I Have Fingers of Thunder

Johny Thundersbeard does not procrastinate about writing

Writing to Spec

I dont care too much for labels. It’s not that I’m against them, it’s just that I don’t really care when they get used.

Take the use of  Speculative Fiction as opposed to Science Fiction. I understand what they’re doing there. It’s not just about the science anymore, it’s about the grand scope of ideas.

It’s also about distancing themselves from  cheesy associations of past science-fiction cinema, TV and pulp novels. It’s not that they are embarrassed by science-fictions space opera past, it’s just that they think that that is all you think science-fiction is about.

And they can’t have that, can they?

So, science-fiction becomes speculative-fiction, and sci-fi becomes spec fic, and SF stays SF (because writers love to pay homage, and there is nothing cheesy about saying SF. It’s kind of tough-sounding and real, and therefore has intergalactic street-cred.)

Hang on a minute, did you say spec fic? Spec Fic? But isnt there already a pretty well established literary term in both the publishing and movie world already using that term? As in, writing to spec. Meaning, of course, producing a piece of writing to someone elses specifications.

When I see the term Spec Fic, no matter the preceding context that should clue me in, that’s what I instantly think of. Not Sci-Fi’s grown-up cousin.

I don’t mind Speculative Fiction as a label, but, Spec Fic just doesn’t work.


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