To start out with, I did not write this post. I’m showing an excerpt and linking to the source. That being said, I really enjoyed this article that argues House M.D. is Science Fiction. Thanks to the guys at io9 for putting this article together, and if you’re a House fan I encourage you to take a read. I really like the 2nd point they bring up.
Popular medical forensics drama House is about science, and it’s quite obviously fiction, but is it science fiction? Absolutely. And here’s why.
1. It contains speculative science.
Stanley Schmidt, editor of venerable hard science fiction magazine Analog, offered his definition of science fiction at WorldCon earlier this month. He said that SF puts equal emphasis on “the science and the fiction;” and contains “an element of speculative science or technology” while remaining plausible. He said the story “Flowers for Algernon,” about a medical experiment that makes a mentally disabled man into a genius, is a perfect example of science fiction.
Schmidt’s definition clarifies why House can qualify as SF. Nearly every episode centers on a compelling medical mystery that must be solved using relatively plausible science. And yet medicine we see is often speculative – in fact, speculative medicine is essentially Dr. House’s specialty. He has to come up with solutions to novel ailments that nobody has really dealt with before.
Sure, House has never elevated anyone’s IQ by 100 points in just a few weeks, but he has done things that were just as speculative. The episode where he figured out that a woman who is an incredibly patient, kind teacher is actually suffering from a brain ailment that makes her more forgiving than ordinary people? Where he diagnosed breast cancer in a woman’s knee? Where House convinced everybody that a woman had gotten herself pregnant via parthenogenesis? Where House figured out what was wrong with a woman who’d lapsed into a coma in the Antarctic by asking her boyfriend to drink her urine, then drill a hole in her skull?
Let’s just say those episodes were speculative science, shall we?
2. House contains an iconic science fiction subplot.
Now that House has a “Head Amber” he’s become like Battlestar Galactica’s Baltar with his “Head Six.” Or maybe like Farscape’s Crichton with his Head Scorpius. For some reason, SF shows love to create Head Versions of bad guys, and House, M.D. is no different. The woman House once knew only by the nickname Cutthroat Bitch (and as the girlfriend of his buddy Wilson) now lives in his head, and she’s scarier and bitchier than ever.
To read the other 3 arguements check out the io9 article in one of the links I’ve provided.