Speculative fiction in the StarkLight Press sense is a very important and distinct concept.
Canadian fiction is rather rigidly structured to include a firm, “grownup” attitude toward other worlds, magic and the paranormal- these elements must happen in the ‘here-and-now’, in a tightly controlled geographical and/or dimensional locus. While particularly confined in the Canadian context, all conventional fiction adheres to this convention to a greater or lesser degree.
All windows in fiction thus open on the everyday world in which we live. The conceit is that the reader would be able to stumble upon the adventure from their own daily lives. Fiction is therefore written from a narrow and ultimately adult perspective.
Speculative fiction happens in a more openended, imaginative and energetic context that allows dimensional shifts, parallel universes and more creativity.
Conventional fiction is like Arthur C. Clarke; speculative fiction is like Carl Sagan.