When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1817, she had no idea that it would be the beginning of an entirely new genre: science fiction. By 1895, the first edition of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells was being published. It was an instant success and, despite its elevated language, still holds appeal for us today. In fact, the increasing speed of technological change makes science fiction (SF) more appealing now than it has ever been and in many ways, it may be more relevant to our modern society than any other genre.
Although SF is complex, it is offers visions and warnings for the future and invites us to reflect on the human condition in ways that make the difficulty of such texts worth the struggle. SF often has ambiguous beginnings designed to build suspense while leaving the reader in the dark about many aspects of the plot. Our eighth grade students are each studying one of four different novels as part of our genre study. They will be using a wiki, which can be accessed through the Useful Links page of this website, to socially construct meaning with their peers and thoughtfully respond to these texts .