near-future adj.

denoting a subgenre of science fiction set in a future recognizably similar to a contemporary setting, having only moderate differences in technology

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • [1949 Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 162/1 page image

    In The Solitary Hunters Dr. Keller considers a near-future U.S.A. in which a private individual has taken over the job of handling all criminals.]

  • 1954 ‘Inquisitor’ Fanfare & Suchlike in Vargo Statten Science Fiction Magazine (vol. I, no. 3) 41/1 page image A. V. Clarke

    The Wishful Thinker…is a near-future fantasy concerning an Englishman able to read the thoughts of a leading Communist in Russia.

  • 1961 ‘J. Merril’ in Year’s Best S-F 6 (1962) 93 page image Judith Merril bibliography

    Readers of previous S-F annuals will remember Theodore L. Thomas’s ‘The Far Look’ and ‘Satellite Passage’ particularly for the vivid personal realism of his near-future portraits of man in space.

  • 1981 S. R. Delany Some Remarks on SF Criticism in Science Fiction Studies (vol. 8, no. 3) Nov. 236 page image Samuel R. Delany

    I mean that, historically, far-future SF (space opera) developed in the pulps of the 1930s and ’40s before near-future SF developed in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

  • 1986 B. W. Aldiss & D. Wingrove Trillion Year Spree x. 257 page image Brian W. Aldiss David Wingrove bibliography

    Coppel made a different reputation with a near-future thriller, The Dragon (1977).

  • 1987 J. J. Pierce Great Themes of Science Fiction v. 86 page image John J. Pierce bibliography

    Leinster’s ‘Politics’ (1932), a near-future war story, turns on the use of automatic range finders as the decisive element in a Pacific naval battle.

  • 2016 N. Berlatsky What Black Mirror, Her and the Near-Future Genre Tell Us About Tomorrow in Guardian 21 Nov. (electronic ed.) page image

    1984 is an example of near-future science fiction—narratives that extrapolate from current technology and society to think about what life could be like in 10 years, or a year, or an hour.

Research requirements

antedating 1954

Last modified 2021-08-11 13:34:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.