Subject: SF Criticism

Terms used in the criticism or discussion of science fiction, e.g. names of genres or tropes.



Word Definition
Nebula n. (1966) any of several awards given annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing
New Wave n. (1968) a loose movement in science fiction writing from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, characterized by an experimental approach to narrative structures and language and an emphasis on nuanced social, moral, or psychological conflict rather than on technological concerns
New Weird n. (2002) a genre that incorporates elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, typically in a complex urban setting
non-genre adj. (1975) not science fiction, fantasy, or horror; = mainstream adj.
novum n. (1972) an element in a work of science fiction that establishes that the work takes place in a non-normal world; the key science-fictional element in a work
off-trail adj. (1933) (of a story, esp. one that is not easily categorized) fantastic or science-fictional
Orwellian n. (1971) an admirer of the works and ideas of George Orwell
Orwellian adj. (1949) characteristic or suggestive of the writings of George Orwell, esp. of the totalitarian state depicted in his dystopian account of the future, Nineteen Eighty-four (1949)
planetary romance n. (1978) a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on adventures taken on a planet's surface, especially in which the description of the planet is integral to the story; a work in this subgenre
post-apocalypse adj. (1968) = post-apocalyptic adj.
post-apocalyptic adj. (1960) pertaining to a time or setting after the collapse of civilization
postcyberpunk adj. (1989) of or pertaining a subgenre of science fiction that employs some of cyberpunk's themes, especially the exploration of the effects of a high rate of technological change on society, but rejects the alienation and dystopianism of cyberpunk
postholocaust adj. (1962) = post-apocalyptic adj.
primary world n. (1947) the real world, as opposed to the secondary world of a work of fiction
problem story n. (1941) a story concerned primarily with the resolution of a (technical) problem
proto-cyberpunk n. (1986) a writer of proto-cyberpunk works
proto-cyberpunk adj. (1987) of or relating to works that prefigure the themes of cyberpunk n. 1; cf. postcyberpunk adj.
proto-science fiction n. (1962) literary works, written before the establishment of science fiction as a recognized genre, that prefigure the themes of science fiction, especially ones involving fantastic voyages or technological innovations
pseudo-science n. (1927) = science fiction n. 2
pseudo-scientific adj. (1880) of or relating to pseudo-science; science fictional adj.
pulp science fiction n. (1939) science fiction published in the pulp magazines of the earlyโ€“mid twentieth century; any science fiction regarded as being characteristic of these magazines, esp. in being action-driven or based on clichรฉd ideas, plots, or characterizations
science fantasy n. 1 (1931) = science fiction n. 2; a work in this genre
science fantasy n. 2 (1932) = imaginative fiction
science fantasy n. 3 (1948) a genre which combines elements of science fiction and fantasy; a work in this genre
science fantasy n. 4 (1950) a genre of science fiction characterized by phenomena which are thought to be scientifically impossible (such as time travel or ftl drives); soft science fiction n.; (also) a work in this genre
science fiction n. 1 (1897) a work of science fiction n. 2
science fiction n. 2 (1898) a genre (of fiction, film, etc.) in which the plot or setting features speculative scientific or technological advances or differences
science fictional adj. (1932) being, pertaining to, or characteristic of science fiction n. 2
science-fictionality n. (1977) the condition or quality of being science fictional adj.; (of a work of fiction) being science-fictional
science-fictionalized adj. (1950) that has been made science fictional adj. in character
science-fictionally adv. (1936) in the manner of science fiction n. 2
science-fictioner n. (1949) a science fiction film or TV show
science-fictionish adj. (1940) being, resembling, or reminiscent of science fiction n. 2
science-fictionist n. (1929) a writer or aficionado of science fiction n. 2
science fictiony adj. (1957) characteristic of science fiction n. 2; resembling something which might exist in a work of science fiction; futuristic
science-fictive adj. (1953) relating to or characteristic of science fiction n. 2; science fictional adj.
scientific fiction n. (1876) = science fiction n. 2
scientific romance n. (1873) proto-science fiction written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (especially in Britain), exemplified by H.G. Wells; in later use, science fiction that is similar in style or approach; also, a work of this kind
scientifiction n. (1916) = science fiction n. 2
scientifictional adj. (1929) being, pertaining to, or characteristic of scientifiction n.
scientifictionally adv. (1933) in a scientifictional manner; towards scientifictional subjects or interests
scientifictionist n. (1929) a fan or writer of science fiction n. 2
sci-fi n. (1954) abbreviation of science fiction n. 2
sci-fic n. (1933) abbreviation of science fiction n. 2
secondary world n. (1947) the setting of a work of fantasy where this setting is different from the real world, but is internally consistent; cf. primary world n.
sensawunda n. (1961) = sense of wonder n.
sense of wonder n. (1936) a feeling of awakening or awe brought on by an expansion of oneโ€™s awareness of what may be possible; the primary emotional experience of reading science fiction n. 2; see also sensawunda n.
sf n. (1929) = science fiction n. 2
SF/F n. (1981) science fiction and fantasy, regarded as a single broad genre
SF/F/H n. (1979) abbreviation for science fiction, fantasy, and horror