RARA-AVIS: Re: Science Fiction v. Scientifiction: Van Laningham

From: foxbrick ( foxbrick@yahoo.com)
Date: 26 Oct 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Ivan Van Laningham <ivanlan@...> wrote:
> The original term, coined by Hugo Gernsback, was "scientifiction,"
> that was quickly abandoned due to sheer clunkiness. Science fiction
> (and I have no idea who was responsible for the term)

Hugo Gernsback was the primary popularizer of this term, as well, after losing his first publishing company, including his "stf" magazine AMAZING STORIES, and starting up another, publishing along with his new electronics magazines his new "science fiction" magazines: SCIENCE WONDER STORIES, AIR WONDER STORIES, and (almost relevant here) CIENTIFIC DETECTIVE MONTHLY.

"SF," however, has also stood for "speculative fiction" (apparently first suggested by Robert Heinlien, and really picked up and pushed by Judith Merril) and "science fantasy" (which has been used to describe both the broad range of fantastic fiction and also those works, such as much of Jack Vance's and Avram Davidson's fantastic fiction, which combine elements of science fiction and fantasy elements...STAR WARS being an example of this at a much less-sophisticated level).

And SF has meant other things, too...speculative fabrication, etc.

When I mean science fictin by it, I usually write sf...SF, like CF, being for me the Merril/Algis Budrys (the king of noir sf, by the way) speculative fiction grand sweep.

Todd Mason

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