A Comprehension question

The techniques employed by science fiction writers are meant to draw the reader into a world where extraordinary events can occur and unexpected scenarios draw a striking comparison to events which mirror our everyday real life experiences. So good science fictions needs to stay within the limits of what may one day happen, at the same time science fiction writers need to stay away from the genre of fantasy paint a scenario which will never occur. Readers of science fiction expect to be exposed to a world different from our own, but in which certain physical rules and laws still apply. In addition, any plot as part of a science fiction novel or story needs to mirror events which are familiar to many of us, IT may include the universal ideas of hope and loss. Association with real life events helps the author maintain the a without which a science fiction story becomes unrealistic and in fact an insult to the science fiction community.”

The question is : According to the passage, readers of science fiction:

A) are liable to the same world as ours.

B) are subjected to local ideas of hope and loss.

C) experience a different world from our own.

D) always face applicable rules.

I was confused between C & D ,until I picked “D”. Do readers of science fiction expect to be exposed to a different world from our own when they read science fiction stories or when they lead their own life? If it’s the second condition then the answer would be D, I think.


The answer is C because:

  • it is true that readers of science fiction expect to experience a different world than our own; although some physical rules and laws will likely still apply and although there will likely be some familiar plot themes, the science fiction world itself is fundamentally different.
  • although science fiction readers may expect that some physical rules and laws will appear in the story, they also expect that some of the physical rules and laws can be different, and the physical rules and laws in that are the same as Earth’s in one science fiction story are not exactly the same physical rules and laws that may be the same as Earth’s in another science fiction story. Therefore it is not true that science fiction readers always face applicable rules because there is no single physical rule or law which may not be different in a given science fiction story.

To give examples from the science fiction TV series The Twilight Zone

  • In Episode 2 death is an actual physical being and a person has the ability to negotiate with death whether he is to die or not
  • In Episode 4 an aging movie star is able to transform herself into a person on a film who is a version of her younger self, so that she can be eternally young and surrounded by the young stars of her years of stardom.
  • In Episode 5 a man is able to go back in time and visit himself when he was twelve as well as his family and people in the town he grew up in; his actions change the present once he returns to it
  • In Episode 7 a man is living on a distant asteroid and his only companion is a female robot who he falls in love with
  • In Episode 10 after a German u-boat cruelly sinks an unarmed British passenger liner the German crew are condemned to relive that day eternally but as passengers on the British ship with no memory of who they are or how they got there
  • In Episode 11 after a trip to space three astronauts and their spacecraft first return to Earth but then they one by one vanish from existence with no record of them in history
  • In Episode 13 a man can change is face to look like anyone he chooses
  • In Episode 28 a man dies and goes to a world where his every whim is instantly satisfied (he wins every bet at the casino, commits a crime but the policeman is shrunk and can do nothing to him, etc.), but only one other person (his angel he believes) is real so he can’t have any deep friendships/connections with anyone except that other person, who he actually discovers is a devil and he is in hell
  • In Episode 36 a person can create anything (living or otherwise) into his world simply by describing it into his dictation machine and, if he destroys the tape of that part of his dictation, that thing fades out of the world.

So you see in each case the world is different from our own and some rules are the same and others not the same – there are no rules that are necessarily always the same.

Source : Link , Question Author : Shorouq Hamed , Answer Author : Brillig

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