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

Correia at WorldCon

Larry Correia (/kəˈr.ə/; born 1977) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer, known for his Monster Hunter International, Grimnoir Chronicles, and Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series. He has authored or co-authored over 25 novels, has over 50 published short works, two collections of stories, and has co-edited three published anthologies.

He was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2011, and his works have been nominated for the Audie Award multiple times, winning twice. He has won the Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Best Fantasy Novel four times. In 2014, Correia started the Sad Puppies campaign to nominate works for the Hugo Award, including his own, that he claimed were more popular but often unfairly passed over in favor of more literary works or stories with progressive political themes. (Full article...)

Selected work

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is a 2004 action role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Activision for Microsoft Windows. Set in White Wolf Publishing's World of Darkness, the game is based on White Wolf's role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and follows a human who is killed and revived as a fledgling vampire. The game depicts the fledgling's journey through early 21st-century Los Angeles to uncover the truth behind a recently discovered relic that heralds the end of all vampires.

Bloodlines is presented from first-person and third-person perspectives. The player assigns their character to one of several vampire clans—each with unique powers, customizes their combat and dialog abilities, and progresses through Bloodlines using violent and nonviolent methods. The selection of clan affects how the player is perceived in the game world and which powers and abilities they possess; this opens up different avenues of exploration and methods of interacting with or manipulating other characters. The player can complete side missions away from the primary storyline by moving freely between the available hubs: Santa Monica, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, and Chinatown. (Full article...)

Selected quote


Vernor Vinge (b.1944), "The Coming Technological Singularity" (1993).

More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

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King Midas with his daughter, whom he has just turned into gold, from A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne
King Midas with his daughter, whom he has just turned into gold, from A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Credit: Artist: Walter Crane; Restoration: Lise Broer

An illustration from an 1893 version of A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which recounted the tale of King Midas. In Greek mythology, Midas was given ability to turn everything he touched into gold by the god Bacchus. However, he soon discovered that he was unable to even eat. Bacchus told him to wash in the river Pactolus, and the power flowed in the river, which was supposedly the reason for why the river was so rich in gold in later years. In Hawthorne's version, Midas' touch even turned his daughter to gold (pictured here). (POTD)

Did you know...

Portrait of ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre

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Selected article

The Nebula Award for Best Novella is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) for science fiction or fantasy novellas. A work of fiction is defined by the organization as a novella if it is between 17,500 and 40,000 words; awards are also given out for pieces of longer lengths in the novel category, and for shorter lengths in the short story and novelette categories. To be eligible for Nebula Award consideration, a novella must be published in English in the United States. Works published in English elsewhere in the world are also eligible, provided they are released on either a website or in an electronic edition. The Nebula Award for Best Novella has been awarded annually since 1966. Novellas published by themselves are eligible for the novel award instead, if the author requests them to be considered as such. The award has been described as one of "the most important of the American science fiction awards" and "the science-fiction and fantasy equivalent" of the Emmy Awards. Nebula Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of SFWA, though the authors of the nominees do not need to be members. Works are nominated each year by members in a period around December 15 through January 31, and the six works that receive the most nominations then form the final ballot, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Soon after, members are given a month to vote on the ballot, and the final results are presented at the Nebula Awards ceremony in May. Authors are not permitted to nominate their own works, and ties in the final vote are broken, if possible, by the number of nominations the works received. The rules were changed to their current format in 2009. Previously, the eligibility period for nominations was defined as one year after the publication date of the work, which allowed the possibility for works to be nominated in the calendar year after their publication and then be awarded in the calendar year after that. Works were added to a preliminary list for the year if they had ten or more nominations, which were then voted on to create a final ballot, to which the SFWA organizing panel was also allowed to add an additional work. (Full article...)

On this day...

April 16:

Film releases

Births

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Anniversaries and events

Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:

  • The EVE Gate, a natural wormhole leading to New Eden, collapses in 8061.
  • A geological survey on Zeta Minor is almost annihilated by anti-matter creatures in 37166.

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Related genres: Fantasy (Science fantasy· Mystery · Horror · Slipstream · Speculative (Weird) · Superhero
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