Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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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

Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts.

— Brian W. Aldiss

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading.

— Ray Bradbury

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

— Philip K. Dick

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

Whatever creativity is, it is in part a solution to a problem.

— Brian W. Aldiss

Science fiction isn’t just thinking about the world out there. It’s also thinking about how that world might be—a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they’re going to change the world we live in, they—and all of us—have to be able to think about a world that works differently.

— Samuel R. Delany

SF has never really aimed to tell us when we might reach other planets, or develop new technologies, or meet aliens. SF speculates about why we might want to do these things, and how their consequences might affect our lives and our planet.

— John Clute

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

Science-fiction balances you on the cliff. Fantasy shoves you off.

— Ray Bradbury

Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the idea is quite staggering.

— Arthur C. Clarke

Reality is frequently inaccurate.

— Douglas Adams