In this question, @user14111 refers to the book Lord of the Flies as being typically classified as science fiction. I remember reading it years ago, and having seen a movie adaption, but hadn't remembered any science fiction elements (apparently it is set during an offstage nuclear war.)

At any rate, it made me curious --is Lord of the Flies typically classified with SF? The references I looked up were ambiguous on the question, although the second one indicates there was an earlier draft with more of a SF orientation.


EDIT: To be clear, the question is not SHOULD this book be considered Science Fiction, but is there any reputable consensus one way or another about it? I had never personally considered it in that category, but user14111 had seemed to take it as a given that it is typically classified that way. As I said, the sources I consulted were ambiguous.

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    I can't imagine why it would be. Half naked boys running around an island smeared in pig grease and killing each other with spears is hardly Science Fiction - it's just being a Boy Scout.
    – Wad Cheber
    Feb 12, 2016 at 8:41

2 Answers 2



Lord of the Flies is usually classified as an Allegory.

Though I have also seen it referred to as "Speculative Fiction", often, confusingly abbreviated to SF or S-F as well as SpecFi. Speculative Fiction according to dictionary.com is:

a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements

A catchall for those stories that don't quite fit into Horror, Sci-Fi or Fantasy - the early Conan books and the works of H.P Lovecraft could be considered part of this genre.

Greententacles.com has a nice article on Speculative Fiction.

If allegory doesn't quite cut it, Speculative Fiction might be a better fit than straight out Sci-Fi, but I wouldn't consider The Lord of the Flies as Sci-Fi.

  • Why the down vote? Feb 11, 2016 at 15:49
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    Downvotes in meta simply mean "I disagree with this answer", and do not have negative connotations. For the record, I agree it's an allegory, and you've now answered another question of mine: what Speculative Fiction means. I still think it's a cop-out way of saying "Science Fiction". To me, Conan is Low Fantasy and Lovecraft is primarily Cosmic Horror/Fantasy with (in some cases) some slight touches of Sci Fi.
    – Andres F.
    Feb 12, 2016 at 19:33
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    I disagree with your definition of Speculative Fiction. IME, Speculative Fiction is a way to say "Science Fiction and Fantasy" in fewer words. It has the added advantage of not requiring you to choose a necessarily-incorrect category when a work is both science fiction and fantasy (e.g. many steampunk works). In any case, I do agree that Lord of the Flies does not belong in SF, no matter what those letters stand for.
    – Martha
    Feb 15, 2016 at 1:30
  • In what way is Lord of the Flies speculative fiction?? Nov 5, 2016 at 10:02
  • @curiousdannii I don't consider it to be. I consider it to be an allegory. But it might fit in some people eyes as speculative fiction as it could fit into the broad definition given in my answer Nov 5, 2016 at 10:40


Lord of the Flies is actually set during World War II, not a nuclear war (yet). Sources I found (Google "lord of the flies genre" all said that it was an adventure story with many allegorical aspects. I just finished it, and I certainly agree with that notion. Science fiction is usually defined as set in the future with fantastical elements such as awesome technology, and LOTF does not fit with this format.

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    I had thought it took place in WWII as well, but the sources I referenced disagree. Feb 11, 2016 at 14:39
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    So just to be really clear - you're saying "no". I happen to agree. Feb 11, 2016 at 15:18
  • @Donald.McLean Yes, my asnwer is no.
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11, 2016 at 17:29
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    No doubt you're right about Lord of the Flies. However, fiction "set in the future with fantastical elements such as awesome technology" is just a subset of science fiction.
    – user14111
    Feb 22, 2016 at 8:54

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