Thoughts Regarding Speculative Fiction


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“One of the things I’ve always liked about science fiction is the way it makes you think about things, and look at things from angles you’d never have thought about before.”

— Jo Walton, Among Others

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

— Isaac Asimov

In fact, one good working definition of science fiction may be the literature which, growing with science and technology, evaluates it and relates it meaningfully to the rest of human existence.

— H. Bruce Franklin

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

— Margaret Atwood

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

Science fiction reflects scientific thought; a fiction of things-to-come based on things-on-hand.

— Benjamin Appel

…science fiction is something that could happen – but usually you wouldn’t want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn’t happen – though often you only wish that it could.

— Arthur C. Clarke

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

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

The most visceral science fiction always takes place in the past and focuses on the humdrum.

— Dean Cavanagh

Science fiction is, after all, the art of extrapolation.

— Michael Dirda

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