Portal:Speculative fiction

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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 cutting edge, paradigm-changing, and neotraditional works of the 21st century. It can be recognized in works whose authors' intentions or the social contexts of the versions of stories they portrayed is now known. For example, Ancient Greek dramatists such as Euripides, whose play Medea seemed 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. The play Hippolytus, narratively introduced by Aphrodite, is suspected to have displeased contemporary audiences of the day because it portrayed Phaedra as too lusty.

In historiography, what is now called speculative fiction has previously been termed "historical invention", "historical fiction," and other similar names. It is extensively noted in the literary criticism of the works of William Shakespeare when he co-locates Athenian Duke Theseus and Amazonian Queen Hippolyta, English fairy Puck, and Roman god Cupid all together 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.

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Selected profile #1

Orwell ca.1933
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense, revolutionary opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language and a belief in democratic socialism.

Considered perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote literary criticism and poetry, as well as fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945). His Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, and his numerous essays are also widely acclaimed. Orwell's influence on culture, popular and political, continues. Several of his neologisms, along with the term Orwellian, now a byword for any draconian or manipulative social phenomenon or concept inimical to a free society, have entered the vernacular.

Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect developments in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution; the latter, life under totalitarian rule. Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state exerts complete control. In 1984, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 were honored with the Prometheus Award for their contributions to dystopian literature.

Selected profile #2

Anne McCaffrey 1.jpg
Anne Inez McCaffrey (1 April 1926 – 21 November 2011) was an author of science fiction and fantasy fiction, and was best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series. She published nearly 100 books, mainly fiction, beginning in 1967. Born in the United States, she emigrated to Ireland in 1970, where she lived in a home of her own design, "Dragonhold–Underhill". Formerly, she traveled to many conventions and made other appearances. When her health permitted, she attended Writers of the Future—for which she was a long-time judge—and DragonCon.

Up until 1990 McCaffrey co-authored more than 30 books: at least fifteen with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough; other fiction with Margaret Ball, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Jody Lynn Nye, and S. M. Stirling; the non-fiction Diversity of Dragons with Richard Woods. During the last decade she and her middle child Todd McCaffrey collaborated to continue the history of Pern. As of June 2011, they had completed four Pern books jointly and Todd has authored three solo. Another collaborative sequel is expected in spring 2012.

In 1968, McCaffrey became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for a work of fiction, and in 1969 became the first woman to win a Nebula Award. She became the first with a science fiction title on The New York Times Best Seller list in 1978, with The White Dragon. The Science Fiction Writers of America in 2005 named her the 22nd Grand Master, a now-annual award to living writers of fantasy and science fiction. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted her 17 June 2006.

Selected media

An illustration by Édouard Manet for a French publication of Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem "The Raven"
Credit: Artist: Édouard Manet; Restoration: Lise Broer

An illustration by Édouard Manet for a French publication of Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem "The Raven". In the poem, the raven flies into the narrator's home and perches on a bust of Pallas Athena (seen here). The narrator then asks the bird a series of questions, to which the bird only replies, "Nevermore". Eventually, the narrator falls into despair and ends with his final admission that his soul is trapped beneath the raven's shadow and shall be lifted "Nevermore". Originally published in 1845, the poem was widely popular and made Poe famous, though it did not bring him much financial success. "The Raven" has influenced many modern works and is referenced throughout popular culture in films, television, music and more. (POTD)

Selected work

Starship Troopers is a military science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published (in abridged form) as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October, November 1959, as "Starship Soldier") and published hardcover in December, 1959.

The first-person narrative is about a young soldier named Juan "Johnnie" Rico and his exploits in the Mobile Infantry, a futuristic military unit equipped with powered armor. Rico's military career progresses from recruit to non-commissioned officer and finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between mankind and an arachnoid species known as "the Bugs". Through Rico's eyes, Heinlein examines moral and philosophical aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, the necessities of war and capital punishment, and the nature of juvenile delinquency.

Starship Troopers won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1960. The novel has attracted controversy and criticism for its social and political themes, which some critics claim promote militarism. Starship Troopers has been adapted into several films and games, with the most widely known being the 1997 film by Paul Verhoeven.

Selected quote


Max Beerbohm (1872–1956), Zuleika Dobson (1911).
More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

Selected article

Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional character, originally created by the writer Nigel Kneale for BBC Television. Quatermass appeared in three influential BBC science fiction serials of the 1950s (The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II, and Quatermass and the Pit), and returned in a final serial for Thames Television in 1979 (Quatermass). A remake of the first serial appeared on BBC Four in 2005.

The character also appeared in films, on the radio and in print over a fifty-year period. Kneale picked the character's unusual surname from a London telephone directory, while the first name was in honour of the astronomer Bernard Lovell. Quatermass is an intelligent and highly moral British scientist, who continually finds himself confronting sinister alien forces that threaten to destroy humanity. In the initial three serials he is a pioneer of the British space programme, heading up the British Experimental Rocket Group.

The character of Quatermass has been described by BBC News Online as Britain's first television hero, and by The Independent newspaper as "A brilliantly conceived and finely crafted creation... [He] remained a modern 'Mr Standfast', the one fixed point in an increasingly dreadful and ever-shifting universe." In 2005, an article in The Daily Telegraph suggested that "You can see a line running through him and many other British heroes. He shares elements with both Sherlock Holmes and Ellen MacArthur."

Did you know...

a blue monster without a head and with a big face on his chest. Two men holding swords seated on his two arms

  • ... that the demon Kabandha (pictured), from the Hindu epic Ramayana, is described to be as big as a mountain, headless, and with arms eight miles long?
  • ... that the 101 Dalmatians Musical has several performers working on 15" stilts to simulate a canine perspective, and uses 15 real Dalmatian dogs for several scenes?

On this day...

July 27:

Book releases

Television series

Births

Deaths

Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:

  • In the year 5,000,000,023, Humans have moved to a new planet in the galaxy M87.

Upcoming conventions

July:


August:

 

Dates can usually be found on the article page.


See also these convention lists: anime, comic book, furry, gaming, multigenre, and science fiction.

Things you can do...

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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: 2015-07-27 21:55 (UTC)















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