What is Science Fiction? Fiction dealing mainly with the influence of definite or abstract science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as a vital orienting element. To be considered science fiction, a story mostly needs to have at its fundamental some reference to science or technology, and it needs to be fiction, or fantasy.
Some science fiction writers, including Ellison, desire to call their work “theoretical fiction,” highlighting that their stories take some feature of modern life and prolong this feature into the future. It consents a writer to make remarks on modern society by creating and criticizing a society of the future.
The “Second Variety” and “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” seems like a scary story, however, both the stories are considerably appropriate as a science fiction stories. Both the stories have the similar idea of machine getting the destructive powers and how it impacts humankind.
As mentioned earlier in the above paragraph, “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” is in many ways a classic science fiction story. It begins with an idea that has its origins in the growth of technology during the 1960s, the idea that putting supercomputers in interaction with each other and in charge of protection will lead to apocalypse.
In the 1960s, the latent of linked computer systems was still only latent; however, Ellison and others imagined about what such computers could create. Further, the story discovers the ground between humans and machines, popular zone for writers. In Ellison’s time, Isaac Asimov created a series of many popular robotic novels that took as their focus on the correlation between people and their machine like creations.
Ellison’s science fiction or theoretical fiction endures to speak to audiences years after its initial publication. This story in particular appears ordained to haunt readers who see in the growth of a potentially deadly connection between humankind and machines.
On the other hand, “Second Variety” is also considered as the science fiction story. The plot is set in the outcome of nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United Nations, where the only populations are killer robots. Humanity is fundamental to the story; It makes the reader questions, who is human and who is not and has computerization caused people to feel alienated? Philip K. Dick is also interested in the continuously developing connection between man and machine.
Second Variety was a major inspiration for the plot of the Terminator series in which huge machines with tank tracks roll over the human skull. The machines who looks like a human rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Technology invented for its own sake, especially when that technology is formatted to kill, can prove self-destruction to its inventors.
Therefore, the “Second Variety” and “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”, both stories are considered as a science fiction stories. Both the stories share the similar idea of how humankind created the machine who looks like human, but they turned out to be very evil and bring destruction to the human kind.