Spec fic, aka speculative fiction is a term that apparently originated with Robert Heinlein in 1941, and which fills a much-needed lexical gap when talking about fiction genres.
It’s a term that I thought a lot more people knew when I learned it, which has led to awkward exchanges of this variety:
“What do you write?”
*entire room stares blankly*
On the days when I don’t feel like explaining myself, I’ve changed my reply to “mostly fantasy.” Which is also accurate, if incomplete.
So, what is spec fic?
That’s what the website (aptly named What is Spec Fic?) recently launched by my friend Teddi Deppner is all about. Explanations, examples, lots of links to discover books, art, movies, magazines, other websites… all the things are there waiting for you.
When asked about the definition of the term, I generally say something like this:
“It’s fiction that speculates on the subject of ‘what if?'”
Which often gets too abstract for people, at which point I have to list out genres that fall in that category. Teddi does a great job of that on her site (as well as giving a definition that’s far less psychological/linguistic :P ), along with several lists of popular and upcoming TV shows and movies that fit.
So, if you hadn’t heard of the terms speculative fiction or spec fic before today, head on over to the site and find out how much of it you already love.
If you have heard the term and are tired of having to explain it a bizillion times to people, let the website do the work for you.
Stay shiny, folks.
May the force be with you.
All that. :D