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.
Jump to a specific section below
Selected profile #1
(born May 25, 1974) is an American musician, video game music
composer and sound director best known for his work on the Command & Conquer series
. Having learned to play drums as a child, he joined Westwood Studios
as a composer when he was only 17 years old. He scored several games there, including the Lands of Lore series
, Westwood Studios' Dune games
, the The Legend of Kyrandia series
, Blade Runner
, and the Command & Conquer
series. His work in Command & Conquer: Red Alert
won two awards.
He lives in Las Vegas, where he has shaped a solo career and played and produced for several local bands. His personal and band work touches upon several genres, including orchestral, rock music, hip hop music, soul music, and funk. He has dubbed the style of music he writes as "Rocktronic". His work has appeared in various media, including the Spike TV program The Ultimate Fighter.
Klepacki is currently the audio director of Petroglyph games, where he scored Star Wars: Empire at War. He was contacted to score Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, but was too busy with Petroglyph to take the project, and declined to mention the offer. Klepacki most recently composed three songs, including "Hell March 3", for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 by EA Los Angeles. His most recent solo CD is entitled Infiltrator.
Selected profile #2
Doris May Lessing CH
; born 22 October 1919) is an Iranian
-born British writer
, author of works such as the novels The Grass is Singing
and The Golden Notebook
Lessing's fiction is commonly divided into three distinct phases: the Communist theme (1944–1956), when she was writing radically on social issues (to which she returned in The Good Terrorist (1985)), the psychological theme (1956–1969), and after that the Sufi theme, which was explored in a science fiction setting in the Canopus series.
Lessing's switch to science fiction was not popular with many critics. For example, in the New York Times in 1982 John Leonard wrote in reference to The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 that "One of the many sins for which the 20th century will be held accountable is that it has discouraged Mrs. Lessing.... She now propagandizes on behalf of our insignificance in the cosmic razzmatazz." To which Lessing replied: "What they didn't realize was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time. I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer." Unlike some authors primarily known for their mainstream work, she has never hesitated to admit that she writes science fiction. She was Writer Guest of Honour at the 1987 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and made a well-received speech in which she described her science-fictional Memoirs of a Survivor as "an attempt at an autobiography."
An illustration from a ca. 1916 edition of The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, a children's novel written by the Reverend Charles Kingsley and originally serialised in 1862–63. The book, a didactic moral fable, tells the story of Tom (lower left), a young boy who drowns and is reincarnated as a "water-baby". He undergoes a series of adventures and eventually regains his human form. It was extremely popular during its day and through the 1920s, but has since fallen out of favour, perhaps due to Kingsley's expression of many of the common prejudices of that time period, such as against Americans, Jews, blacks, and Catholics, particularly the Irish. (POTD)
The Cat and the Canary
) is an American silent horror film
adaptation of John Willard
's 1922 black comedy
play of the same name
. Directed by German Expressionist
filmmaker Paul Leni
, the film stars Laura La Plante
as Annabelle West, Forrest Stanley
as Charles "Charlie" Wilder, and Creighton Hale
as Paul Jones. The plot revolves around the death of Cyrus West, who is Annabelle, Charlie, and Paul's uncle, and the reading of his will
20 years later. Annabelle inherits her uncle's fortune, but when she and her family spend the night in his haunted mansion they are stalked by a mysterious figure. Meanwhile, a lunatic
known as "the Cat" escapes from an asylum and hides in the mansion.
The Cat and the Canary is part of a genre of comedy horror films inspired by 1920s Broadway stage plays. Paul Leni's adaptation of Willard's play blended expressionism with humor, a style Leni was notable for and critics recognized as unique. Leni's style of directing made The Cat and the Canary influential in the "old dark house" genre of films popular from the 1930s through the 1950s. The film was one of Universal's early horror productions and is considered "the cornerstone of Universal's school of horror." It has been remade five times, with the most notable starring comedic actor Bob Hope.
||We hope it will not be long before we may have other works of Science-Fiction [like Richard Henry Horne’s ‘‘The Poor Artist’’], as we believe such books likely to fulfil a good purpose, and create an interest, where, unhappily, science alone might fail. [Thomas] Campbell says, that ‘‘Fiction in Poetry is not the reverse of truth, but her soft and enchanting resemblance.’’ Now this applies especially to Science-Fiction, in which the revealed truths of Science may be given, interwoven with a pleasing story which may itself be poetical and true—thus circulating a knowledge of the Poetry of Science, clothed in a garb of the Poetry of life.
—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
Survival horror is a subgenre of action-adventure video game inspired by horror fiction. These games make the player vulnerable by providing them with less ammunition and fewer heavy weapons than other action games. Although combat is a part of the gameplay, the player must ration ammunition by evading enemies and avoiding direct confrontation. The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas, and solve puzzles at certain locations. Games make use of strong horror themes, and the player is often challenged to navigate dark maze-like environments, and react to unexpected attacks from enemies.
The term "survival horror" was first used for the original Japanese release of Resident Evil in 1996, which was influenced by earlier games with a horror theme such as Sweet Home and Alone in the Dark. The name has been used since then for games with similar gameplay, and has been retroactively applied to games as old as Haunted House from 1981. Starting with the release of Resident Evil 4 in 2005, the genre began to incorporate more features from action games, which has led game journalists to question whether long-standing survival horror franchises have abandoned the genre. Still, the survival horror genre has persisted in one form or another.
Did you know...
On this day...
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.
Things you can do...
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 (Board and tabletop 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: 2017-11-18 21:49 (UTC)
Note: The list display can now be customized by each user. See List display personalization for details.
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