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 '16 at 8:41


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 '16 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 '16 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 '16 at 1:30
  • In what way is Lord of the Flies speculative fiction?? Nov 5 '16 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 '16 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 '16 at 14:39
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    So just to be really clear - you're saying "no". I happen to agree. Feb 11 '16 at 15:18
  • @Donald.McLean Yes, my asnwer is no.
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11 '16 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 '16 at 8:54

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