Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink
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 M. Banks's 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.
- Perry Rhodan is running for over 50 years now and did start with The Space Race and then features things like Ancient Astronauts, Sufficiently Advanced Alien, Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, The Battlestar, Cosmic Chess Game, Lensman Arms Race, Order Versus Chaos, and and ... and we have not nearly covered everything in the first one hundred books.
- In Dragons Lexicon Triumvirate, there are cyborg dragons, Technoknights, computers, and nukes, oh my!
- Doctor Who, by virtue of it having run from 1963 to 1989 and subsequently from 2005 onwards and ranges through the entirety of time and space. After 30+ years on-air, that's a lot of sci-fi ideas.
- Warhammer 40,000 - 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.
- Trinity 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?
- The Halo series including its Expanded Universe. It has Humongous Mecha, Faster-Than-Light Travel, Artificial Intelligence, Space Marines, Precursors, etc. While the weirder aspects of Sci-Fi like Psychic Powers or various Negative Space Wedgies haven't show up in the games (although the Flood Hive Mind, Slipspace anomalies, and the Ur-Didact's gravity control powers come close), The Forerunner Saga dips into that territory by going the Cosmic Horror Story route, complete with Eldritch Starships, Genius Loci, and a Sentient Cosmic Force which allows technology to be made of thought.
- Starcraft: Everything can travel faster than light via Psychic Powers, science or biological creatures able to do so on their own! AI exists but is lower key, Starfighters abound as do Humongous Mecha and Tanks and more.
- Futurama: Everything that exists in the Sci Fi Writer's Handbook exists here plus a heaping helping of Rule of Funny and It Runs on Nonsensoleum. Word Of God says in the DVD Commentary that they realized just how far down this rabbit hole they'd gone when they agonized over whether it was okay to feature a wizard alongside everything else, they did, and nobody in the audience blinked.