Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction

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

— Lester Del Rey

Fiction is simply dreams written out. Science fiction consists of the hopes and dreams and fears (for some dreams are nightmares) of a technically based society.

— John W. Campbell

This is what I get from being a Science Fiction writer: not fame and fortune, but good friends. That’s what makes it worth it to me.

— Philip K. Dick

Science fiction is not a unitary genre or form, hence cannot be encompassed in a single definition. It is an assemblage of genres and subgenres that are not intrinsically closely related, but are generally accepted as an area of publication by a marketplace. Science fiction is thus only a commercial term.

— Everett K. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years

If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins make us seem harmless.

— Bruce Sterling, Burning Chrome

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

Science fiction is the major non-realistic mode of imaginative creation of our epoch. It is the principal cultural way we locate ourselves imaginatively in time and space.

— H. Bruce Franklin

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.

— Carl Sagan

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

— Philip K. Dick

At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, narrow footpath of what “everyone” is saying, doing, thinking — whoever “everyone” happens to be this year.

— Octavia E. Butler, And What Good Is All This to Black People?

Take a scientific fact or theory, add a futuristic or other-worldly setting, stir in an imaginative plot and fascinating characters, and a science fiction novel emerges from the cosmic mix.

— Yvonne Coleman

I am chaos in this ordered society, the flaw in a carefully wrought plan. I am turbulence in the queen’s eternal river.

— Eugie Foster, Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast