But “speculative fiction” is a funny title. Yes, what I’m writing is pretty close to what I usually do, but why are fantasy and apocalyptic under the same classification? If you look at something like LORD OF THE RINGS, you’re not going to mistake it for THE HUNGER GAMES. They’re nothing alike.
It happens that speculative fiction is basically the catch all term for any genre with things happening that don’t really happen. Or, as in the case of alternate history, didn’t really happen.
Then you can get into the subgenres and things get even more complicated. The family tree I posted up there hardly encompasses all the speculative offshoots. Science fantasy, dark fantasy (horror fantasy), and all the crosses with non-speculative genres. Suffice to say, it’s one incestuous family tree.
Really, as a name, speculative fiction doesn’t say much. Science fiction is speculative. Horror is speculative. But science fiction isn’t necessarily horror, nor vice versa. Unless the genres are deliberately joined, like the sci-fi horror movie Alien, they are separate creatures that for some reason share the share a genre.
Sometimes I wonder if speculative fiction is needed at all. The term, of course, not the books. I think we all know how important those are! But why such a broad classing? Is it necessary? Or useful? I’m not so sure. What do you think?