Subject: SF Criticism

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



Word Definition
sf-ish adj. (1959) = science-fictionish adj.
sfnal adj. (1938) = science fictional adj.
SFX n. (1973) special effects
shaggy god story n. (1965) a story in which a religious (esp. biblical) myth is explained as having a science fictional origin
sharecrop n. (1991) fiction set in a universe that was created by (and is sometimes under license from) another, typically more-established, author
sharecrop v. (1994) to write a sharecrop n.
sharecropped adj. (1989) having the quality of a sharecrop n.
sharecropper n. (1987) a writer of sharecrops
sharecropping n. (1987) the practice of writing sharecrops
sharecrop-writer n. (1997) someone who writes sharecrops
shared world n. (1985) a fictional setting in which multiple authors set their stories, esp. one created for this purpose
skiffy n. (1973) = sci-fi n.
slash n. (1984) a subgenre of fiction, originally published in fanzines and now esp. online, in which characters who appear together in popular films or other media are portrayed as having a sexual (esp. homosexual) relationship
slipstream n. (1989) fiction which, while not classified as science fiction, engages to some extent with scientific or futuristic subject matter, esp. such fiction regarded as constituting an identifiable genre; this genre of fiction
slipstreamer n. (1997) a writer of slipstream fiction
slipstreamy adj. (1995) having the characteristics or qualities of slipstream n.
soft science fiction n. (1977) science fiction based on the soft sciences (as sociology, anthropology, etc.); (also) science fiction in which the scientific elements are relatively unimportant to the story
space epic n. (1943) a subgenre of science fiction featuring adventure-driven plots set in outer space; a work in this genre; cf. space opera n.
space fiction n. (1929) science fiction set in space or on other worlds, or involving space travel n.
space-fictional n. (1963) resembling or characteristic of space fiction n.
space opera n. (1941) a subgenre of science fiction featuring adventure-driven, extravagantly dramatic plots (often including elements of romance) set in outer space; a subgenre of science fiction which uses stock characters and settings, especially those of Westerns translated into outer space; a work in this genre, regarded as being of an unsophisticated or clichéd type
space-operatic adj. (1953) being or resembling space opera n.
speculative fiction n. 1 (1889) = science fiction n. 2; (sometimes spec.) hard science fiction n.
speculative fiction n. 2 (1952) = imaginative fiction
speculative fiction n. 3 (1968) fiction which includes science fictional elements but which is regarded as not part of the genre of science fiction, as because it is soft science fiction, or to avoid a stigma felt to be associated with the term ‘science fiction’
splatterpunk n. 1 (1987) a subgenre of horror fiction characterized by the frequent and graphic description of grisly violence, bloody deaths, and extreme sexual situations; (in later use also) a similar genre of movies, video games, etc.
splatterpunk n. 2 (1987) an author of splatterpunk writing
steampunk n. 1 (1987) a writer of steampunk n. 2
steampunk n. 2 (1987) a subgenre of science fiction which has a historical setting (esp. based on industrialized, nineteenth-century society) and characteristically features steam-powered, mechanized machinery rather than electronic technology
steampunkish adj. (1993) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of steampunk n. 2
Sturgeon’s Law n. (1960) a humorous aphorism which maintains that most of any body of published material, knowledge, etc., or (more generally) of everything is worthless: based on a statement by Theodore Sturgeon, usually later cited as ‘90 per cent of everything is crap’
sub-creation n. (1947) J. R. R. Tolkien’s word for: the action or process of creating a fully realized and internally consistent imaginary or secondary world n.
sub-creator n. (1947) J. R. R. Tolkien's word for: a person who creates a secondary world (see sub-creation n.); (later also more generally) an author regarded as occupying the position of God in relation to his or her own fictional creation
subgenre n. (1955) a style or category (of fiction, film, etc.) that is a regarded as a subset of another, broader genre
subjunctivity n. (1969) the relationship between reality and something portrayed in a text
sword and sorcery n. (1961) a subgenre of fantasy n. 1 which describes the adventures of larger-than-life heroes or heroines in bronze-age or medieval settings, and especially their battles with magical or supernatural foes; = heroic fantasy n.
technothriller n. (1978) a thriller which employs science fictional technology or gadgetry
thought-variant n. (1933) a story characterized by a focus on significant ideas rather than action
thud and blunder n. (1940) (a disparaging term for) an adventure story that features violent exploits
tie-in n. (1949) a book, film, or the like published to take advantage of the appearance of the same work in another medium
time opera n. (1953) a subgenre of science fiction featuring adventure-driven, extravagantly dramatic plots based on time travel; a work in this genre
time paradox n. (1942) a paradox caused by an action of a time traveller which alters history so that the action is no longer logically possible, such as travelling into the past to murder a dictator which leads to a peaceful world from which the time traveller would have had no reason to depart; cf. grandfather paradox n., temporal paradox n.
Tolkienesque adj. (1967) characteristic of or resembling J.R.R. Tolkien or his writings; cf. Tolkienian adj.
Tolkienian adj. (1954) of or pertaining to J.R.R. Tolkien or his writings; cf. Tolkienesque adj.
uchronia n. (1938) = alternate history n.
uchronian adj. (1974) of or relating to uchronias
uchronic adj. (1938) of or relating to uchronias
universe n. (1947) the setting of a work or series of fiction, esp. of imaginative fiction
urban fantasy n. (1978) a genre of fantasy that uses a (modern) city as its primary setting; a work in this genre
utopia n. (No cites) a place, state, or condition ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions