Portal:Speculative fiction

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Speculative fiction is an umbrella phrase encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.

It has been around since humans began to speak. The earliest forms of speculative fiction were likely mythological tales told around the campfire. Speculative fiction deals with the "What if?" scenarios imagined by dreamers and thinkers worldwide. Journeys to other worlds through the vast reaches of distant space; magical quests to free worlds enslaved by terrible beings; malevolent supernatural powers seeking to increase their spheres of influence across multiple dimensions and times; all of these fall into the realm of speculative fiction.

Speculative fiction as a category ranges from ancient works to cutting edge, paradigm-changing, and neotraditional works of the 21st century. It can be recognized in works whose authors' intentions or the social contexts of the versions of stories they portrayed is now known. For example, Ancient Greek dramatists such as Euripides, whose play Medea (play) seemed to have offended Athenian audiences when he fictionally speculated that shamaness Medea killed her own children instead of their being killed by other Corinthians after her departure. The play Hippolytus, narratively introduced by Aphrodite, is suspected to have displeased contemporary audiences of the day because it portrayed Phaedra as too lusty.

In historiography, what is now called speculative fiction has previously been termed "historical invention", "historical fiction," and other similar names. It is extensively noted in the literary criticism of the works of William Shakespeare when he co-locates Athenian Duke Theseus and Amazonian Queen Hippolyta, English fairy Puck, and Roman god Cupid all together in the fairyland of its Merovingian Germanic sovereign Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In mythography it has been termed "mythopoesis" or mythopoeia, "fictional speculation", the creative design and generation of lore, regarding such works as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Such supernatural, alternate history, and sexuality themes continue in works produced within the modern speculative fiction genre.

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Portrait by Henry Walter Barnett, 1893

Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Born and educated in Edinburgh, Stevenson suffered from serious bronchial trouble for much of his life, but continued to write prolifically and travel widely in defiance of his poor health. As a young man, he mixed in London literary circles, receiving encouragement from Andrew Lang, Edmund Gosse, Leslie Stephen and W. E. Henley, the last of whom may have provided the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. In 1890, he settled in Samoa where, alarmed at increasing European and American influence in the South Sea islands, his writing turned away from romance and adventure fiction toward a darker realism. He died in his island home in 1894 at age 44. (Full article...)

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Star Trek ENT logo.svg

Star Trek: Enterprise, titled simply Enterprise for its first two seasons, is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. It originally aired from September 26, 2001, to May 13, 2005 on UPN. The sixth series in the Star Trek franchise, it is a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. Set in the 22nd century, a hundred years before the events of The Original Series, it follows the adventures of the Enterprise, Earth's first starship capable of traveling at warp five, as it explores the galaxy and encounters various alien species.

Following the culmination of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and with Star Trek: Voyager scheduled to end, UPN asked Braga and Berman to create a new series to continue the franchise. Rather than setting it in the 24th century alongside Deep Space Nine and Voyager, they decided to set it in an earlier period, allowing them to explore new parts of the Star Trek fictional universe. Wanting a more basic, relatable, character-driven series, Berman and Braga concentrated on a core trio: Captain Jonathan Archer (played by Scott Bakula), Commander Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer), and Sub-commander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock). (Full article...)

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Vernor Vinge (b.1944), "The Coming Technological Singularity" (1993).

More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

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Ryū sho ten
Cr: Artist: Ogata Gekkō; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

Ryū sho ten ("Dragon rising toward heaven"), an 1897 ukiyo-e print by Ogata Gekkō showing a Japanese dragon moving upwards with Mount Fuji in the background. Dragon myths in Japanese folklore amalgamate native legends with imported stories from China, Korea and India. Most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. (POTD)

Did you know...

Annette Nelson as 'The Mountain Sylph'

  • ... that the 101 Dalmatians Musical has several performers working on 15" stilts to simulate a canine perspective, and uses 15 real Dalmatian dogs for several scenes?

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The first issue of Air Wonder Stories, July 1929. The cover is by Frank R. Paul.

Wonder Stories was an early American science fiction magazine which was published under several titles from 1929 to 1955. It was founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1929 after he had lost control of his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, when his media company Experimenter Publishing went bankrupt. Within a few months of the bankruptcy, Gernsback launched three new magazines: Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories, and Science Wonder Quarterly.

Air Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Stories were merged in 1930 as Wonder Stories, and the quarterly was renamed Wonder Stories Quarterly. The magazines were not financially successful, and in 1936 Gernsback sold Wonder Stories to Ned Pines at Beacon Publications, where, retitled Thrilling Wonder Stories, it continued for nearly 20 years. The last issue was dated Winter 1955, and the title was then merged with Startling Stories, another of Pines' science fiction magazines. Startling itself lasted only to the end of 1955 before finally succumbing to the decline of the pulp magazine industry. (Full article...)

On this day...

Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:

  • On April 27 of 2,774,020, Murcheson's Eye explodes into a supernova and becomes a black hole.

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