The Null Device

Atwood on scifi/speculative fiction

Margaret Atwood on the difference between science fiction and speculative fiction:
Speculative fiction encompasses that which we could actually do. Sci-fi is that which we’re probably not going to see. We can do the lineage: Sci-fi descends from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds; speculative fiction descends from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Out of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea came Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, out of which came We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, then George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Ray Bradbury’s Fahreneheit 451 was speculative fiction, while The Martian Chronicles was not.

There are 4 comments on "Atwood on scifi/speculative fiction":

Posted by: Peter Thu Oct 22 00:30:03 2009

I wonder if she realises this is completely her own invented definition?

Posted by: mark Thu Oct 22 02:07:12 2009

First I've heard of it, too, Peter. It's an interesting distinction, though ...

Posted by: kstop Thu Oct 22 19:01:34 2009

I thought the proper description for Atwood's genre was "over-egged Ballard ripoff." Live and learn.

Posted by: Ralph 12grabZs 41 Fri Oct 23 09:29:08 2009

And soporifiction is that which no-one actually finishes reading.

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