Some shows love playing genre conventions, a Fantasy Kitchen Sink
will have everything in the mythological handbook and then some, Trope Overdosed
works will keep adding tropes so long as they run, and then there are even shows that make new tropes.
These are not those shows. (Or can they be?)
A Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink is for all intents and purposes the playground of Science Fiction Tropes and everything associated with them. Have an Artificial Intelligence
construct able to run the Cool Starship
? It makes you coffee in the morning. Humongous Mecha
? You walked by several on the way to work. Faster Than Light Travel
? Totally mastered to the point where even Joe Penniless can get a ride to the stars. Laser and particle beams as weapons?
Everybody and their dog has one. The list of possible areas seems to be endless.
A good way to tell if a work is a Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink, is ask three questions. Is it in the Sci Fi
genre? Is it softer than reality by a wide margin according to the scale?
Does it use all or much of the stuff in the genre of Sci Fi
and not Hang A Lampshade
on it? Answer yes to all three and you likely are dealing with a Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink.
Popular in Space Opera
. Also popular in Mega Crossover
fanfic. Naturally compare Fantasy Kitchen Sink
; when both sinks are combined, it becomes Science Fantasy
. See also Standard Sci Fi Setting
, a particularly popular instance of Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink.
open/close all folders
- Spectral Shadows could qualify for this. There's a Mad Scientist, a world in a time that takes place After the End, there's Time Travel, Funny Animals that evolved from genetic slag due to weaponized acid rain, there's an intergalactic empire of Space Pirates, android funny animals, a virtual reality rpg where one can learn powers at the expense of feeling any and all pain, world warping powers, a space ship that can travel time and space, humongous mechas, and more.
- In the universe of Iain Banks' hyper-advanced people, The Culture, there's everything from dystopian ultra-capitalist planets, small debauched backwaters, "Sublimed" civilisations living in entire other dimensions, neglectful precursors, Proud Warrior Races, post-singularity communist civs...well, you get the idea. The fact that this is just a very incomplete list of some of the civilisation types should tip you off to the fact that this series mixes-and-matches an awful lot of sci-fi tropes. Tech levels vary right alongside the civilisations, although we rarely see a world a great deal less developed than present day Earth. Expect to see Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale stunningly averted, in both range and size of ships, drones, space battles, androids, sentient space-suits, conspiracies and counter-conspiracies.
- Doctor Who: there are three sorts of episodes. One type is the Doctor going back in time to some famous historical situation and finding aliens mucking about, another is the Doctor arriving in the present day and finding aliens mucking about, and the third, the type that makes the show a Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink, is the sort where the Doctor takes his companion to the future to basically show off a particular sort of sci fi idea. After 30+ years on the air, that's a lot of sci fi ideas.
- Warhammer 40000 - sometimes it is like each army is there to be a representative of a different sort of science fiction. Your Space Marines are your, unsurprisingly, post-Heinleinian Space Marines, Tyranids are books are about Bug War, Tau are animesque mecha and firepower and The Federation, Eldar are Clark's Third Law Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, spaceship battles feel like they come out of the Honor Harrington universe, Necrons are The Terminator and so on. If anybody want to write about or parody a certain type of science fiction, then they can.
- The Trinity Universe was launched as one of these as well. You want cyberpunk? America's corporate-owned and full of technopaths. You want wasteland? Paris and a huge chunk of the surrounding land got nuked. You want Space Opera? Mankind's made first contact and is currently involved in political dealings with at least three different species. You want Psychic Powers? What flavor do you want them in?