Usually when people think of science fiction, it is a rule-based setting. Near future, far future, alternate past – the “what if” of a good science fiction novel usually sticks with what could be, if things develop according to the way society is trending and the rules of science allow. But what then do you do with science fiction that adds in something fantastical? For my purposes you get a Science Fiction/Fantasy blend.
Psychic powers are one of the most common fantasy elements that get added to what can otherwise be straightforward science fiction. There is no scientific basis (at this time!) for psychic powers. No proof that they exist or could exist, or would exist if the conditions were right. But they are irresistible to authors in many genres. Some even bother to walk through scientific example of why the powers manifest. But really, they’re just cool. The great thing about genre blends is that authors feel free to borrow whatever cool bits they like from other genres. It’s a big part of why I like blends. So with no further ado, here are some great examples of SF with psychic powers
Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
Start with: Foundation
Asimov’s classic series is the story of a galactic empire in decline. Hari Sheldon is the inventor of psychohistory, the ability to see the future through the use of history, psychology and statistics. He foresees the end of society and brings together humanity’s greatest thinkers to create a safe hold, a foundation at the edge of the galaxy. But that’s not even the psychic part! There is a character of Mule, whose ability to control others through their emotions makes him a dangerous man, and a threat to Hari’s plans. There’s some other psychic stuff running through the series, but none of this makes it any less of a classic of the science fiction genre. (more…)