fantascience n.

= science fantasy n. 3; science fiction n. 2

Now chiefly hist.

[Apparently coined by Eric Temple Bell in 1934 to describe his novel Before the Dawn.]

SF Criticism


  • 1934 Publisher’s Preface in ‘J. Taine’ Before the Dawn vi

    Indeed so decidedly did it appear that this class of book differed from others that an identifying tag seemed useful, if not imperative. Dr. Bell coined the word fantascience, which may be roughly defined as literary work having a warp of science and a weft of fantasy.

  • 1934 C. A. Brandt In the Realm of Books in Amazing Stories Nov. 134/1 page image C. A. Brandt

    ‘Before the Dawn’, which Mr. Taine calls a work of ‘Fantascience’ is heartily recommended to all our readers.

  • 1936 Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 116/2 page image

    Some discussion was held of the astronomovie, ‘Solar Mystery’, which was currently screening, and the recent preview of A. Merritt’s fantascience film, ‘The Devil-Doll’.

  • 1939 T. Moulton Letter in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 162/2 page image

    Speaking of New Mexico, I don’t recollect seeing any letters in Brass Tacks from addresses in this State. Are the tough hombres of the Southwest immune to the delights of fantascience?

  • 1950 M. Varady Letter in OtherWorlds Jan. 158/1 page image

    There was one outstanding story which’ll probably start a new trend in fantascience. This is The Miracle of Elmer Wilde by Rog Phillips. This’ll probably make history in stf.

  • 1955 R. C. Noll Flight Perilous! in Imagination May 17/2 page image Ray C. Noll bibliography

    The phrase ‘shipshape’ kept coming into his mind but he rejected it was histrionic. But maybe that was the word for the whole situation, with his being guilty of plenty of hamming. Come to think of it, it was more like TV fantascience than anything else.

  • 1957 S. Moskowitz How Science Fiction Got Its Name in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 77/1 page image Sam Moskowitz

    Williams and Wilkins attempted to establish fantascience in 1934, when it published John Taine’s novel Before the Dawn, but outside of being used in the title of Robert A. Madle’s famous old fan magazine Fantascience Digest and at the head of a few fan columns, it never caught hold.

  • 1982 F. J. Ackerman in Famous Monsters of Filmland (#182) 3 page image Forrest J. Ackerman

    It’ll be a mystery to us if you don’t flip over such fear-fraught features & fantascience flicks as E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Friday the 13th Part III, The Incubus and Halloween III!

Research requirements

antedating 1934

Last modified 2021-10-11 14:46:37
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.