sfnal adj.

= science fictional adj.

SF Criticism

  • 1938 J. F. Speer Letter in Amazing Stories Oct. 136/1 page image Jack Speer bibliography

    BoBloch’s first sfnal effort wasn’t so turribly [sic] good. However, I expect him to improve in time.

  • 1962 W. J. Plott Letter in Fantastic Mar. 126/1 page image

    The…text contains a number of the old English classics which have sfnal undertones. Beowulf, Macbeth, Paradise Lost, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, ‘Markheim’ by R. L. Stevenson, ‘Poison’ by Roald Dahl, etc. So, you see science fiction is beginning to make a decided movement toward overall acceptance as a separate and individual form of literature.

  • 1974 B. D. Arthurs Letter in Alien Critic (#10) Aug. 28/2 page image Bruce D. Arthurs bibliography

    ‘What Happened to Nick Neptune?’ by Dick Lupoff in F&SF—In its own way, this is the worst of the three stories. It has an sfnal element, all right; part of the story takes place after the entire Earth has been reduced to cinders by an alien race and 90% of the Earth’s population has been evacuated to the asteroids. But... this sfnal element has nothing to do with the story! NOTHING! [...] What the story really is, in fact, is faan fiction, dealing with the rabid collectors, the completists, in fandom.

  • 1981 R. Sabella Short Fiction Reviews in Science Fiction Review Summer 58/1

    On a more SFnal level, it concerns a fascinating theory about resurrecting ghosts of the past through modern science.

  • 1993 Locus June 28/1

    Others…seem shoehorned in on the argument that some aspects of some of their works seem vaguely sf-nal.

  • 1994 K. K. Rusch Editorial in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct.–Nov. 8/2 page image Kristine Kathryn Rusch

    This morning as I ate breakfast, I read the ‘Shouts and Murmurs’ section of the May 30th New Yorker in which Charlie Varon postulates how our reading habits will change when most of us read the Times on-line. His fake articles are sfnal and his point is as biting as any science fiction story’s can be.

  • 1998 J. Dann Nebula Awards Stories 32 32

    ‘Must and Shall’…might be thought of as historical fiction with an SFnal twist: change one thing, extrapolate as rigorously as possible, and see what happens. I'm just as well pleased this particular change remains fictional.

  • 1999 R. K. J. Killheffer Books in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct.—Nov. 38/2 Robert K. J. Killheffer

    Much of Kurzweil’s material—nanotechnology, uploaded minds, virtual reality—will be familiar to sf readers. But there are some ideas that haven’t been much treated in fiction yet (quantum computing, evolutionary algorithms, etc.), and Kurzweil’s discussion of these concepts offers just the kind of sfnal kick I had expected.

  • 2001 Science Fiction Chronicle July 52/2

    The pair created many shows for TV, the most popular being…The Flintstones, and the most SFnal, The Jetsons.

  • 2012 P. Heck On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 109/1 page image Peter Heck bibliography

    Her comments on Le Guin, noting a duality between ‘two major parallel universes,’ i.e. the fantastic and sfnal elements in her work, are perceptive and useful.


Research requirements

antedating 1938

Earliest cite

Jack Speer, in a letter to Amazing Stories

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted 1998 citations from Gary K. Wolfe and Faren Miller in Locus.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1998 cite from Jack Dann in Nebula Award Stories 32.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Rich Horton in 3SF.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1999 cite from Robert Killheffer's review column in F&SF.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1994 cite from an editorial by Kristine Rusch in F&SF.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1981 cite from Robert Savella in SF Review.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1974 cite from Bruce Arthurs in The Alien Critic.

Last modified 2021-11-08 20:44:15
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.