill to these stories—the game itself may be the plot's structure. So plots have good movement, but aren't usually very complex.

  • Level of Violence

    Moderate-High. Generally speaking any aggression happens in the game. The draw of the spectacle is a common theme of this sub-genre. Often, the stories depict increasingly violent and spectacular games. Futuristic sports with competitive violence come in two formats, the hunt and circus-like gladiator fights.

Related Science Fiction subgenres

  • Dystopian Science Fiction. Violent and circus-like sports are a way to distract the disgruntled masses in a dystopian story.

  • Psi Powers Science Fiction. Sometimes superhuman powers are employed on the sports field.

  • Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction. Sports provide a sense of community and a means for catharsis—something that any post-apocalyptic society needs.

Popular Sports Science Fiction Books