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Speculative Fiction

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Andrea Ledvinka

on 10 October 2017

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Transcript of Speculative Fiction

For example,
Let's speculate...
When Speculation Becomes Truth:
Many readers see alarming similarities to the government surveillance/police state in George Orwell's 1948 novel,
to the current post-9/11 policies such as the Patriot Act, bringing new meaning to the term "Big Brother is watching".

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Sci Fi -
includes other worlds, aliens, and things like time travel (things that are unknown and not real to our world); and to some extent has a grounding in science

- includes magic, the supernatural, and mythical/magical creatures; has no grounding on what is real (not based on science)
If you were an author of speculative fiction:
You might be intrigued by the fact that 2,053 nuclear explosions have occurred since 1945 (starting with the Manhattan Project in the Los Alamos desert in 1945
Let's speculate again...
Note all the explosions in the Pacific Ocean. What do you speculate will come of that area, most notable the Great Barrier Reef?

Note the number of explosions in the "wastelands" of the American west or Siberia. Can your creative mind speculate the type of creatures spawned by such radiation?
Speculative Fiction
Which city on the North American Seaboard is most likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack?

If attacked, that city, undoubtedly would be decimated.
Describe what you think the outlying areas beyond that city would be like.

What do you think would be some of the side-effects still inevitable suffered by people living thousands of kilometers away?
Much of Speculative Fiction has some connection to truth or evidence.
What is Speculative Fiction?
Well, that depends on who you ask.

Some say it's the umbrella term for all science fiction, fantasy, magical realism etc.

Others say it is its own genre that is on a similar spectrum to science fiction, but different from science fiction.
Speculative Fiction
to science fiction as it can be rooted in science and what is real.

from sci-fi, as it does not include aliens/Martians and other worlds.

It speculates either an imagined or plausible future or a changed past altered by a different outcome of historical events.
Speculative Fiction:
A Growing Genre
Popularity in the spec-fiction genre has exploded in recent years as the world is currently seeing answer to some of the "What if" questions asked decades ago.
What if
infertility led to global reproductive issues:
The Handmaid's Tale
Children of Men

What if
humankind lost electricity:
(tv series).

What if
our country had each province or state enter two volunteers for an annual real-life game of survival.:
The Hunger Games

We cannot discuss speculative fiction without discussing dystopia, as most speculative fiction is set in a dystopic world.
Let's address utopia and dystopia together

Here's the skinny:

Utopia is essentially the creation of an ideal world.

Dystopia is the opposite. It is the creation of a nightmare world.

Easy Right?
A community or society possessing the perfect social, political, economic, and legal system.


The name given to a society in which the conditions of life are miserable and are characterized by poverty, oppression, war, violence, disease, ecological disaster, nuclear fallout, and/or the curtailment of human rights resulting in widespread unhappiness, suffering, and pain.
It is the illusion of a perfect society maintained through corporate, technological, moral, or totalitarian control.
Utopian Dream
Dystopian Reality
Authors attempt to exemplify the errors of humanity's ways by demonstrating that an attempt to create a utopia can often lead to adverse effects, resulting in the creation of a dystopia.
Okay, so let's see what you've learned.
The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
For each of the following videos, fill in the speculative fiction chart you are about to receive.
Helena Beat - Foster the People
Revolution - Episode One
(this is just a teaser)
Characteristics of a
Dystopian Society
- propaganda is used to control the citizens of a society
- information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted
- a figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of that society
- citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance
- citizens have a fear of the outside world
- citizens live in a dehumanized state
- the natural world is banished and distrusted
- citizens conform to uniform expectations; individuality and dissent are bad
- the society is an illusion of the perfect
utopian world
Corporate Control
Bureaucratic Control
Technological Control
Philosophical/ Religious Control
The Dystopian Protagonist

- often feels trapped and is struggling to escape
- questions the existing social and political systems
- believes that something is terribly wrong with
society in which they live
- helps the audience recognize the negative
aspects of the dystopian world through his
her perspective
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