pseudo-scientific adj.

of or relating to pseudo-science; science fictional adj.

Now chiefly hist.

SF Criticism

  • 1880 J. B. Matthews Theatres of Paris x. 178 page image

    M. Jules Verne had been writing pseudo-scientific tales of adventure for a decade.

  • 1903 N.Y. Times 4 Apr. 232/2

    Mr. Wells has a new novel ready…. It is to be hoped that it will be something like the other books that have gained Mr. Wells such a high place as writer of pseudo-scientific novels.

  • 1921 A. Leeds Midsummer Photoplay & Fiction Market in Writer’s Digest Aug. 13/2 page image

    As to short stories, it may be said generally that, with the exception of love or sex stories, burlesque, ghost stories, pseudo-scientific stories, or stories that have conventional or machine-made plots, any type of tale that has a genuine human note will be welcome.

  • 1927 Amazing Stories Dec. 909/2 page image

    I have always been highly interested by pseudo-scientific tales, especially of travel to other planets, as I am a deep student of astronomy. I believe your best stories have been reprints from Wells, Verne, Serviss and Burroughs, although the latter’s work hardly belongs in your magazine.

  • 1936 Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 111 page image

    The earth, whirling in its orbit, suddenly plunges into a black, nebula-like mist! What happens afterward, as related by masterful DONALD WANDREI, makes one of the most fascinating pseudo-scientific stories of the year. Wandrei’s BLACK FOG shows you just what takes place when evolution comes to a stop!

  • 1936 Story Behind the Story in Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 117/1 page image

    Give a pseudo-scientific writer the merest germ of an idea—based on known science of today—and, presto, he’s at the typewriter!

  • 1948 Thrilling Wonder Stories June 137/1

    However, there is still a vast backlog of pseudo-scientific and fantasy writing of worth which is not well known to current stf readers.

  • 1951 H. Kuttner Shock in Outer Reaches 133 Henry Kuttner

    In a sense, this story attacks irresponsibility, since it devalues a most familiar structure in pseudo-scientific stories: the twin correlates of Now and Utopia.

  • 1957 S. Moskowitz 1957 in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 67/1 page image Sam Moskowitz

    Another term often found in the readers' departments of Munsey magazines was IMPOSSIBLE STORIES. That term received some use up until about 1920 when it all but disappeared…. It was awkward to state in every issue that ‘we will continue to present “different stories.”’ Therefore they evolved a new term that received widespread use throughout the publishing world, and in the early twenties was by far the most popular single reference to the genre, even though everything else under the sun kept popping up. The new term was PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC STORIES, and they might still be using it today if it hadn’t been for Hugo Gernsback.

  • 1957 S. Moskowitz 1957 in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 69/2 page image Sam Moskowitz

    Within a few months, however, Weird Tales had adopted Argosy’s term of ‘pseudo-scientific stories’ on its contents page. It is of parenthetical interest to note that ‘pseudoscientific’ was often used as a single word by Argosy.

  • 1957 C. W. Hart ‘Pseudo-Science’ & Reader's Guide in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 49/1

    Science Fiction appeared as a heading in the Guide for the first time in Volume 12 (1939-1941), but then it was only to refer the reader to Pseudoscientific Stories.


Research requirements

antedating 1880

Earliest cite

Brander Matthews, in reference to Jules Verne

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1936 cite from editorial material in Thrilling Wonder Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1948 cite from editorial matter in Thrilling Wonder Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1957 cite from Sam Moskowitz's "How Science Fiction Got Its Name". Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from an introduction by Henry Kuttner in "The Outer Reaches". Fred Galvin submitted a 1927 cite from a letter in Amazing Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1957 cite from C. W. Hart, Jr.'s "'Pseudo-Science' and The Reader's Guide" in F&SF.

John Locke located a cite from Arthur Leeds's "Midsummer Photoplay and Fiction Market" in an (unpaginated) electronic version of Writer's Digest from August 1921; Jesse Sheidlower verified this in the original version.

We would likes citations of any date from other authors.

Last modified 2023-11-08 13:32:19
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.