"speculative fiction" antedating

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Mon Apr 27 22:58:14 UTC 2009

_Brave New Words_ and the OED SF Project give Robert A. Heinlein's late 1947 essay "On the Writing of Speculative Fiction" as the modern-day source for "speculative fiction" as a synonym for "science fiction."  (The Heinlein Archives state that the manuscript was from July 1947: http://www.heinleinarchives.net/upload/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=66 ).  This was not his first use of the term.

R. A. Heinlein quoted in "Keeping Posted," _Saturday Evening Post_, 2/8/1947, Vol. 219 Issue 32, p10 col 3.

" "Speculative fiction is usually thought of as pure fantasy and classed with the comic books," Heinlein said, "but I try to follow the Jules Veme-H. G. Wells tradition of careful and conservative extrapolation of known scientific fact-that is, I believe my own pipe dreams." "

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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