What is progressive science fiction?
Science fiction showing us how humans embrace and develop with their changing environments in a constructive way.
Environment covers lots of things including acquired science knowledge, changes in place and what tools they have available to them. The definition does not cover dystopias, the fantasy end of speculative fiction and stylistic scenarios, often denoted by something-punk.
Where does progressive science fiction sit in the whole genre of science fiction?
The diagram below shows a summary of the major steps in the development of science fiction. Stories from each of the sub-genres can be said to belong to progressive science fiction, but no sub-genre can be said to belong to progressive science fiction in its entirety.