Science Fiction

Science Fiction Logo

Definition:

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary, but 
more-or-less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic 
technology, space travel, aliens, etc. Exploring the consequences of 
scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making
it the true future of STEM.
Be sure to read the general rules and requirements, the full category description document (which also contains generic information applicable to all categories), and the rubric for the category (all of which are available at the Judging Information page here).

Submitting a Science Fiction Entry

An electronic version of a story entry (not the display) must be submitted no later than three days prior to the STEM Expo event. If an entry is over 10 pages (10 minutes if in Audio or Video fromat) then this deadline is 7 days prior. 

If the entry is a two or three dimensional art piece, a photograph with the explanatory text of the presentation display is acceptable. This must also be submitted no later than three days prior to the STEM Expo event.

Submit your entry via email to scifi@stemexpo.org at least three days, but preferably a week in advance. Don't hesitate to contact us for help!

When you submit, you should be sure to include your name in the email so we can be sure to match it up with your registration. PDF format is preferred, but we can handle just about any electronic document format. If it's really obscure, we'll follow up with you!  By the way, if you haven't registered, you'll want to make sure to do that too! (http://www.stemexpo.org/Registration).


PERTINENT INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS

Science fiction includes an imaginative vision of the possible future of science and technology. Good sicence fiction tells a story or raises questions to show the concept of where we have expanded beyond our current understanding.  

PROJECT SCOPE

This category includes presentations in the form of stories, graphic novels,  two or three dimensional artworks, comic books, plays, videos, etc.

There is no length limit for any written story, but the quality should be 'grade level appropriate'. Illustrations for written stories and/or storylines for non-written entries are appreciated, and collaborative efforts to provide those are welcomed.

Science Fiction uses and relies on the concept of “Willful Suspension of Disbelief”. This concept is a reader’s or viewer's ability to accept what they know to be untrue (or not yet proven) to be real for the duration of the story/viewing of the piece. The best works establish this adjusted reality early on, and don’t introduce changes or violate the principles that are set.

Science Fiction is not the only type of speculative fiction. Although fantasy (for instance) is a similar genre, it is not the same - anything that relies on magic, or phenomena that cannot be explained by the scientific reality as described will not be rated at the same level as those that follow the principles that are established. Basically: science fiction is possible, fantasy is impossible.

PROJECT DISPLAY AND DESCRIPTION

An electronic version of a story entry (not the display) must be submitted no later than three days prior to the STEM Expo event. If an entry is over 10 pages (10 minutes if in Audio or Video fromat) then this deadline is 7 days prior. 

If the entry is a two or three dimensional art piece, a photograph with the explanatory text of the presentation display is acceptable. This must also be submitted no later than three days prior to the STEM Expo event.

As in all categories, the general requirements must be followed for this category as well, including some form of display for the day of the event. This display may be simple or complex, it may include:

  • Description of the entry (an outline, a storyboard, etc. as appropriate)
  • References to supporting or similar works
  • A copy of the actual story/entry 
  • Any illustrations or images that represent the story

ENTRY, REVIEW, AND JUDGING

Judging will include an interview period and potential additional views of the project display. Judges will use an understanding of the category, this document, the rubric, and the general rules in their evaluations. Please review these documents for other items that may be considered.

WHAT WILL BE JUDGED

  • General rules and judging criteria
  • Science fiction vs. other speculative fiction (e.g. fantasy)
  • General standards for the media chosen (e.g. well written for stories, good production values for A/V items, mastery of chosen media)
  • Use of creative ideas and imagination is important  to the entry

ADDITIONAL ITEMS THAT WILL AFFECT THE REVIEW AND JUDGING CONCLUSIONS

  • Alternative thought process or physical rules are clearly expressed (but not necessarily described in detail)
  • Alternative rules are consistent 
  • Willful suspension of disbelief effort is almost negligible