Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.

— Octavia E. Butler

By and large, the kind of science fiction which makes tomorrow’s headlines as near as this morning’s coffee has enlarged popular awareness of the modern, miraculous world of science we live in. It has helped generations of young people feel at age with a changing world.

— Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Door Through Space

It is almost impossible to think of something no one has thought of before, but it is always possible to add different frills.

— Isaac Asimov

[Social] science fiction is that branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance on human beings.

— Isaac Asimov

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

— Terry Pratchett, The Long Earth

You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

— Ray Bradbury

Science fiction is for real, space opera is for fun.

— Brian W. Aldiss

The reasons for writing about the day after tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow it, are as many and as varied as the people writing.

— Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction

“Sometimes people say that we’re living in the future, and time’s up for science fiction, but I think that never will be, because science fiction really isn’t about the future. It’s about change and present-day concerns”

— Stephen Baxter

At its best, SF is the medium in which our miserable certainty that tomorrow will be different from today in ways we can’t predict, can be transmuted to a sense of excitement and anticipation, occasionally evolving into awe. Poised between intransigent skepticism and uncritical credulity, it is par excellence the literature of the open mind.

— John Brunner

Literary characters… draw you in and cultivate feelings of friendship on your part. Although, no matter how much you learn about them, how much time you spend with them–how far you can see into their thoughts and words, how they interact with others, their looks, what they wear–they will never, ever know you.

— Chess Desalls, Travel Glasses

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