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Spyfi

What is Spyfi Science Fiction?

A sub-genre of Science Fiction about spies and espionage in the future. A key feature of Spyfi is the effects of technology on the espionage trade--the technological gadgets used tend to be over the top. These stories focus on the glamour, adventure, and daring spirit of spies--think James Bond, flashy cars, fun toys, and he always gets the girl. The espionage of Spyfi isn't so much realistic as escapist and fantastical. Spyfi can also be more generally described as spy-fiction.

You can view the crowd-ranked "Popular" SpyFi books list and vote and/submit entries to it.

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Other Features of SpyFi

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  • Level of Real Science

    Moderate. The technology used in Spyfi stories features prominently, but the story less about the science that created the gadget and more about the cool things the spy or villain can do with the gadget.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    Low. Spyfi is about the glamour and the adventure, not exploring ideas.

  • Level of Characterization

    Low. Characters in Spyfi stories are typically stock characters--the glamorous and cool super spy, the unstable mad genius, the gorgeous love interest.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    High. Complex plots with twists and turns are typical of the Spyfi sub-genre. After all, what's espionage without a few unexpected plot twists?

  • Level of Violence

    High. Espionage, high adventure, evil villains, ultra modern weapons--there will be a showdown and it will be violent.

Related Science Fiction subgenres

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    Pulp Science Fiction. Spyfi tends to be graphic like Pulp stories and have the same take on good and evil, where the hero always saves the day. SpyFi often includes some sort of Detective story set in the future and may also include some Noir elements. Hence, Hardboiled Sci Fi, and Detective Science Fiction might be two similar subgenres. Cyberpunk, which sometimes includes elements of SpyFi, HardBoiled, and Detective might also be another subgenre to look at.

Spyfi Science Fiction isn't for you if...

You like stories with lots of depth and meaning. If you don't find comfort in stories that reinforce the typical tropes, the hero always wins, and the ending is a respectable return to the status quo.

Popular Spyfi Science Fiction
  • 1 The Baroness


    By Paul Kenyon. A series about a voluptuous model turned spy who protects the world from evil geniuses who seek global domination with advanced scientific technologies.

  • 2 Crown of Slaves


    By David Weber. A series of novels that takes place in the future. These novels tend to be spy and counter-spy at a high level.

  • 3 James Bond


    By Ian Fleming. Likely the most recognizable Spyfi series with the iconic James Bond character--complete with cool technology and evil villains.

  • 4 George Smiley


    By John Le Carre. A trilogy that also features cool/futuristic gadgets and a spy who is most notably not James Bond.

  • 5 The Bourne Identity


    By Robert Ludlum. Grounded in a world much like our own--but ripe with adventure, intrigue, and interesting spy technology.

  • 6 Arctic Rising


    By Tobias Buckell. A recent example of a novel that uses the Spyfi sub-genre with an environmental lens.

  • 7 The Execution Channel


    By Ken MacLeod A near-future dystopian novel with all of the paranoia and obsessive security features of Spyfi.

  • 8 Billion-Dollar Brain


    By Len Deighton. One of the stories focusing on Harry Palmer, an unnamed spy. The novel features a computer that can do revolutionary computations (at least for the 6o's).

  • 9 Declare


    By Tim Powers. A British spy novel influenced by Le Carre and Lovecraft--secret history and the supernatural.

  • 10 The Flowery War


    By Tim Anderson. A fast-paced novel with a new take on the Spyfi sub-genre. A graduate-school dropout, working for an alien language expert, becomes a spy in a futuristic world.