Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Case for Speculative Fiction

You know I've just realized it. Over the past year I've watched some really good genre shows, Durarara, Revolution, Falling Skies, Grimm, Supernatural, Misfits, Being Human, Orphan Black. It strikes me because this time last year I was prepared to give a speech on how we were giving up on Science-Fiction.

I felt that the powers that be had stopped taking it seriously and had fallen into the conceit that speculative fiction was inherently ridiculous. I had seen a lot of shows where it was clear the writters didn't take the premise seriously and just went off the deep end, (Lost Girl). And that's fine if you're writing an over the top comedy, but if you want the audience to hold their suspension of disbelief which with spec-fiction is a must, the characters have to believe their world.

Then there is the other end. The shows that in an attempt to counter the ridiculous factor try to artificially gritty thier worlds up culminating in bad writing.

I've been meaning for a while to write why I like speculative fiction so here goes. The sky is the limit. Boom. That's it. Speculative fiction is the fiction of world building. It is the place where cool ideas get explored because by definition those cool ideas are speculation.

It's the only place where I can see the Grimm Reaper/Headless Horseman and a zombie queen with a katana team up to take on a gang of street toughs. Or a ghost,vampire and werewolf as roomies.

It's the genre where if you can think up a good and entertaining way to write it, it can happen.

Moreover not only is it my preferred type of fiction but on a more literary scale I would argue it needs to exist. It's the place where every idea no matter how batshit it sounds it is on the table and fiction needs that. Otherwise the same ideas get recycled ad infinitum with little to distinguish them.

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