Science fiction

             The term genre refers to a category of written work which is well established, and is distinguishable from other categories by its unique conventions. Speculative fiction is a relatively recent genre, with the term only being coined by Robert Heinlein in 1941. It is an umbrella term, encompassing the sub genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror, as well as other strange and amazing tales which do not fit any other category.
             Two speculative fiction texts which both reflect and challenge the genre are George Lucas’ Star Wars and Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts. The two works are from entirely different ends of the speculative fiction spectrum. At one end, we have Star Wars, classified under the sub-genre of science fiction. While speculative fiction had gained a newfound popularity in university campuses across the United States in the 1960s, it was not until the release of Star Wars in 1977 that mainstream society was introduced to an already well established alternative sub-genre. Star Wars has become one of the defining texts of science fiction, making its conventions easily recognisable. It helped to establish science fiction iconography such as laser guns, faster than light travel, intergalactic travel and communication, and advanced technology.
             At the other end of the speculative fiction spectrum is Isabel Allende, renowned Cuban author and part of the magical realist movement of South America. City of the Beasts is a work of magical realism, meaning that, rather than conducting a thought experiment as in all other speculative fiction works, it attempts to show the world from a different perspective. It tells a story from the perspective of people who live in our world but experience a different reality to the one we call objective. If a spirit appears in a work of magical realism, it is not a fantastical element of the story, but a manifestation of the reality and beliefs of another culture, a culture who...

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Science fiction. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:17, January 22, 2017, from