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Utopian Science Fiction

A utopia is paradise, it is a place that embodies perfection. Utopian Science Fiction asks the question what would a utopia look like? Utopia is realized, in Science Fiction, when humanity become sufficiently advanced that war and other unpleasant things are no longer needed or technology has dispensed with all things unpleasant in society.

Not all Utopian stores are Sci Fi, some are only social and political explorations of society. Utopian fiction becomes Sci Fi when the advancement of scientific knowledge transforms society. Indeed, there are several early pulp adventure stories set in Utopian futures. However, Sci Fi as a whole, tends towards unease and the Dystopia. A true Utopia is rather boring--what's a story without conflict, if everything is perfect how can there be any kind of rising action or resolution? As such, most Utopian Sci Fi stories incorporate elements of Dystopian Science Fiction.

You can view the crowd-ranked "Popular" Utopian books list and vote and/submit entries to it.

Other Features of Utopian

  • Level of Real Science

    Moderate. Scientific advancement is a key component to building a Utopia in this sub-genre. However, because science and technology are not the focus of the story, they are often in the background.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    High. What does a Utopia look like? What is the cost of Utopia? Is one person's Utopia the same as another's? Creating a Utopia is an exercise in hypothetical sociological and political science, so the social implications are the cornerstone of these stories.

  • Level of Characterization

    Low. With all the emphasis on society, there isn't much room for character.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    Low. In Utopia there is no conflict, so plot is pretty menial. However, if the story is about the fall of Utopia or about unmasking a seeming Utopia, plots can become strong driving forces for story.

  • Level of Violence

    Low. Everything is perfect in Utopia and so there is no violence.

Related Science Fiction subgenres

  • Dystopian Sci-Fi. Maybe Utopia isn't really a Utopia, maybe it's a Dystopia in disguise.

  • Social Science Fiction. Utopian stories are social explorations so all Utopian Sci Fi is also Social Sci Fi.

Popular Utopian Science Fiction Books
  • 1 The Giver

    By Lois Lowry. The society of this young-adult novel is presented as a Utopia and all pain and strife have been eliminated. Eventually, the cost of Utopia is revealed and the protagonist must make a choice.

  • 2 The Dispossessed

    By Ursula K. Le Guin. An award winning novel, that features two worlds: a Utopia and a rebel outpost, but both have value. 3. Arthur C. Clarke Childhood's End. An alien race invades Earth, but they are benevolent and a golden age begins on Earth.

  • 3 Childhood's End

    By Arthur C. Clarke. An alien race invades Earth, but they are benevolent and a golden age begins on Earth.

  • 4 Looking Backward

    By Edward Bellamy. A novel that offers a blueprint of Utopia. A young man is transported from the 19th century to the 21st century, from a war torn-world to a world of peace.

  • 5 News from Nowhere

    By William Morris. The most significant English Utopia since Thomas Moore. A man from the 19th century wakes up in the future where there is no private property, big cities, authority, money, divorce, courts, prisons, and no class systems. Instead, people find pleasure in nature.

  • 6 The Player of Games (Culture sequence)

    By Iain M. Banks. The story takes place in a future where humanity has been fulfilled--there is nothing left to explore, everyone has everything they want, sickness has been banished, and no one dies. In fact, Bank's entire Culture books feature a Utopian society.

  • 7 The Sunken World

    By Stanton Arthur Coblentz Originally serialized in Amazing Stories Quarterly, this pulp classic tells the story of an advanced society set beneath a dome on the bottom of the ocean.

  • 8 Ralph 124C41+

    By Hugo Gernsback. Written by a father of Science Fiction, this serialized novel is an optimistic take on the possibilities of technology.

  • 9 Andromeda

    By Ivan Yefremov. An enthusiastic look at the relationship between socialism and technology in a future Soviet Russia.

  • 10 Uglies

    By Scott Westerfeld. A young-adult novel, the first in its series, about a teenage girl who must make a choice, turn in her friend and join the Utopian world of parties, beauty, and technology or never become pretty.