Speculative Fiction: Resistance and Discovery

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Speculative Fiction

Discovery is at the heart of Speculative Fiction. Yet resistance is also crucial.

Speculative Fiction is a term, which categorises a number of sub- genres such as fantasy, science fiction, horror and dystopia. Each of these sub-genres investigates the classic question of “What if?” and uses the imagination as a tool to explore fictional realities. At the heart of speculative fiction lies the essence of discovery to drive a unique plot separate from the reader’s everyday life, together with the key element of resistance, which is commonly initiated through the journey of one or a number of characters against the stories darker or controlling facet.

I will be using a selection of texts such as Peter Jackson’s film ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Attwood, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ by film maker Guillermo Del Toro and the first novel of the Harry Potter series ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ as a basis of exploration to the verity of this formula within speculative fiction and the differing notions within the genre.

Peter Jackson’s rendition of J.R.R Tolkien’s novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’ uses specific film techniques to enhance the portrayal of the opposing natures of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ throughout the film. For example, the film begins with the narration of the Rings story and an introduction to the world created by the filmmaker. The change from the shadowy scenery and chilling voice of Galadriel[1] recounting the journey of the ring is juxtaposed to the sudden introduction of The Shire and the character of Frodo as the naïve force of resistance.

Jackson uses film techniques such as dappled golden lighting and sweeping shots of the radiant green landscape to portray the pure, idealistic environment of The Shire untainted by the potential corruption brought upon by the ring and the inevitability that the two worlds will somehow collide when the scenes of each are cut so finely after one another and the...
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