Speculative fiction is an umbrella phrase encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.
It has been around since humans began to speak. The earliest forms of speculative fiction were likely mythological tales told around the campfire. Speculative fiction deals with the "What if?" scenarios imagined by dreamers and thinkers worldwide. Journeys to other worlds through the vast reaches of distant space; magical quests to free worlds enslaved by terrible beings; malevolent supernatural powers seeking to increase their spheres of influence across multiple dimensions and times; all of these fall into the realm of speculative fiction.
Speculative fiction as a category ranges from ancient works to both cutting edge, paradigm-changing and neotraditional works of the 21st century. Speculative fiction can be recognized in works whose authors' intentions or the social contexts of the versions of stories they portrayed is now known, since ancient Greek dramatists such as Euripides whose play Medea seems to have offended Athenian audiences when he fictionally speculated that shamaness Medea killed her own children instead of their being killed by other Corinthians after her departure, and whose Hippolytus (play), narratively introduced by Aphrodite, Goddess of Love in person, is suspected to have displeased his contemporary audiences because he portrayed Phaedra as too lusty.
In historiography, what is now called speculative fiction has previously been termed "historical invention", "historical fiction," and similar names and is extensively noted in literary criticism of the works of William Shakespeare as when he co-locates Athenian Duke Theseus and Amazonian Queen Hippolyta, English fairy Puck, and Roman god Cupid across time and space in the Fairyland of its Merovingian Germanic sovereign Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In mythography it has been termed "mythopoesis" or mythopoeia, "fictional speculation", the creative design and generation of lore, regarding such works as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Such supernatural, alternate history and sexuality themes continue in works produced within the modern speculative fiction genre.
Jump to a specific section below
Susanna Mary Clarke
(born 1 November 1959) is a British
author best known for her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
(2004), a Hugo Award
-winning alternate history
. Clarke began Jonathan Strange
in 1993 and worked on it during her spare time. For the next decade, she published short stories from the Strange
universe, but it was not until 2003 that Bloomsbury
bought her manuscript and began work on its publication. The novel became a bestseller. Two years later, she published a collection of her short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
(2006). Both Clarke's novel and her short stories are set
in a magical England and written in a pastiche
of the styles of nineteenth-century writers such as Jane Austen
and Charles Dickens
. While Strange
focuses on the relationship of two men, Jonathan Strange and Gilbert Norrell, the stories in Ladies
focus on the power women gain through magic.
Clarke first developed the idea for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell while she was teaching in Bilbao: "I had a kind of waking dream ... about a man in 18th century clothes in a place rather like Venice, talking to some English tourists. And I felt strongly that he had some sort of magical background – he'd been dabbling in magic, and something had gone badly wrong." She had also recently reread J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and afterwards was inspired to "[try] writing a novel of magic and fantasy". After she returned from Spain in 1993, Clarke began to think seriously about writing her novel. She signed up for a five-day fantasy and science-fiction writing workshop, co-taught by science fiction and fantasy writers Colin Greenland and Geoff Ryman. The students were expected to prepare a short story before attending, but Clarke only had "bundles" of material for her novel. From this she extracted "The Ladies of Grace Adieu", a fairy tale about three women secretly practising magic who are discovered by the famous Jonathan Strange.
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson
(13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish
novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer
. Stevenson has been greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges
, Ernest Hemingway
, Rudyard Kipling
, Marcel Schwob
, Vladimir Nabokov
, J. M. Barrie
, and G. K. Chesterton
, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins
His speculative fiction works include Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which helped establish Stevenson's wider reputation, The Bottle Imp, the story of magical bottle which contains an imp capable of granting wishes for a price, New Arabian Nights, a collection containing Stevenson's first published short fiction, The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables, another collection of short stories, and Island Nights' Entertainments, a collection of three of his stories (including The Bottle Imp).
Stevenson was seen for much of the 20th century as a writer of the second class, condemned by literary figures such as Virginia Woolf. He is now being re-evaluated as a peer of authors such as Joseph Conrad (whom Stevenson influenced with his South Seas fiction) and Henry James, with new scholarly studies and organizations devoted to Stevenson. No matter what the scholarly reception, Stevenson remains very popular around the world. According to the Index Translationum, Stevenson is ranked the 25th most translated author in the world, ahead of fellow nineteenth-century writers Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe.
||Sci-fi can be succinctly defined as speculation, whether based on established scientific facts or on logical pseudo-facts consistent with the framework of the fiction in question, involving smelly green pimply aliens furiously raping or eating, or both, beautiful naked bare-breasted chicks, covering them in slime, red, oozing, living slime, dribbling from every horrific orifice, squeezing out between bulbous pulpy lips onto the sensuous velvety skin of the writhing sweating slave-girls, their bodies cut and bruised by knotted whips brandished by giant blond vast-biceped androids called Simon, and written in the Gothic mode.
