A science fiction Western
is a work of fiction
which has elements of science fiction
in a Western
setting. It is different from a Space Western
, which is a frontier story indicative of American Westerns
, except transposed to a backdrop of space
exploration and settlement.
A science fiction Western occurs in the past, or in a world resembling the past, in which modern or future technology exists. The anachronistic
technology of these stories is present because scientific paradigms occurred earlier in history but are implemented via industrial elements present at that time, or because technology is brought from another time or place. The genre often overlaps with Steampunk
The film serial The Phantom Empire
may be the earliest science fiction Western. Since then, science fiction Westerns have appeared in film, television, novels, comic books, and other media. Since the characteristic elements of science fiction can occur in any setting, science fiction lends itself to combination with other genres. In 1953, J. B. Priestley
described the "Western" as one of the three types of science fiction.Priestley, J. B.
(December 5, 1953) "Thoughts in the Wilderness." New Statesman
, p. 712. Cited in Padlipsky, Michael A. (1960), "", undergraduate thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
. URL accessed on January 15, 2006