You know how a lot of the ideas of science fiction are becoming reality?
We've found a "Super-Earth," the military is testing giant robots for combat, cloning is now possible...
For some reason, it makes me think of what will happen to fiction if the world eventually becomes "the Jetsons."
Will we come up with more fantastic ideas? Will we call it "historical fiction?" "Non-fiction?" "Bedtime stories?"
If I'm understanding the questions correctly....
If you're asking whether science fiction books will ever be considered "non-fiction", the answer is no. Non-fiction is a collection of factual information about a subject. Science "fiction", by its very terminology, contains non-factual things like made-up characters, dialogue, and events that cannot be documented by real, non-fiction sources. Science fiction can, however, be critiqued and discussed based on how realistically the story used the science or extrapolation of scientific knowledge.
Will we continue to produce "fantastic" or "science" fiction? Of course. No matter how advanced our technology or how much scientific knowledge the human race amasses, there will always be new and/or improved technology and more knowledge to learn. (Unless humanity finds some brilliant way of wiping ourselves collectively off the face of the Earth, but let's work on the theory that we won't.) Also, new advances and information lead to new questions and searches for answers. It's an ongoing process. Since story-telling seems to be part of human nature, I suspect we'll be producing all sorts of "fantastic fiction" for generations to come.
"Historical fiction" is generally fiction that is set in a time period earlier than the one in which it's written. If the reader is lucky, the author has done enough research to make the historic detail as accurate as possible. So, books like Across Five Aprils
(American Civil War), Summer of My German Soldier
(World War II), or any of the American Girls series are considered historical fiction. They were written in the mid- to late 20th century, but the characters are placed in earlier time periods.
Books that have scientific advances beyond those of the historic time period will still be considered science fiction. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
, for example, is generally considered science fiction because the nuclear-powered submarine and the adventures it allowed to happen in the novel were beyond the scope of the science of the times. Even though we today have nuclear-powered submarines, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
isn't going to be classified as "non-fiction". (If it was written during the time when it took place, it really wouldn't be historical fiction, either. It is, however, a classic, which is usually a book that contains universal truths about the human condition that span all time.) (Of course, I think it was Mark Twain who said that a classic is a book that everyone wants to have read, but no one wants to read. :wink: )