speculative fiction n. 3

fiction which includes science fictional elements but which is regarded as not part of the genre of science fiction, as because it is soft science fiction, or to avoid a stigma felt to be associated with the term ‘science fiction’

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • 1968 R. Wilson in Extrapolation (vol. X no. 1) Dec. 6 page image Robin Scott Wilson

    The the number of magazines in this country and England devoted exclusively to speculative fiction has declined in recent years, speculative stories are appearing ever more frequently in magazines of general fiction, and there has been the recent innovation of regularly-published, hardcover anthologies of new stories (Damon Knight’s Orbit series, Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions…and Harry Harison’s new venture, Nova are some that come immediately to mind).

  • 1978 N.Y. Times 30 Mar. C22/3

    A 10-part series based on what Mr. Kotlowitz called ‘speculative fiction’, stories that go beyond sci-fi and deal with ‘ethical and moral demands’ made in new worlds to come.

  • 1979 D. Suvin Metamorphoses of Science Fiction 67

    The so-called speculative fiction (for example, Ballard’s) clearly began as and has mostly remained an ideological inversion of ‘hard’ SF.

  • 2001 Science Fiction Chronicle July 32/1

    As to whether or not it’s science-fiction, that’s one of the questions it asks the audience to answer. Speculative fiction it most certainly is.

  • 2003 Dreamwatch Aug. 73/1

    Margaret Atwood finds the label of ‘science fiction’ distasteful, and would prefer her work in this area to be known as ‘speculative fiction.’

Research requirements

antedating 1968

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