This very broad theme permeates large areas of sf, and is principally dealt with in this encyclopedia under the heading Future War. The historical World War One and World War Two have their own more specific entries, as does the dominant latter-twentieth-century nightmare that never in fact achieved reality, the nuclear Holocaust of World War Three which is assumed as the basis of most Post-Holocaust sf. Alternate History includes much ingenious playing with alternative war outcomes, a notable subgenre here being Hitler Wins. Military SF has also become a significant subgenre of sf as a whole, partly overlapping the traditional conflicts of Galactic Empires and Space Opera. Wars fought across Time instead of (or as well as) space are covered by Changewar and related entries (see Jonbar Point; Time Police).
Numerous sf Games are devoted to simulating futuristic war in a manner far less stylized than Chess; see in particular Computer Wargame and Wargame. [DRL]
see also: Weapons.
Previous versions of this entry