Science fiction is a genre marked by time travel, aliens and virginity. Fans want the genre to be taken seriously, but undermine their own wishes by gathering in convention centers to wear rubber costumes and speak in made-up languages.
Author Robert A. Heinlein defined science fiction as "realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method." Most people agree that that definition is boring and lame, and prefer to think science fiction as "having space ships or robots or cloning or something".
Some of our greatest cultural artifacts fall under the science fiction (or sci-fi or SF) catagory. The Terminator, ET, Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Mad Max, Firefly, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and Benji could all be considered sci-fi for some reason or another. Just kidding, ET doesn't really have that much to do with science.
Pictured: Science Fiction
There are also some bad things that have come of science fiction. Waterworld, Syfy (previously Sci Fi) channel original movies and Star Trek fan fiction are just a few examples. Still, the genre has millions of fans, and as long as Michael Bay continues to combine hot women, explosions and giant robots, that's probably going to continue.
The science fiction genre captures a wide audience, from lonely, nerdy, basement dwellers who watch Stargate to lonely, nerdy basement dwellers who watch Stargate AND Heroes. Below are some of the more typical SF fans.
The 12 Year Old Boy
Most 12 year old boys are SF fans. They love explosions and space ships, they don't hate Jar Jar Binks yet, and they'll read/watch anything with "Star" in the title.
The Middle Aged Man
Though rarer than the 12 year old boy, a middle aged fan of science fiction usually shares the same hobbies, interests, and emotional maturity as the above catagory.
The fanboy is a SF fan that gets fixiated on a single title or series (ex. Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who). They often dedicate their entire life to that fixation, proving that sometimes, it really is wrong to follow your heart.
Below is a list of some of the more popular science fiction authors of our day. Next to each of their pictures is a short blurb about them, as well as a one sentence summary of their body of work.