mundane adj. 2

denoting a subgenre of science fiction characterized by a rejection of themes considered scientifically implausible (as faster-than-light travel, alternate universes, etc.)

Associated chiefly with Geoff Ryman; discussed extensively in Rich Calvin, Mundane SF 101 (SFRA Review #289 (Summer 2009) pp. 13ff.)


SF Criticism


  • 2004 G. Ryman et al. Mundane Manifesto Geoff Ryman

    The number of themes and flavors open to Mundane fiction include robotics, virtual realities, enhanced genomes, nanotechnology, quantum mechanics… Please continue.

  • 2004 G. Ryman et al. Mundane Manifesto Geoff Ryman

    The Mundanes promise To produce a collection of mundane science fiction consisting of stories that follow these rules: No interstellar travel… No aliens… No alternative universes [etc.].

  • 2009 R. Calvin Mundane SF 101 in SFRA Review #289 Summer 14/2 page image

    The characteristics defined as mundane SF have long been around.

  • 2016 SFX (#277) Sept. 107/3

    The collection finds space for stories [such as]…the Mundane SF future-history of ‘The Water Thief’.

Research requirements

antedating 2004

Earliest cite

Geoff Ryman, "Mundane Manifesto"

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