skiffy n.

= sci-fi n.

Often joc.

[spelling pronunciation of sci-fi]

SF Encyclopedia


SF Criticism

SF Fandom

  • 1978 M. A. Armstrong Letter in Asimov’s Science Fiction Sept.–Oct. 190 page image

    Not only did it [sc. a magazine cover] have rayguns and a spacey looking ship, but the maiden was scantily clad (in all the right places!) and the man was big and muscular, complete with ripples and throbbing veins. Hot jets! Now that, dear sirs, is skiffy.

  • 1982 D. Hartwell The Golden Age of Science Fiction is Twelve in Top of News (1982, issue number unknown) 13 David G. Hartwell

    The science fiction reader sneers at fake SF, artificially produced film tie-in novels and stories, most SF films, most TV SF. This he calls sci-fi (or ‘skiffy’)—junk no right-thinking omnivore or chronic should read, watch, or support.

  • 1989 B. Sterling in SF Eye July 77/2 Bruce Sterling

    Many of the best new writers seem openly ashamed of their backward Skiffy nationality.

  • 1989 B. Sterling in SF Eye July 78/2 Bruce Sterling

    We could call this kind of fiction Novels of Postmodern Sensibility, but that looks pretty bad on a category rack, and requires an acronym besides; so for the sake of convenience and argument, we will call these books ‘slipstream.’ ‘Slipstream’ is not all that catchy a term, and if this young genre ever becomes an actual category I doubt it will use that name, which I just coined along with my friend Richard Dorsett. ‘Slipstream’ is a parody of ‘mainstream’, and nobody calls mainstream ‘mainstream’ except for us skiffy trolls.

  • 1993 P. Nicholls Encyclopedia Science Fiction 1079/1

    Skiffy is colourful, sometimes entertaining, junk sf: Star Wars is skiffy.

  • 1995 K. MacLeod Star Fraction iii. 53 Ken MacLeod

    Donovan, you don’t have a problem with money. I'm sure what you've had so far has seemed like a lot. But we want to do more with your book. I've been taken off the skiffy-occult-horror side where your MS arrived on my desk by accident. They want me to start a new list. ‘New Heretics,’ it’s gonna be called, with Secret Life’s paperback launch as its big splash.

  • 1996 Interzone Jan. 57/3

    It is nothing more than a parody of The Foundation Trilogy—possibly mixed with references to the Lensman stories, some recent stuff by Walter Jon Williams, and half a dozen other pieces of skiffy you vaguely remember reading.

  • 2001 Science Fiction Chronicle July (advertising section after p. 32) p. 11

    Alternate Skiffy, ed. by Mike Resnick & Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

  • 2004 U. K. Le Guin Thinking about Cordwainer Smith in Wave in Mind 60 Ursula K. Le Guin

    Dr. Linebarger had to be respectable and responsible and had to guard his tongue. Cordwainer Smith wrote skiffy and babbled whatever he pleased.

  • 2005 D. Langford in Ansible (#216) July page image David Langford

    Meanwhile someone has decided that the award-nominated cover design, with its striking NASA/JPL Jupiter photograph, was not skiffy enough. Therefore, stars have been added. Stars which shine straight through that gas-giant planet and its moon. Really science-fictional stars.

Research requirements

antedating 1978

Research History
Lawrence Person submitted a 1989 cite from a Bruce Sterling article in SF Eye.
Ted Chiang submitted a cite from a 1985 reprint of David Hartwell's "Age of Wonders" and Jeff Prucher verified it in the 1984 first edition; we would like to check the 1982 first appearance of this material in "Top of the News".
Ted Chiang submitted a cite from the Clute/Nicholls Encyclopedia of SF, and Mike Christie verified it in the 1993 first edition.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 2001 reprint of Ken MacLeod's 1995 "The Star Fraction".
Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from a 2004 reprint of Ursula K. Le Guin's 1994 "Thinking About Cordwainer Smith".

Last modified 2021-01-06 21:13:48
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.