"The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according the remotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination; yet, in assuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not considered myself as merely weaving a series of supernatural terrors. The event on which the interest of the story depends is exempt from the disadvantages of a mere tale of spectres or enchantment. It was recommended by the novelty of the situations which it developes; and, however impossible as a physical fact, affords a point of view to the imagination for the delineating of human passions more comprehensive and commanding than any which the ordinary relations of existing events can yield."
—Percy Bysse Shelly, summing up the genre his wife has just invented in the preface to Frankenstein.
"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
"SF is an opportunity to have an intense relationship with your own imagination. It's a kind of drive-by poetry, trashy and addictive; it's fun. After that, for me, it's an opportunity to explore that kind of imaginative artifact from inside, and use a little camped-up contemporary science as a way of generating new metaphors around my typical obsessions."
—M. John Harrison, author of Light
"Science fiction does not really try to predict the future. That is a fact. It's not debatable. That is not the role of science fiction, to predict the future. Science fiction books and stories are not judged on whether they come true or not. Because if that were the case there'd be one science fiction book: the right one."