Campbell said all fiction is science fiction

I just read something of interest. John W. Campbell, the influential editor of Astounding and shaper of many of SF’s Golden Age authors, once wrote in one of his editorials:

That group of writings which is usually referred to as “mainstream literature” is actually a special subgroup of the field of science fiction — for science fiction deals with all places in the Universe, and all times in Eternity, so the literature of the here-and-now is, truly, a subset of science fiction.

(Quoted in Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Edward James, 1994.)

That’s a different way of looking at things. You have to admit there’s a certain kind of truth to it.

So to all the anti-SF literary snobs out there: you’re reading science fiction too! Deal with it. ;)

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4 responses to “Campbell said all fiction is science fiction

  1. AMEN!!! This quote says it all! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  2. I don’t know if I agree with Mr. Campbell. It all depends on your definition of Science. As an Engineer, I have a narrow definition of science. Science Fiction novels to me are stories which entertain a technology beyound our current state of the art. Most adventure novels have no hint of science in them. It is the same with Romantic Fiction novels, unless if you are analysing the romance scientifically or psychologically. I also feel that most of todays novels that are called science fiction are really fantastic novels and have no relationship with science. I believe that a true science fiction novel leaves the reader thinking; ” It could happen that way.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with him either, Angelo. Like I said, it’s just a different way of looking at things. I don’t know if Campbell meant his comment seriously or not.

  4. Science fiction is tomorrows reality and the many possibilities of a future to come.

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