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date: 20 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Much science fiction attempts to imagine probable, possible, improbable, or impossible futures, but it is not the only field of human endeavor to predict the future. This chapter explores the related fields of “futurology,” “Futurism,” and “futures studies” that study both how the future might be predicted for economic, social, political, and strategic purposes and the factors that have led to current situations. It also examines aspects of the fields’ methodologies and the use that they make of science fiction. From 1842 the term “Futurist” had been used to describe Christian eschatology in which it was thought that a coming apocalypse would lead to a transformation of society. This cyclical notion of humanity is paralleled in some of SF’s future histories that also depict the fall and rise of society. The chapter concludes with a critique of futurology from the perspective of SF.

Keywords: science fiction, futurology, Futurism, futures studies, eschatology, apocalypse, Future History

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