Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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All worlds of fiction are alternative realities.

— Hal Duncan

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

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

All science fiction is based on Murphy’s Law.

— Connie Willis, Fast Forward: Contemporary SF interview, 2016

Science fiction at its best should be crazy and dangerous, not sane and safe.

— Paul Di Filippo, How to Write Science Fiction

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

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

— Isaac Asimov

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

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 my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.

— Isaac Asimov

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

— Margaret Atwood

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be…. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.

— Isaac Asimov