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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Photograph by George Charles Beresford, 1920

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction". Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption – dubbed “Wells's law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as "O Realist of the Fantastic!". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. Read more...

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Melissa Mathison. It tells the story of Elliott, a boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. The film stars Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, and Henry Thomas, and features special effects by Carlo Rambaldi and Dennis Muren.

The concept was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the failed project Night Skies. Filming took place from September to December 1981 on a budget of $10.5 million. Unlike most films, it was shot in rough chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast. (more)

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Ray Bradbury (1920–2012), "Introduction" in The Circus of Dr. Lao and Other Improbable Stories (1956).
More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

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Bunworth Banshee, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, by Thomas Crofton Croker, 1825
A banshee (/ˈbænʃ/ BAN-shee; Modern Irish bean sí, baintsí, from Old Irish: ben síde, baintsíde, pronounced [bʲen ˈʃiːðʲe, banˈtiːðe], "woman of the fairy mound" or "fairy woman") is a female spirit in Irish folklore who heralds the death of a family member, usually by wailing, shrieking, or keening. Her name is connected to the mythologically important tumuli or "mounds" that dot the Irish countryside, which are known as síde (singular síd) in Old Irish. Read more...

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Credit: Artist: William Wallace Denslow

An illustration from the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, depicting the scene where Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, the first time the four major characters of the novel come together. The book was originally published in 1900 and has since been reprinted countless times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 Broadway musical and the extremely popular, highly acclaimed 1939 film version. Thanks in part to the film it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 musical Baum adapted from his story, led to his writing and having published thirteen more Oz books. (POTD)

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Sir Galahad

On this day...

July 2:

Film releases

Births

  • 1914 - Hannes Bok (d. 1964), an American artist and illustrator, amateur astrologer, and writer of fantasy fiction and poetry

Anniversaries and events

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.

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.

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Wikibooks
Books

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Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
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