Six thought-provoking tales of present and future Earth are brought to life in the all-new anthology series, featuring a stellar lineup of actors and directors, and narrated by acclaimed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. Masters of Science Fiction, from Starz Media in association with Industry Entertainment and its Vancouver partner, Reunion Pictures, is based on some of the genre's most popular and highly regarded short stories.

Masters of Science Fiction - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2007-08-04

Masters of Science Fiction - History of science fiction - Netflix

The literary genre of science fiction is diverse, and its exact definition remains a contested question among both scholars and devotees. This lack of consensus is reflected in debates about the genre's history, particularly over determining its exact origins. There are two broad camps of thought, one that identifies the genre's roots in early fantastical works such as the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (earliest Sumerian text versions c. 2150–2000 BCE). A second approach argues that science fiction only became possible sometime between the 17th and early 19th centuries, following the scientific revolution and major discoveries in astronomy, physics, and mathematics. Question of deeper origins aside, science fiction developed and boomed in the 20th century, as the deep integration of science and inventions into daily life encouraged a greater interest in literature that explores the relationship between technology, society, and the individual. Scholar Robert Scholes calls the history of science fiction “the history of humanity's changing attitudes toward space and time ... the history of our growing understanding of the universe and the position of our species in that universe.” In recent decades, the genre has diversified and become firmly established as a major influence on global culture and thought.

Masters of Science Fiction - Verne and Wells - Netflix

The European brand of science fiction proper began later in the 19th century with the scientific romances of Jules Verne and the science-oriented, socially critical novels of H. G. Wells. Verne's adventure stories, notably Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869) mixed daring romantic adventure with technology that was either up to the minute or logically extrapolated into the future. They were tremendous commercial successes and established that an author could make a career out of such whimsical material. L. Sprague de Camp calls Verne “the world's first full-time science fiction novelist.” Wells's stories, on the other hand, use science fiction devices to make didactic points about his society. In The Time Machine (1895), for example, the technical details of the machine are glossed over quickly so that the Time Traveller can tell a story that criticizes the stratification of English society. The story also uses Darwinian evolution (as would be expected in a former student of Darwin's champion, Huxley), and shows an awareness of Marxism. In The War of the Worlds (1898), the Martians' technology is not explained as it would have been in a Verne story, and the story is resolved by a deus ex machina, albeit a scientifically explained one. The differences between Verne and Wells highlight a tension that would exist in science fiction throughout its history. The question of whether to present realistic technology or to focus on characters and ideas has been ever-present, as has the question of whether to tell an exciting story or make a didactic point.

Masters of Science Fiction - References - Netflix