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See also: Spy, Future, Science Fiction
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Spy-Fi is a subgenre of spy fiction often associated with the Cold War that includes futuristic technology and other science fiction elements. It is most often used to describe the campy style common in the US and UK during the 1960s or other works in this same style.[1][2][3][4][5]

The name is sometimes also applied to more recent spy series with highly improbable technology, but never to more realistic spy fiction like that by Graham Greene.[citation needed]

Definition and Characteristics

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]

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 demon|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 spaceflight/space travel technology to destroy the world, weather control, using a sonic weapon, a death ray, or replacing world leaders with evil twins.

Some franchises, series, and works commonly labeled as 'spy-fi' include:


More recent

  • Jake 2.0
  • Alias
  • Archer
  • Austin Powers
  • Chuck
  • Kim Possible
  • Kingsman
  • La Femme Nikita (1997—2001 TV series)
  • Nikita (2010–2013 TV series)
  • Modesty Blaise
  • Spy Kids
  • Deus Ex

Links & Resources


  1. ^ "Spy Fi Shelf". Goodreads.com. Archived from the original on 2019-07-20. 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. Archived from the original on 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  4. ^ "Spy-fi is just around the corner". Tor.com. 2009-11-06. Archived from the original on 2021-06-02. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  5. ^ Sexton, Max. "Celluloid Television: The Action Adventure Genre of the 1960s". Dandelion. Archived from the original on 2016-10-08. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Spyfi". BestScienceFictionBooks.com. Archived from the original on 2021-11-08. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  7. ^ MI6-HQ Copyright 2016. "Spies + Spoofs :: MI6 :: The Home Of James Bond 007". Mi6-hq.com. Archived from the original on 2021-10-10. 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 978-1443822893.
  9. ^ Packer, Jeremy (2009). Secret Agents: Popular Icons Beyond James Bond. New York: Peter Lang. p. xi. ISBN 978-0820486697. Retrieved 2 May 2016.