The setting adheres to the precepts of the Mundane Manifesto, a system of self-imposed restraints similar in spirit to the constraints of ''Dogme '95'' ([[ see here]]) in film. Such settings usually fall rather high on the MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness, but there are exceptions.

A quick overview: The Mundanes promise to eschew...

* FasterThanLightTravel; space travel is limited to sub-light speeds and is difficult, time consuming, and expensive
* [[AbsentAliens Space aliens]], unless the connection is distant, difficult, tenuous and expensive -- and they have no FTL travel either
* [[AlternateUniverse Alternative Universes]] interacting with the universe the characters are in.
* FunctionalMagic
* TimeTravel
* [[TeleportersAndTransporters Teleportation]]
* [[SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay Fundamental inaccuracies regarding space]]

... while still providing other instances of AppliedPhlebotinum that do not break these rules.



* ''{{Appleseed}}''
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShell''
* ''{{Patlabor}}''
* ''{{Planetes}}''
* ''TwinSpica''
* Most of the early ''Manga/AstroBoy'' stories were surprisingly grounded in reality, since Tezuka wanted to create a future world his viewers could relate to. Later stories went a little crazy with the alien invaders, though it's interesting to note that in the entire history of the franchise there's been only one mention of a human-built spacecraft leaving the solar system (at the end of ''The Transparent Giant'').

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''{{Tintin}}'' comic-books ''Recap/TintinDestinationMoon'' and ''Recap/TintinExplorersOnTheMoon'' (Yes, really!).

* ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'': The film follows the Manifesto while (ironically) the book by ArthurCClarke does not by (catch this) leaving the events ''more'' ambiguous. Because it's not clear that the events following David Bowman's encounter with the monolith are literally happening or are all just in his head, Kubrick's version slips by, while Clarke's (in which it's clear he's literally transported to other star systems) is more dubious (although the aliens who did it ''are'' [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens sufficiently advanced]]).
** In ''3001: The Final Odyssey'', Clarke {{retcon}}ned the first novel's {{FTL}} travel as being all in Dave Bowman's head.
*** Clarke is ambiguous about whether 2010, 2061 or 3001 retcon anything. In the author's notes for 2061, Clarke indicates that the novels may involve the same characters and the same situations, but the novels do not *necessarily* happen in the same universe. So, either everything's retcons or it's parallel universes. Or we need to talk to Mr Schrodinger about his cat.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'' series was at least making an effort, at least before ExecutiveMeddling rejected the original [[WetwareCPU humans-as-distributed-processors]] explanation as [[ViewersAreMorons "too complicated"]] and came up with one that made even less sense. And later Neo's powers working in "reality".
** The latter part makes sense when you remember that Neo is a cyborg, and may have wireless technology in that spine of his that no-one else has, thanks to his special status. The series still features widely used anti-gravity technology, which takes it pretty far away from realism, however.
* ''DestinationMoon'' (no relation to the ''{{Tintin}}'' comic aside from the subject matter) and ''ProjectMoonbase.'' Both these movies had Creator/RobertAHeinlein as a consultant and were very realistic.
* ''Film/MoonZeroTwo,'' a space adventure movie Hammer made in the 70s. It's meticulously realistic, the only thing it has that is a little iffy scientifically is ArtificialGravity, which they only inserted because they didn't have enough money to do moon gravity effects for the entire movie.
* ''Film/{{Moon}}'' has been described as "like ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' except it actually makes sense." It was screened at NASA's Space Center in Houston at the request of one of the professors there, due to its realistic depiction of helium-3 mining.

