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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 (play) 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

Robert Silverberg in 2005
Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935) is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. He has attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since the inaugural event in 1953. Read more...

Selected work

Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent horror film written, directed, photographed and edited by George A. Romero, co-written by John Russo, and starring Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea. The story follows seven people who are trapped in a rural farmhouse in western Pennsylvania, which is under assault by an enlargening group of cannibalistic, undead corpses.

The film was completed on a US$114,000 budget and shot outside Pittsburgh, where it had its theatrical premiere on October 1, 1968. The film grossed US$12 million domestically and US$18 million internationally, earning more than 250 times its budget. Night of the Living Dead has been regarded as a cult classic by film scholars and critics, despite being heavily criticized upon its release for its explicit gore. It eventually garnered critical acclaim and was selected in 1999 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (more)

Selected quote


Vernor Vinge (b.1944), "The Coming Technological Singularity" (1993).
More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

Selected article

Draco Lucius Malfoy is a character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. He is a student in Harry Potter's year belonging in the Slytherin house. He is frequently accompanied by his two cronies, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, who act as henchmen. Draco is characterised as a cowardly bully who manipulates and hurts people to get what he wants; nevertheless, he is a cunning user of magic. He was played by Tom Felton in the Harry Potter film series. Read more...

Selected media

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act IV, scene i
Credit: Artist: Henry Fuseli; Engraver: J.P. Simon
Restoration: Lise Broer

An engraving of William Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, depicting Titania and Bottom, with fairies in attendance. The play portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta, both figures of Greek mythology, and the actions of fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. It is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is still widely performed today. (POTD)

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Thrill the World 2008 in Austin, Texas

On this day...

June 4:

Book releases

Film releases


Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:

  • Jenny, the daughter of the Doctor, is born on July 24, 6012 on the planet Messaline.
  • In the year 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 (500 quintillion), the last descendants of humanity make some changes to our near present in order to release the universe's vacuum energy, spawn new universes, and prevent the Big Freeze from happening.

Upcoming conventions

June:

July:

Dates can usually be found on the article page.


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

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Creators: Artists (list· Authors (by nationality· Editors
Media: Animation · Anime and manga · Comics · Films (list· Games (board · role-playing · video· Literature (magazines (pulp· novels · poetry · stories· Opera · Radio · Television (films · list · sitcoms· Theatre
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History: Films · Golden Age · New Wave · Scientific romance
Related genres: Fantasy (Science fantasy· Mystery · Horror · Slipstream · Speculative (Weird) · Superhero
Themes: Artificial intelligence · Extraterrestrials (First contact· Floating city · Hyperspace · Lost World · Planets · Politics (Libertarian · Utopia/Dystopia · World government· Religion (Christian · ideas· Resizing · Sex (Feminist · gender · homosexuality · reproduction· Simulated realities/Virtual worlds · Slipstream · Space warfare (weapons· Stock characters · Superpowers · Timeline (Alternate future · Future history · Parallel universes · Time travel)
Subculture: Fandom: By nationality · Conventions (list· OrganizationsStudies: Awards · Definitions · Journals · New Wave
By country: Australia · Bangladesh · Canada · China · Croatia · Czech Republic · France · Japan · Norway · Poland · Romania · Russia/Soviet Union · Serbia · Spain

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Subgenres: Body · Comedy (list · zombie comedy· Dark fantasy · Dark romanticism · Ero guro · Erotic · Ghost · Gothic · J-Horror · K-Horror · Lovecraftian · Monsters (Frankenstein · vampire · werewolf· Occult detective · Psychological · Religious (film) · Sci-fi (film) · Slasher (film) · Splatter/Gore (film) · Supernatural · Survival · Weird menace · Weird West · Zombie apocalypse
Related genres: Crime · Mystery · Speculative · Thriller
Others: Awards · Conventions · LGBT · Writers

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