Christian Writers of the West recently held our Rattler Writing Contest. One of the categories was Speculative Fiction. In that it is a less-understood genre, I explored a little. Here is what I found:
Pure fiction, tells stories in hypothetical situations, whereas speculative fiction tells stories that take place in hypothetical story-worlds different from our own.
Speculative fiction is a fiction genre speculating about worlds that are unlike the real world. It generally overlaps one or more of these: science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.
Speculative fiction encompasses works that don’t fit neatly into the separate genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy.
Stories such as Stranger in a Strange Land. The Twilight Zone.
When you come across a story that both is and isn’t science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror, that’s speculative fiction.
David Bowlin of ShadowKeep Magazine states, “Speculative fiction is a world that writers create, where anything can happen. It is a place beyond reality, a place that could have been, or might have been, if only the rules of the universe were altered just a bit. Speculative fiction goes beyond the horror of everyday life and takes the reader (and writer) into a world of magic, fantasy, science.”