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OTHER Best Lists
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.
- 1 Arena: Sports SF
By Barry Malzberg and Ed Ferman. Many of the stories within this sub-genre are short stories and this is just one collection.
- 2 The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins. This YA trilogy pits children against one another in an incredibly dangerous arena where only one survives.
- 3 The Most Dangerous Game
By Sarban. Humans are the prey in this novel.
- 4 Blue Adept
By Piers Anthony. A version of American football where humans lead teams of android players.
- 5 The Mind-Riders
By Brian M. Stableford. The future of boxing.
- 6 The New Atoms Bombshell
By Brian M. Stableford. Futuristic baseball.
- 7 Life, the Universe and Everything
By Douglas Adams Cricket paraphernalia is of utter and absurd importance in this humorous sci fi tale.
- 8 The Jaws that Bite
By Michael G. Coney. The Claws that Catch. Sling-gliding is a dangerous sport featured in this story.
- 9 Future Sports
By Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois. Another collection of short stories that cross science fiction and sports.
- 10 Louisvill Slugger
By Jack Haldeman. Earth loses and the humans are looking mighty tasty to the Awks. Many stories by Haldeman fall under the Sports Sci Fi banner.