future war n.

a subgenre of science fiction dealing with warfare and how it will be practiced in the future

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • 1931 Wonder Stories May 1442/2 (inset) page image

    Mr. Pratt is a keen student of military affairs. He does not leave reason behind and jump into fantasy, but looking calmly at present trends in warfare he gives us this realistic story of a future war.

  • 1966 I. F. Clarke Voices Prophesying War (1992) 5

    The earliest account of a future war appeared in The Reign of George VI, 1900-1925, an anonymous story of 1763.

  • 1969 S. Moskowitz in A. H. Norton & S. Moskowitz Great Untold Stories of Fantasy & Horror 58 Sam Moskowitz

    Perhaps his best-known work to fantasy collectors was The Conquest of America, a future-war story published by George H. Doran Co. in 1916.

  • 1975 J. Gunn Alternate Worlds 62 James E. Gunn

    The genre might be called the prophetic (or cautionary) novel of future war (and the first representative of the genre might be the work already cited, the 1763 Reign of George VI ). Its distinguishing characteristic is a richly detailed description of an imminent war, often fought with future weapons or tactics, which goes badly for the nation attacked.

  • 1989 A. Panshin & C. Panshin World beyond Hill 84 Alexei Panshin Cory Panshin bibliography

    Lost race stories…future war stories…dime novel invention stories…tales of advanced science-beyond-science… As soon as science fiction began to exist, it did so in a multitude of forms.

  • 1997 B. Landon Science Fiction after 1900 41

    There were other SF formulas such as future war and lost-race—lost-world stories, there were tremendously influential individual writers such as Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and there were other publishing outlets.

  • 1997 B. Landon Science Fiction after 1900 44

    Other late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century novelists utilized thinly disguised Edison-surrogates in a range of future war books.

  • 2002 Locus Sept. 92/3

    H. Bruce Franklin argues (in War Stars, 1988) that the future war novels of 1880-1917 brought about the climate that led to the military/industrial establishment. SF got people worrying, thinking about future war stuff, and finally trying to anticipate it.

Research requirements

antedating 1931

Earliest cite

Editorial material in Wonder Stories

Research History
In addition to antedatings, we would like cites prior to 1969 that use the term to describe a genre or type of story.

Cory Panshin submitted a 1989 cite from Alexei and Cory Panshin's "The World Beyond the Hill". Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of I.F. Clarke's "Voices Prophesying War"; Jeff Prucher verified the cite in the 1966 first edition. Michael Swanwick submitted a 1969 cite from editorial material by Sam Moskowitz in the anthology "Great Untold Stories of Fantasy and Horror". Enoch Forrester submitted a 1997 cite from Brooks Landon's "Science Fiction After 1900". Enoch Forrester submitted a 1975 cite from James Gunn's "Alternate Worlds". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from an interview with Charles Brown in Locus. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1931 cite from editorial material, probably by Hugo Gernsback, in Wonder Stories.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.