Spy-Fi (subgenre)

Spy-Fi is a subgenre of spy fiction that includes elements of science fiction, and is often associated with the Cold War.[1][2][3][4][5] Features of Spy-Fi include the effects of technology on the espionage trade and the technological gadgets used by the characters, even though the technologies and gadgets portrayed are well beyond current scientific reality.[6]

Definition and characteristics

Spy-Fi can be defined as media that centers around the adventures of a protagonist (or protagonists) working as a secret agent or a spy. Usually, these adventures will revolve around defeating a rival superpower or singular enemy from achieving a nefarious aim. Content may include themes such as world domination, world destruction, futuristic weapons, and gadgets. Settings vary from outright fantasy, such as outer space or under the sea, to real but exotic locations. Spy-Fi does not necessarily present espionage as it is practiced in reality but rather glamorizes spy-craft through its focus on high-tech equipment, agencies, and organizations with nearly limitless resources and incredibly high-stakes adventures.

The spy protagonist may discover in his or her investigation that a mad scientist or evil genius and his secret organization are using futuristic technology to further their schemes.[7][8][9] Examples of these include the James Bond film series, the use of advanced scientific technologies for global influence or domination in The Baroness spy novels, using space travel technology to destroy the world as in Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, weather control in Our Man Flint, using a sonic weapon in Dick Barton Strikes Back, a death ray in Dick Barton at Bay, or replacing world leaders with evil twins in In Like Flint.


Films and television

Books and novels


See also


  1. "Spy Fi Shelf". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  2. Danesi, Marcel (2012). Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated. p. 76. ISBN 9781442217836.
  3. "Relive decades of spy-fi with an epic retrospective on James Bonds' sci-fi gadgets". Blastr. 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  4. "Spy-fi is just around the corner". Tor.com. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  5. Sexton, Max. "Celluloid Television: The Action Adventure Genre of the 1960s". Dandelion. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  6. "Spyfi". BestScienceFictionBooks.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  7. MI6-HQ Copyright 2016. "Spies + Spoofs :: MI6 :: The Home Of James Bond 007". Mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  8. Weiner, Robert G.; Whitfield, B. Lynn; Becker, Jack (2010). James Bond in World and Popular Culture: The Films are Not Enough (1. publ. ed.). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. p. 100. ISBN 1443822892.
  9. Packer, Jeremy (2009). Secret Agents: Popular Icons Beyond James Bond. New York: Peter Lang. p. xi. ISBN 0820486698. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  10. Britton, Wesley (2004). Spy Television. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275981630.
  11. Biederman, Danny (2004). The Incredible World of Spy-fi: Wild and Crazy Spy Gadgets, Props, and Artifacts from TV and the Movies. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 081184224X.
  12. Anders, Charlie Jane. "10 Best Spy-Fi Movies of All Time". io9. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  13. Stuller, Jennifer K. (2010). Ink-stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology. London: I.B. Tauris & Co. ISBN 1845119657.
  14. Avam, Elizabeth; Hoskin, Dave (2004). "TV Eye". Metro Maganzine (141): 158.
  15. Rossignol, Jim (2009-04-14). ""Spy-Fi": Global Agenda Footage". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
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