Craig White's Literature Courses

Terms / Themes

Possible synonyms: thought experiment, storyboard, sequence, outline, features, dimensions, aspects, possibilities, options.

"Scenario" for Literature of the Future's final exam can involve "narrative," which we've studied before, but scenario more explicitly involves settings (or situations), characterization, emotional or audience dynamics, etx.

Oxford English Dictionary Scenario

1.a. A sketch or outline of the plot of a play, ballet, novel, opera, story, etc., giving particulars of the scenes, situations, etc.

b. Cinematography. A film script with all the details of scenes, appearances of characters, stage-directions, etc., necessary for shooting the film.

2. A sketch, outline, or description of an imagined situation or sequence of events; esp.  
a synopsis of the development of a hypothetical future world war, and hence an outline of any possible sequence of future events;
an outline of an intended course of action;
a scientific model or description intended to account for observable facts.
Hence, in weakened senses . . . a circumstance, situation, scene, sequence of events, etc.

For Literature of the Future, "scenario" describes a familiar subject or sub-genre of science fiction such as Alien Contact, High Tech, Low Tech, Utopia / Dystopia, and Ecotopia.

Kim Stanley Robinson, Introduction. Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias. (NY: Tor, 1994): "Science fiction is a collection of thought experiments that propose scenarios of the future."

Collins English Dictionary: If you talk about a likely or possible scenario, you are talking about the way in which a situation may develop.

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