You’re a spec fic fan

Even if you didn’t know it. Speculative fiction is often generalized as “highly-imaginative fiction”. Within its boundaries, you find science fiction, fantasy, horror and every mix and mash-up from paranormal to dystopian.

I love it when I say I write spec fic, and people frown, shake their heads and mutter, “I’m not a fan,” or “I don’t usually like that sort of thing.” What they really mean is they don’t want to be grouped with the kids at the Star Trek cons. They don’t want spaceships or dragons. They equate fandom with not having a life.

But they’re spec fic fans, I guarantee it. You don’t have to be able to debate the best Enterprise captain to be a spec fic fan. You don’t have to know what Color Spray is or be able to list just how many times Jason came back. X-files and Lost were both spec fic shows, as was Alias when they introduced the mystical box thingy.

Twilight is spec fic, and so is Harry Potter. Just because it’s written for kids or teens doesn’t exclude it. If you loved A Wrinkle in Time or James and the Giant Peach, you’re a spec fic fan. And all the new praise for The Hunger Games is praise for spec fic.

Even faced with all this evidence, I’ve had people turn up their noses. “I only read literary fiction,” they say. Well, literary fiction abound with spec fic. Farenheit 451, 1984, and Frankenstein are all spec fic. Shakespeare dabbled in it all the time. (Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, just to name two. Oh, come on, Hamlet’s got a freakin’ ghost as a character!) And lets not get started on Arthurian legends or Beowulf. Anything with that many monsters and supernatural critters is definitely spec fic. Age makes no difference.

The odd, the unexpected, the extraordinary — the highly imaginative. Far out technology, alien races, dystopian/utopian societies, superheroes, magic and mysticism, the delving into the unexplained, speculative fiction explores them all. Don’t look down on that Star Trek kid. As tastes go, you’re probably living right next door.

I know many of you are already fans of speculative fiction, but if you couldn’t admit it before, can you admit it now? ^_^

What form or art or entertainment do you like that someone once turned his/her nose up at? Did the turning of the nose change your tastes?

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10 thoughts on “You’re a spec fic fan

  1. I was not a spec fiction fan before because I had no idea what it was. Somehow I’ve come this far without catching that term. But now that I have heard it, it seems I am a fan. I usually stick with the word genre to explain what I write/read as a distinction from literary, which I find I usually do not enjoy. Thanks for teaching me a new term.

  2. I don’t remember a time I WASN’T a fan. It’s most of what I read and write. That said, I see no reason why spec fic CAN’T (or shouldn’t) also be high brow “literary” fiction (Metamorphosis, Kafka, thank you so much). Neil Gaiman proved comics can be just as literary as Shakespeare. His single issue based on A Midsummer’s Night Dream won the Wolrd Fantasy Award the year it came out. What happened next sucked. The judges blocked a comic book from ever winning again! Like they hadn’t just proved that comics were capable of achieving quality writing.

  3. I like spec fic, too.

    I’ve always loved romances, and was ridiculed for it when I was young. Unfortunately I can’t relate to most of the romance novels I read nowadays–they’re way too racy for my taste. Someone should write romances people like me would enjoy. Oh, wait a minute! That’s what I’m doing…

  4. spec fiction, romances, mysteries…love genre fiction (and I think you’ve heard my rant on why the best genre fiction is better than the ‘mean’ of so-called ‘literary fiction.’ not that I don’t like literary fiction…but it isn’t better art just because nothing exciting happens in it)

    and I love Buffy…which alienates a certain kind of person by its title alone.

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