Definitions of “science fiction”

Now let’s go out and see how others define this genre.

Search the Web (and any other sources you might have) for definitions of science fiction.  Try to find definitions offered by SF critics and creators, writers and directors, but if you find something insightful by Joe Schmoe of Hoboken, that’s fine too.  When you find a good one, pass it along to the rest of us by replying to this thread.

To start, here is a definition from Bruce Sterling, futurist and author of Islands in the Net (1988).  He actually does an end-around — defining the genre by describing those who create it.  It’s in his “Preface” to William Gibson’s collection of short stories, Burning Chrome.  Sterling writes:

If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science-fiction writers are its court jesters.

Hmm…  What else can we find about science fiction?

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