SF CORE Best Lists
SF ERA Best Lists
SF GENRE Best Lists
SF Subgenre Guides


img img img img img img img img

Near-Future Science Fiction

What is Near-Future Science Fiction?

Near-Future Science Fiction is defined more by its setting than other characteristics. The stories in this sub-genre take place in a future very near our own and has some feeling of familiarity—much like Mundane Science Fiction.

Frequently, Near-Future Sci Fi is about current technology, or technology in development today and its effects on our world.

You can also view the Crowd-Ranked Near-Future Science Fiction books list and vote and/submit entries to it.

Your Text Link Book Ad

This could be your text link book advertisment here, shown on every page. Contact us

Sample Book Ad

Get pulled into the world of Av'lor and fly with Sir Lanclor to defend the portal to Earth. Armor is optional.

Visit our Forum

Want to talk fantasy? Visit our awesome fantasy forum to find out what's what in the fantasy world and to meet other cool fantasy lovers.

Other Features of Near-Future Science Fiction

  • Level of Real Science

    High. Near-Future Sci Fi is set in a world that is a natural progression from our own and so technological and scientific advancements are believable and utterly real.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    High. Near-Future Sci Fi examines the results of a change or development—often related to science and technology—on our society. Frequently, this examination reveals a sense of fear or anxiety about the future.

  • Level of Characterization

    High. Because Near-Future Sci Fi is set in a world much like our own characters often feel more real and readers can find themselves easily identifying with these characters.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    High. The development of events and their consequences are central to Near-Future stories and as such plots are well defined and meaningful.

  • Level of Violence

    Moderate. Violence is a part of our current world, so violence also tends to be a part of near-future settings as well. When there is violence in a near-future setting is it is often a consequence of a sequence of events and part of the story's overall commentary on science, technology and/or society.

Related Science Fiction subgenres




    Mundane Science Fiction. Mundane Sci Fi settings tend to be in the near-future so as to maintain its close to Earth necessity.

  • Cyberpunk and Nanopunk. Both of these sub-genres tend to take place in a future very close to our current one.

  • Political Science Fiction. Near-Future Sci Fi provides a space for making direct and immediate political commentary.

  • Dystopia. Rare is the optimistic Near-Future story. Mostly, Near-Future stories present concerns about the path of current events and their consequences, so a dystopian society is natural partner in the Near-Future sub-genre.

Near-Future Science Fiction isn't for you if...

If you prefer far-off tales. Because Near-Future Sci Fi takes place close to home it often expresses a sense of an anxiety about the future that some readers may find unsettling.

Popular Near-Future Science Fiction Books
  • 1 Islands in the Net

    By Bruce Sterling. This novel, though now slightly dated, depicts an uncomfortably possible near-future of “high tech and low humanity.”

  • 2 Earth

    By David Brin. A novel set in 2038 that depicts a world on the edge of environmental collapse.

  • 3 Queen of Angels

    By Greg Bear. A Hard Sci Fi tale that takes place in a very near-future California and centers around a poet-murderer.

  • 4 Halting State

    By Charles Stross. A tale about a virtual bank robbery in 2018 and its connections to the real world.

  • 5 Bridge Trilogy

    By William Gibson. The trilogy begins in 2006 and is concerned with the race to control cyberspace technology.

  • 6 Man Plus

    By Frederick Pohl. There is a war for natural resources taking place on Earth and a goal of colonizing Mars and one former astronaut is transformed to live on the Martian frontier.

  • 7 The Space Merchants

    By Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth This collaborative novel can be labelled a satire. In the near-future this book presents, business has taken the place of government and society is distorted—an expression of fear or anticipation is prevelant.

  • 8 The Execution Channel

    By Ken MacLeod. A Near-Future Sci Fi/Spy Thriller story that depicts an anti-terrorist dystopia.

  • 9 River of Gods

    By Ian McDonald. This story takes place in 2047 India and follows 9 distinct characters and features a caste of genetically engineered children, gender neutral adults, AIs, and a water shortage.

  • 10 The Diamond Age

    By Neal Stephenson. A sophisticated device falls into the hands of an impoverished girl—a look at how nanotechnology can influence our world.