Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them, into the impossible.

— Arthur C. Clarke

I would rather never make a penny on book sales and know that many had derived some fair pleasure from my writing, than to know that very few had ever taken a chance on my work. I certainly won’t last forever, but I’d love to think that my imagination will continue to surface in the minds of others.

— Eric Diehl

Many people have tried to define science fiction. I like to call it the literature of exploration and change. While other genres obsess upon so-called eternal verities, SF deals with the possibility that our children may have different problems. They may, indeed, be different than we have been.

— David Brin

It’s a point that science fiction makes constantly: the future belongs to us — whatever it is. We make it, our actions shape tomorrow. We have the brains and guts to build paradise (or at least try). Tragedy is when we fail, and the greatest crime of all is when we fail even to try.
Thus science fiction stands as a bridge between science and art, between the engineers of technology and the poets of humanity.

— Ben Bova

[Science fiction is] the attempt to deal rationally with alternate possibilities in a manner which will be entertaining.

— Lester Del Rey

That’s all science fiction was ever about. Hating the way things are, wanting to make things different.

— Ray Bradbury, Quicker Than the Eye

“But then science is nothing but a series of questions that lead to more questions.”

— Terry Pratchett, The Long Earth

Expand your world. (Stories about wizards and spells) are very frequently about power relationships…

— Margaret Atwood

We all know interspecies romance is weird.

— Tim Burton

We hope it will not be long before we may have other works of Science-Fiction, as we believe such works likely to fulfil a good purpose, and create an interest, where, unhappily, science alone might fail.

— William Wilson, A Little Earnest Book upon a Great Old Subject, 1851

A common complaint about science fiction is that it promises more than our world’s humdrum reality ever delivers—a refrain summed up in the question: “Where’s my flying car?”

— Alastair Reynolds, The Economist, The World in 2015

A science fiction story is one which presupposes a technology, or an effect of technology, or a disturbance in the natural order, such as humanity, up to the time of writing, has not in actual fact experienced.

— Edmund Crispin