pseudo-science n.

= science fiction n. 2

Chiefly associated with the early pulp era. Now hist.

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • 1927 W. K. Jones Listening in on Editors in Author & Journalist Aug. 16/1 page image

    When I asked him just what that sort was, he summed up his requirements as ‘ghost and pseudo-science’.

  • 1944 ‘J. Bristol’ Fancylopedia 69/2 Dick Eney

    pseudoscience — Scientific explanations which actually clash with accepted scientific beliefs, but by glossing-over pass for plausibility to the untutored minds of Fantastic Adventures' audience and other children. The use of the word to describe science-fiction in general is fiercely fought by lovers of the literature.

  • 1948 Thrilling Wonder Stories Feb. 109/1 page image

    Failure to like good fantasy (No, don’t say it, plizz) seems to us to reveal a lamentable lack of imagination. After all, the most highly technical pseudo science story is truly nothing but fantasy dressed up with a lot of fantastic, slide rule suppositional gadgets.

  • 1952 C. A. Smith Letter to L. S. de Camp in Klarkash Ton #1 (June 1988) 23/2 page image Clark Ashton Smith

    In the fall of 1929 I began in [sic] intensive campaign of fiction-writing, both weird and pseudo-science.

  • 1957 S. Moskowitz 1957 in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 76/2 Sam Moskowitz

    Similarly, when a 1949 cover of The Writer’s Monthly featured a review of ‘pseudo science’ publication requirements, many of the newer writers weren’t quite sure what was being referred to, so anachronistic had the term become.

  • 1957 C. W. Hart ‘Pseudo-Science’ & Reader's Guide in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 47 (title)

    ‘Pseudo-Science’ and The Reader’s Guide

  • 1966 ‘J. Merril’ in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 48/1 Judith Merril

    Actually, this is a more than adequate adventure yarn—well-told, well-paced, filled with thrills, chills, and spills, and the very model of the modern version of the Pseudoscience Story.

Research requirements

antedating 1927

Earliest cite

Willis Knapp Jones in "The Author & Journalist"

Research History
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 1959 cite from Dick Eney's "Fancyclopedia II"; Jesse Sheidlower confirmed it in the 1944 original edition, edited by "John Bristol" (J. B. Speer).
John Locke submitted a cite from Willis Knapp Jones's "Listening in on the Editors" in an (unpaginated) electronic version of "The Author & Journalist" from August 1927; Jeff Prucher verified the cite in the original publication.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1952 cite from a letter by Clark Ashton Smith to L. Sprague de Camp.

Fred Galvin located a 1947 book by Clare Winger Harris, titled "Away from the Here and Now: Stories in Pseudo-Science"; we would like to obtain a cite from a print edition.

We would likes citations of any date from other authors.

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