(b.1939), True Rat 7
was an American science fiction magazine
launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback
's Experimenter Publishing
. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Before Amazing
, science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing
helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction
Amazing was published, with some interruptions, for almost eighty years. The title first changed hands in 1929, when Gernsback was forced into bankruptcy and lost control of the magazine. Amazing became unprofitable during the 1930s and in 1938 was purchased by Ziff-Davis, who hired Raymond A. Palmer as editor. Palmer made the magazine successful though it was not regarded as a quality magazine within the science fiction community. In the late 1940s Amazing began to print stories about the Shaver Mystery, a lurid mythos which explained accidents and disaster as the work of robots named "deros"; the stories were presented as fact, and led to dramatically increased circulation but also widespread ridicule.
Palmer was replaced by Howard Browne in 1949, who briefly entertained plans of taking Amazing upmarket. These plans came to nothing, though Amazing did switch to a digest format in 1953, shortly before the end of the pulp-magazine era. A brief period under the editorship of Paul W. Fairman was followed, at the end of 1958, by the leadership of Cele Goldsmith. Despite her lack of experience she was able to bring new life to the magazine, and her years are regarded as one of Amazing's most creative eras. She was unable to arrest the declining circulation, though, and the magazine was sold to Sol Cohen's Universal Publishing Company in 1965.
Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:
- In 5000, the Filipino Army defeats the Alliance at the Battle of Reykjavik during the closing stages of World War V.
Here are ideas for how you can help improve the coverage of speculative fiction topics on Wikipedia:
Join a WikiProject or task force:
- Science fiction (task force): The 4400, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Firefly, Futurama, G.I. Joe, Heroes, Hitchhiker's Guide, Life on Mars, Lost, Pokémon, Red Dwarf, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Superman, Transformers, Twilight Zone.
- Fantasy: Artemis Fowl, Discworld, Fabelhaven, Harry Potter, Highlander, His Dark Materials, Inheritance Cycle, Lemony Snicket, Middle-Earth, Narnia, Oz, Percy Jackson, Redwall, Roald Dahl, Shannara, A Song of Ice and Fire, Warriors.
- Horror: Buffy, Twilight.
- Other and related: Animation, Anime and manga, Balzac, Children's literature, Comics, Disney, Machinima, Games (Warhammer 40K, RPGs (D&D), Video games (Square Enix)).
Start a requested article:
- Create an article which someone has requested.
Expand a stub:
Expand a new article:
- Expand and update a new speculative fiction article from the following list:
Note: If no articles are shown below, please work on those found in the Archive. This list was generated from these rules. Questions and feedback are always welcome! The search is being run daily with the most recent ~14 days of results. Note: Some articles may not be relevant to this project.
Rules | Match log | Results page (for watching) | Last updated: 2013-12-09 22:06 (UTC)
- Zombie Planet (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by NinjaRobotPirate (talk · contribs · new pages (9)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- Michel Monnerie (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by Magonian (talk · contribs · new pages (2)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- Nike Arrighi (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by Tothebarricades.tk (talk · contribs · new pages (10)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- American Zombie (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by NinjaRobotPirate (talk · contribs · new pages (9)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- Vesna De Vinca (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by Etmisovski (talk · contribs · new pages (1)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- Bread and Roses (1994 film) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by Hugo999 (talk · contribs · new pages (30)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 60
- High strangeness (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by Magonian (talk · contribs · new pages (2)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by NinjaRobotPirate (talk · contribs · new pages (9)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 120
- Origins of global surveillance (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by A1candidate (talk · contribs · new pages (5)) started on 2013-11-30, score: 20
- The Zombinator (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by NinjaRobotPirate (talk · contribs · new pages (9)) started on 2013-11-29, score: 40
- Pop Punk Zombies (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) by NinjaRobotPirate (talk · contribs · new pages (9)) started on 2013-11-29, score: 40
Featured articles are considered to be the best on Wikipedia, as determined by Wikipedia's editors, and Good articles are those which are considered to be of good quality but which are not yet featured article quality. If you see one that should be listed here, please add it or post on the talk page and let us know so we can add it for you.
Speculative fiction topics