* There are many, many examples in SpeculativeFiction literature, and indeed many books and short stories were pretty explicitly written to popularise real scientific and technological issues. Some examples have therefore dated badly as ScienceMarchesOn. A very partial list would include:
* ArthurCClarke:
** "A Fall Of Moondust"
** ''Imperial Earth''
** ''Islands In The Sky''
** ''Prelude To Space''
** ''The Deep Range''
** ''RendezvousWithRama''
** ''The Sands Of Mars''
* Creator/BenBova:
** The ''Grand Tour'' series of books.
* John J. Lumpkin
** ''Through Struggle, the Stars''
* Kim Stanley Robinson:
** The Literature/RedMarsTrilogy
* Maureen F. [=McHugh=]
** Literature/ChinaMountainZhang
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein:
** ''Literature/RocketShipGalileo''
** ''Literature/TheRollingStones''
** ''Literature/TheManWhoSoldTheMoon''
** ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress''
** ''Literature/RevoltIn2100''
* Creator/CharlesStross
** ''HaltingState''
* Creator/CoryDoctorow
** ''Literature/EasternStandardTribe''
* IanMcDonald
** ''River of Gods''
* Any of WilliamGibson's novels.
* Creator/GregBear
** ''The Forge of God,'' while there are aliens, they are never seen. Instead we see a robotic HordeOfAlienLocusts that they dispatch to destroy us. The sequel, ''Anvil of Stars,'' is not as adherent, while FTL is still impossible, humans travel between the stars at sublight speeds, and develop AppliedPhlebotinum that borders on FunctionalMagic.
** ''Darwin's Radio'' and ''Darwin's Children''
* ''Paradises Lost'', a GenerationShip story by UrsulaKLeGuin. No aliens, no faster-than-light travel, just a slow ship full of humans traveling (mostly out of scientific curiosity) towards a distant, possibly habitable planet.
* Nearly all of the science-fiction of Creator/MichaelCrichton fits this trope, with Sphere and Timeline being notable exceptions.
* Most work by Creator/AlastairReynolds. All of his work averts SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay, as he worked for the European Space Agency as an astronomer, and has a doctorate in the same subject.
** The ''RevelationSpace'' series. Travel is limited to slower than light "lighthugger" ships. The universe has aliens, but they are ''thoroughly'' [[StarfishAliens alien]].
** ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'' has much more fantastic technology than his previous works, but still adheres to the laws of physics [[spoiler: even with its faster-than-light travel]]
* ''Literature/{{Existence}}'' is Creator/DavidBrin's take on this trope. Unlike his more famous ''Literature/{{Uplift}}'' series there's no supertech FTL or psionics, and aliens only appear as [[BrainUploading uploaded]] "Emissaries" in crystalline Artifacts hurled at STL speeds over countless millions of years [[spoiler: and they're all extinct as far as one can tell.]]
* The majority of Creator/RobertReed's novels and short stories follow most or all of the mundane dogma and are generally [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness fairly scientifically hard]]:
** The ''Literature/GreatShip'' series has no FTL and the science is ground in modern-day physics. However, aliens are present and fairly common on the [[PlanetSpaceship Great Ship]], albeit very [[StarfishAliens starfishy]], due to the presence of [[LongevityTreatment life-extension]] procedures that make slower-than-light interstellar travel possible.
** ''Literature/SisterAlice''. Bar possibly the presence of SubspaceAnsible tech - it's never made clear if communication is FTL as characters operate in the span of centuries and millenia - and the [[spoiler: climax involving the creation of a new pocket universe]], the technology is fantastic - stellar-sized dark matter machinery - but mundane and ground in known physics.
** ''The Leeshore'' is mundane to the core. FTL is non-existant, and the only fantastic tech shown is the "i-ply" computronium material and its lesser derivatives which are used as a construction material.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Moonbase 3''. (You've probably never heard of this series, have you? Well it aired on the {{BBC}} in the early '70's.)
* ''Series/StarCops'': This BBC series was a pretty good attempt at realistic "High Frontier" SF.
* ''TheSixMillionDollarMan''
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', if you disregard one notable instance involving psionic powers which may or may not qualify as FunctionalMagic.
* ''Series/DefyingGravity'', although there is some debate about whether or not the ''Antares''' communication system is FTL, even though it is never explicitly stated or even implied to be so. It ''appears'' to be FTL, because characters millions of kilometers away will be carrying on a casual conversation without any time lag, but this may just be for the audience's convenience. The characters could in fact have been waiting around for minutes at a time for their friends to respond to their messages ''offscreen''.
* The first couple of seasons of ''Series/RedDwarf'', before anything much started happening outside the ship.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TranshumanSpace'' from ''{{GURPS}}''. In the year 2100, there is no FTL, no aliens, no breaking physical laws. But the sheer alienness of the people inhabiting this setting is both realistic and overwhelming.
* Phil Eklund's ''High Frontier'', a boardgame, is about scientifically-plausible exploration and exploitation of the resources in the solar system. The expansion, High Frontier: Interstellar, focuses on the building, launch, and travel of non-FTL colony starships.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', and ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution''.
** ...but not ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'', which introduces teleportation (despite not really making any use of it in the plot).
* While the space colony management simulator ''VideoGame/RimWorld'' is set in a far-future setting, technology is restricted to the plausible (if obviously very advanced). FasterThanLightTravel and [[AbsentAliens true aliens]] are noticeably absent.