Portal:Speculative Fiction
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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 (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

Judy-Lynn and Lester del Rey at Minicon in Minneapolis, 1974
Lester del Rey (June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor. He was the author of many books in the juvenile Winston Science Fiction series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey. (Full article...)

Selected work

Lazarus is a dystopian science fiction comic book series created by writer Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark. The two began developing the idea in 2012 and partnered with colorist Santi Arcas to finish the art. Image Comics has been publishing the book since the first issue was released on June 23, 2013. Other creators were brought in later to assist with lettering and inking. A six-issue spin-off limited series, Lazarus: X+66, was released monthly in 2017 between issues 26 and 27 of the regular series. Rucka initially said the series could run for up to 150 issues, but later reduced the estimate by half. Lazarus is being collected into paperback and hardcover editions, which sell better than the monthly issues.

In the series, the world has been divided among sixteen rival families, who run their territories in a feudal system. The main character is Forever Carlyle, the military leader of the Carlyle family. The major themes of Lazarus are the meaning of "family" and nature versus nurture. Critics have given it mostly positive reviews and have praised its worldbuilding, although it is sometimes criticized for slow pace. It has received particular attention for its political themes, and comparisons have been drawn between elements of the story and the presidency of Donald Trump. (Full article...)

Selected quote


--William Wilson, A Little Earnest Book upon a Great Old Subject, chapter 10 (1851). This is the first recorded use of the term science fiction in history.[1]
  1. ^ Westfahl, Gary. Science Fiction Quotations. Yale University Press. 2005.
More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

Selected article

Sci-Fi Dine-In.svg

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is a theme restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios, one of the four main theme parks at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, United States. Established in May 1991, the restaurant is modeled after a 1950s drive-in theater. Walt Disney Imagineering designed the booths to resemble convertibles of the period, and some servers act as carhops while wearing roller skates. While eating, guests watch a large projection screen displaying film clips from such 1950s and 1960s films as Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

The restaurant serves traditional cuisine of the United States. Popcorn functions as a complimentary hors d'oeuvre. Initially, the menu listed items with themed names, such as "Tossed in Space" (garden salad), "The Cheesecake that Ate New York", and "Attack of the Killer Club Sandwich", but these playful names were later altered so that they now describe the dishes in a more standard and straightforward manner. (Full article...)

Selected media

An illustration by Kate Greenaway that accompanied Robert Browning's version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Credit: Artist: Kate Greenaway; Restoration: Lise Broer

An illustration by Kate Greenaway that accompanied Robert Browning's version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a legend wherein a piper is hired by the town of Hamelin, Germany, to lead rats away with his magic pipe. The town refuses to pay his wages and he retaliates by leading the children of the town away as well. (POTD)

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Portrait of ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre

  • ... the Halloween genes include spook, spookier, phantom, disembodied, shadow and shade?

On this day...

Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:

  • The Star Kingdom of Manticore is established on August 1, 3573.
  • The Committee of Public Safety seizes power in Nouveau Paris and takes control of the government in 4007.
  • 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.

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

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Related genres: Crime · Mystery · Speculative · Thriller
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The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Study Guides
Books

Commons
Media

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Wikiversity
Learning resources

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