Want to get into science fiction? Here's where to start.S

It's time to start packing your bags for school and buying the latest educational brain implants. We're celebrating back-to-school season this week with some introductory courses on science fiction.

The history of science fiction goes back nearly two centuries, to the publication of early SF novel Frankenstein. Some would say it stretches back thousands of years, if you consider ancient myths and folktales to be the beginning of speculative fiction. And scifi has exploded over the past 100 years, with tales of other worlds going from an obscure pulp magazine mainstay in the 1910s to the biggest blockbusters in videogames and Hollywood movies today.

So how the heck do you get started with this genre? There's just so much to read and see, and so little time!

That's where SF 101 comes in. This week, we'll bring you a series of posts designed to help you get into science fiction by offering guides to the most important works in the genre, as well as common tropes and recurring heroes. Plus, we'll help you appreciate science fiction art and tell you what areas of scientific study you should know about before plunging into the fiction that pays homage to it.

Get out your notebooks and artificially intelligent mobile devices, and prepare to get an education in science fiction.