For awhile now, I’ve struggle to put what I write into a genre. None of the standard available categorizations ever seem to fit. The lack of accuracy perpetually grates on me, it feels like I’m forced to put stories in a category that is false advertising.
The problem is, I’m looking for a pairing of elements that isn’t named because its seldom done: Psychology and Science Fiction. These are the films/books I end up being the most excited about when I read their synopsis or see their trailer. I’d also argue it’s a pairing that is one of the most difficult to pull off successfully.
Science Fiction is generally described as: literary fantasy involving the imagined impact of technology on society.
This definition would fit in a general way, but I gravitate toward stories at the level of the individual. I want to experience characters in a situation that is feasible given the right technology (no magic required), and I want to explore what effects this has on a very isolated personal level.
Now, disclaimer, all the films I have included images of here are not necessarily “good” films. I put Transcendence in and I haven’t even seen it. The success or failure of these stories fell on the way the writer/director/actors explored the situations. What they all share is a very good idea that makes them interesting. Take The Butter Fly Effect: Great idea, poorly explored and acted.
I included The Game because, even thought there is no science fiction, one had to withstand a considerable amount of disbelief to buy that the ending was actually something that a group of people could pull off. Still, I love this movie.
Now, a lot of people could argue that a number of these are science fiction action adventure stories. I argue that Star Wars is a better fit for such a description. The difference being where the focus of the story lies. The puzzling out that a character has to do to achieve their end goal is the key difference. Star Wars plots are not about solving a complex mental puzzle, they’re about, for lack of a better description, action and adventure.
I like the idea of a Psy-Fi genera. Admittedly, it couldn’t actually be named that as it would be confusing as hell in a conversation. I’d be happy with Mind Bending Science Fiction, its often used to describe these films/stories anyway.