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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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Huxley in 1954
Huxley in 1954

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly 50 books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.

Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish travel writing, satire, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times and was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1962. (Full article...)

Selected work

Harry Potter is a film series based on the eponymous novels by J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). A spin-off prequel series that is planned to consist of five films started with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), marking the beginning of the Wizarding World shared media franchise.

The series was mainly produced by David Heyman, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as the three leading characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Four directors worked on the series: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates. Michael Goldenberg wrote the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), while the remaining films' screenplays were written by Steve Kloves. Production took place over ten years, with the main story arc following Harry's quest to overcome his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort. (Full article...)

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Max Beerbohm (1872–1956), Zuleika Dobson (1911).
More quotes from Wikiquote: science fiction, fantasy, alternate history

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Frontispiece to the 1825/1826 edition of Childe Harold
Credit: I. H. Jones (illustration), Adam Cuerden (restoration)

Frontispiece to the 1825/1826 edition of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron, published by W. Dugdale, Russell Court, Drury Lane. The engraving is by I. H. Jones.

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Thrill the World 2008 in Austin, Texas

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Selected article

The Flood is a fictional parasitic alien lifeform and one of the primary antagonists in the Halo multimedia franchise. First introduced in the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved, it returns in later entries in the series such as Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo Wars. The Flood is driven by a desire to infect any sentient life of sufficient size; Flood-infected creatures, also called Flood, in turn can infect other hosts. The parasite is depicted as such a threat that the ancient Forerunners constructed artificial ringworld superweapons known as Halos to contain it and, as a last resort, to kill all sentient life in the galaxy in an effort to stop the Flood's spread by starving it. The Flood's design and fiction were led by Bungie artist Robert McLees, who used unused concepts from the earlier Bungie game Marathon 2. The setting of the first game, the ringworld Halo, was stripped of many of its large creatures in order to make the Flood's surprise appearance more startling. Bungie environment artist Vic DeLeon spent six months of pre-production time refining the Flood's fleshy aesthetic and designing the organic interiors of Flood-infested spaceships for Halo 3. (Full article...)

On this day...

June 25:

Film releases


Possible futures

Possible events in the future as suggested by science fiction:


  • In the year 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 (500 quintillion), the last descendants of humanity make some changes to our near present in order to release the universe's vacuum energy, spawn new universes, and prevent the Big Freeze from happening.

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