The Elements Of The Genre Of Speculative Fiction

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Next to being neo-slave narratives, Kindred and Beloved, as well as Who Fears Death, are examples of the genre of Speculative Fiction. This type of literature features supernatural and/or futuristic elements. Is serves as an umbrella term and includes science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, supernatural fiction, horror, dystopia, utopia, (post-)apocalyptic and superhero elements, as well as their combinations (Jackson and Moody-Freeman, 127). Hence, “in Speculative Fiction the action of the story can take place in a culture that never existed, a world we know nothing of, or an earth that might have been or might be” (Shade, 2). In other words, speculative literature includes all texts that take place “in a universe slightly different from our own” (Wyatt, 1-2). Language is “not merely descriptive but also functions as a form of word building” (Burnett, 137), as neologisms can be both metaphorical and literal in this genre.
Speculative Fiction ranges back to ancient history and has been pervading humanity from the beginning. Furby and Hines state that the human has always been a “story-telling ape” (Furby and Hines, 10), as we get access to the world through the narrative. So-called taproot texts, the very first fictional texts, such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, still form the basis for modern authors to draw
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Still, until recently, it has not given much attention to issues of race and ethnicity in the context of imagined futures. Historically, the focus of the genre has been on social and political commentary, as well as responses to social, cultural and technological changes. Mainstream speculative fictional novels explored “issues of empire, [rather than] blacks, women and other culturally diverse peoples within their narratives” (Jackson and Moody-Freeman, 128). In other
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