What is Speculative Fiction Essay Example



Speculative Fiction confronts inequality across the numerous stories that fall into this genre through its advocacy for racial justice and the promotion of freedom. Speculative fiction is literature that deals with possibilities that have not yet happened but are possible. In Roman times, speculative fiction was used, without a name for the term. Speculative fiction was popularized in the mid-1900s. The umbrella category contains many subtypes of genres including Afrofuturism, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, and dystopia. 

Speculative fiction confronts inequality through its advocacy for racial justice. A subgenre of speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, can be described as “an approach to the intersections of race and technology that aims to visualize the future” (Afrofuturism: About). In “The Comet” by W.E.B. DuBois the author uses Afrofuturism to highlight racial injustice. “The Comet” is about the relationship between Jim Davis, a black man, and Julia, a white woman, who are the only two people alive after a comet hits New York, unleashing toxic gases. Afrofuturism helps to portray how the preconceived perceptions of black people, by the majority of white people, change how people act towards Jim. The black man was not recognized for the good thing he did, instead, the only thing everyone was focused on was the color of his skin because“‘he had no business’” (Dubois). 

“The Comet” helped advocate for racial justice by showing Jim's point of view, to put others in a colored person's shoes, and highlight how he was only treated differently due to the color of his skin. Likewise, in the “Afrofuturism Explained: Not Just Black Sci-Fi” video created by Inverse, the speakers mention how Afrofuturism is a way for black stories to be told, and a place for acceptance and racial justice. Black people have had a “500-year history of colonialism, slavery, racism, and segregation” which can leave them with space to talk without judgment or mistreatment (Inverse 00:01:42 - 00:01:45). People of color use their futuristic ideas in the speculative fiction category to “reimagine the past” and imagine what equality would have been like, in the past, and fight against racism (Inverse 00:03:54 - 00:03:56). These stories and articles all exemplify how speculative fiction and Afrofuturism can be used to confront inequality and advocate for racial justice. 

Speculative fiction can serve as a place to advocate for racial justice and can be used to promote freedom as well. In “Robot Dreams” by Issac Asimov about an old robot psychologist Susan Calvin, and a young and newly hired robot psychologist Linda Rash. They are working on a robot named LVX-1 (Elvex), trying a new procedure of his brain. When the programming was done, they woke him up and he began to talk about a dream he had. In his dream, he was a man working to free robots, when he said the only words in his dream. He became aware of how robots would be treated and used in the future, and he wanted to “‘Let [his] people go’” before that could happen (Asimov). 

Elvex was promoting freedom by using his futuristic dream to predict what could happen and escape that situation. In the story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Olemas” by N.K. Jemisin about a very happy town that relies on a mistreated and malnourished child to keep their happiness going. Everyone in the town is aware of the child and what they do for their town, but can not do anything about the disgusting information. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” is a good example of a cautionary tale because it shows the true dangers of injustice and how people can turn a blind eye to it, for the sake of their wellbeing. The author describes the mistreatment of the child in much detail to educate people about the horrible