ScienceFiction, {{Fantasy}}, AlternateHistory and everything in between.

The term Speculative Fiction was originally a "backronym" for the initials SF; at the time, during the NewWaveScienceFiction movement of the 1960's, some writers felt that science fiction, or 'sci-fi,' was equated to flying saucers and rubber monsters, and wanted to distinguish themselves with a new genre label. The desire for a separate category became even greater when people began to apply the sci-fi label to horror films containing blatantly supernatural elements (such as various immortals), but few if any science based elements whatsoever. Over time, however, the term 'Speculative Fiction' grew to become a SuperTrope, covering not only what self described Speculative Fiction authors wrote, but also the SciFi and Horror B-movies they were trying to distinguish themselves from. Nevertheless, Speculative Fiction can be applied to a work -- correctly or incorrectly -- in order to help it avoid the SciFiGhetto; it can allow the more pretentious to believe that their favorite work is a proper 'literary' work with no connection to, and thus obvious superiority over that geeky science fiction or fantasy.

Today Speculative Fiction covers practically the entire fantastic end of the SlidingScaleOfRealisticVersusFantastic, including {{Fantasy}}, ScienceFiction, {{Horror}}, and other, less well known genres. (In this genre, JustHereForGodzilla is in full effect.) However, there are many speculative fiction stories that fall on the border between genres, and others that may be completely unclassifiable. Furthermore, many of these genres can be either used to [[NightmareFuel terrify]] or PlayedForLaughs, with the latter producing such genres as comic sci-fi and comedy horror.

See the [[Analysis/SpeculativeFiction Analysis page]] for why the boundary between {{Fantasy}}, ScienceFiction, and {{Horror}} is fuzzy, and why a broad term like Speculative Fiction is necessary.

The individual tropes are listed on SpeculativeFictionTropes. See the '''SpeculativeFictionCreatorIndex''' for a list of pages for Speculative Fiction creators.

[[folder:Science Fiction]]
* '''ScienceFiction:''' The fiction of the future, and the question "WhatIf..."
** PlanetaryRomance
** SpaceOpera
** SpaceWestern
** SpeculativeBiology
** SpeculativeDocumentary
** TeslaTechTimeline
** TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture

* '''{{Fantasy}}:''' The fiction of magic and mythology.
** ComicFantasy
** DarkFantasy
** FairyTale
** HeroicFantasy
** HighFantasy, the epitome of which is ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** HistoricalFantasy
** LowFantasy
** MedievalEuropeanFantasy
** MagicRealism: "Hey! You got magic in my whimsical [[LitFic literary epic]]!"
** MundaneFantastic: Fantasy elements intrude on mundane everyday life.
** ParanormalRomance
** SupernaturalSoapOpera
** SwordAndSandal
** SwordAndSorcery
** UrbanFantasy
** VampireFiction

* '''{{Horror}}:''' The fiction of [[NightmareFuel fear and terror]]. [[note]]Usually (though not always) mixed with fantasy or sci-fi elements.[[/note]]
** {{Cosmic Horror| Story}}
** GothicHorror
** PsychologicalHorror
** ReligiousHorror
** SpaceIsolationHorror
** SurvivalHorror

* '''PunkPunk:''' When speculative elements meet social commentary, philosophy, action, and intrigue.
** BioPunk
** CapePunk
** ClockPunk
** {{Cyberpunk}}: Punk fiction's firstborn child.
** DieselPunk
** PostCyberpunk
** RaygunGothic
** OceanPunk
** SandalPunk
** SolarPunk
** SteamPunk
** StonePunk

[[folder:Other Genres]]
* [[/index]]Hybrid sub-genres that [[GenreBusting straddle category boundaries]], and other major sub-genres of speculative fiction.[[index]]
** {{Afrofuturism}}: Fantasy and science fiction with a Black/African aesthetic.
** AlternateHistory: WhatIf stories about radical changes to world history. Can often (though not always) involve fantasy or sci-fi elements.
** BizarroFiction: Literature's equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
** DungeonPunk: An {{adventure friendly| world}} smashup of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Punk, and TwoFistedTale; heavy on the [[SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty grit]].
** FantasticComedy: A comic work, usually a sitcom, with minor but central fantastical elements.
** GaslampFantasy: whimsical hybrid of punk and fantasy, generally lighthearted or dramatic.
** NewWeird: Non-derivative horror, sci-fi, and fantasy mostly blended together.
** ParanormalInvestigation: A mix of the supernatural and the scientific, with a variable level of the fantastic to the mundane.
** {{PostApocalyptic}}:Stories set AfterTheEnd.
** {{Superhero}}es
** ScienceFantasy: {{Mix and match}}ed sci-fi and fantasy elements.
** SciFiHorror
** SupernaturalFiction: It's all about ghosts, witches, suspense, and mystery.
** {{Slipstream| Genre}}: Weird next-door neighbor to {{realism}}, who may or may not be an alien wizard.
** TwoFistedTales: Works inspired by the {{pulp magazine}}s of the early 20th century.