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Speculative fiction vs. Science fiction

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Old 03-26-2013, 01:38 PM
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Default Speculative fiction vs. Science fiction


What is the difference between Speculative and science fiction. Can stories have a combination of both? Anyone feel free to post here an example of either or both.
What would be some famous examples of specualtive?

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Old 03-26-2013, 02:05 PM
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Speculative fiction is any fantastic tale, be it wizards and dragons, alien invasions, mad scientists destroying the Earth, zombies, vampires or super heroes. If the story depends on invented beings or invented worlds or invented technology then it is speculative fiction. So, science fiction is speculative fiction.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:01 PM
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As I understand the term's use, Speculative Fiction covers that grey area between Fantasy (werewolves, magicians, time-travelling zombies, etc) and what was once known as “hard” science fiction. Two examples of “hard” Science Fiction would be Hal Clemment's “Mission of Gravity” and Larry Niven's “Ringworld.”


At one time, any story of space travel within our solar system was dismissed by the majority of readers as Fantasy, but time has proven them wrong. Alternately, I chose those two example of “hard” Science Fiction because despite the rigorous application of contemporary scientific knowledge in the creation of their stories, both author's works were ultimately proven to be scientifically faulty .


Which explains why the area covered by “Speculative Fiction” is so vast.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Wee Mousie View Post
As I understand the term's use, Speculative Fiction covers that grey area between Fantasy (werewolves, magicians, time-travelling zombies, etc) and what was once known as “hard” science fiction. Two examples of “hard” Science Fiction would be Hal Clemment's “Mission of Gravity” and Larry Niven's “Ringworld.”


At one time, any story of space travel within our solar system was dismissed by the majority of readers as Fantasy, but time has proven them wrong. Alternately, I chose those two example of “hard” Science Fiction because despite the rigorous application of contemporary scientific knowledge in the creation of their stories, both author's works were ultimately proven to be scientifically faulty .


Which explains why the area covered by “Speculative Fiction” is so vast.
Unless you mean Earth/Moon system rather than solar system, time hasn't proved anything about space travel yet. Various rockets and probes have been sent off to other planets, but that isn't travel. What was fantasy can certainly become reality, and may well do so very soon, but that doesn't mean it was never fantasy or that those who called it fantasy were wrong.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:53 AM
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I disagree. The possibility for man to travel within the solar system is proven. The first steps, which demonstrated that ability, were taken. Rockets bearing probes and mechanical scouts in advance of the second step, landed on our nearest neighbouring planet.

All has unfolded as it should. True, it is taking longer than most believed likely back in the halcyon days of the sixties space race, but that is because many underestimated the complexity of the problem, and most overestimated the public's attention span and willingness to approve the expense of a government supported space program, as it was then organized.

True, the idea that an enterprising dad, with a few well-educated sons and daughters can tinker together an old rocket ship and blast off for a few years' adventure rolling around the solar system turned out to be a pipe dream, but the slow, steady conquest of space has continued, albeit under-financed and under appreciated. There is nothing at present stopping our next step into space save the willingness to bear the expense, both in human and financial costs.

Don't take my word for that.


(Here I was going to post a link, but it seems I must have a history of a few more posts before I can cite any proofs with a link. Therefor, you will have to Google "people willing to die on Mars" for yourself.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:41 AM
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Interesting discussion still some confusion. Always thought it meant stories dealing with ghosts and shadows. Not technologial things. It seems to encompass too many things there seems to be so much overalpping. But my question why do some literary magazines accept speculative fiction only and not science fiction.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:42 AM
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Basically Speculative Fiction is Fantasy/SciFi/Horror than can also be classified as literary/mainstream fiction. Kurt Vonnegut is probably the most famous example or the Time Traveller's Wife etc

It's also the label to use to get an agent/publisher that doesn't consider Sci-Fi etc to look at your work.

I have a work that is borderline and I am wavering between Urban Fantasy and Speculative Fiction for its title. (Sort of Dresden Files crossed with Hetty Wainthrop).
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:09 PM
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Speculative fiction is a phrase that is usually attributed to Robert Heinlein, who came up with it because he didn't like the term science fiction. I mostly associate it with the late 1950s and into the 1960s when "science fiction" meant "old guard" and "speculative fiction" meant all the Young Turks who were writing at the time, stretching the boundaries. The main stretch wasn't technical at all but was getting SF story telling away from hard SF and away from SF adventure tales, and into a deeper examination of the human condition.

Like most such terms, nowadays it will mean whatever you choose it to mean. So, play the Caterpillar, drop a definition on the turntable, and just write!

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Old 03-27-2013, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Wee Mousie View Post
I disagree. The possibility for man to travel within the solar system is proven. The first steps, which demonstrated that ability, were taken. Rockets bearing probes and mechanical scouts in advance of the second step, landed on our nearest neighbouring planet.

All has unfolded as it should. True, it is taking longer than most believed likely back in the halcyon days of the sixties space race, but that is because many underestimated the complexity of the problem, and most overestimated the public's attention span and willingness to approve the expense of a government supported space program, as it was then organized.

True, the idea that an enterprising dad, with a few well-educated sons and daughters can tinker together an old rocket ship and blast off for a few years' adventure rolling around the solar system turned out to be a pipe dream, but the slow, steady conquest of space has continued, albeit under-financed and under appreciated. There is nothing at present stopping our next step into space save the willingness to bear the expense, both in human and financial costs.

Don't take my word for that.


(Here I was going to post a link, but it seems I must have a history of a few more posts before I can cite any proofs with a link. Therefor, you will have to Google "people willing to die on Mars" for yourself.
I don't need to take your word for it. A trip to mars is indeed quite feasible, although the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. Be that as it may, it is in any event quite beside the the point.

Proving a thing to be feasible today does not prove that it was never a fantasy, and does not mean that those who thought it a fantasy were wrong. It is a fact that when H. G. Wells wrote The First Men in the Moon travelling to the Moon was a fantasy - that fact has not changed and will never change.
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Last edited by Crump; 03-27-2013 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:23 AM
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Does anybody have there own science fiction or speculative story to post. If so post on here. Thanks for feedback everybody.

Here is a story I believe is more science fiction then speculative any comments on how it can be improved. Its called Plantation Playground Written under pen name Mr. Rider

http://www.exilesmagazine.com/2012/0...y-edgar-rider/

Last edited by bobeager; 03-28-2013 at 06:25 AM..
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