Oxford English Dictionary Scenario
1.a. A sketch or outline of the plot of a play, ballet, novel,
opera, story, etc., giving particulars of the scenes, situations, etc.
b. Cinematography. A film
script with all the details of scenes, appearances of characters,
stage-directions, etc., necessary for shooting the film.
A sketch, outline, or
description of an imagined situation or sequence of events; esp.
(a) a synopsis of the development of a hypothetical future world war, and
hence an outline of any possible sequence of future events;
(b) an outline of an intended course of action;
(c) a scientific model or description intended to account for observable
Hence, in weakened senses . . .
a circumstance, situation, scene,
sequence of events, etc.
For Literature of the Future,
"scenario" describes a familiar subject or sub-genre of science fiction
such as Alien Contact,
High Tech, Low Tech,
Utopia / Dystopia, and Ecotopia.
Kim Stanley Robinson, Introduction. Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias.
(NY: Tor, 1994): "Science fiction is a collection of thought experiments that
propose scenarios of the future."