Ever wondered why science fiction is referred to as "sci-fi", but mystery fiction isn't called "mi-fi," thriller fiction isn't "thri-fi," romantic fiction isn't labelled "ro-fi," historical fiction isn't "hi-fi" - okay, so that one's already 'owned' by the music industry, but why not "his-fic" (too much like hissy fit?) or...there's nowhere else to go with that one, but I gather you get my drift.
If you haven't wondered about the above, then I guess you are now.
I'm wondering what I might have stumbled on to here? Is this a literary form of bias against one of our greatest fiction genres? If there's racism in our world (and sadly, there is), if there's sexism in our world (tick that one as well), if there's ageism in our society (been on the receiving end of that little nasty), then is there in fact yet another, hidden evil that lurks among them...fictionalism?
What about women's fiction that's referred to as "chick-lit", you ask? Okay, but that one's deserved (no bias here.)
I admit labels can be fun - and for those poor, impoverished souls who visit bookstores and libraries and ask the staff what would be a good read, or can they recommend so and so - then possibly labeling could be very useful.
So what works?
Here's a few random suggestions:
For teenage romantic vampire fiction - how about "te-va-ro-fi"?
For fictional showbiz biography-type sagas - "sho-bi-fi."
For spy fiction - "spi-fi" (with my little eye.)
For supernatural drama - 'su-dra."
The more I write about this idea, the less I like it, and the less sense it makes.
Maybe the real reason science fiction is known as "sci-fi" and/or "s/f", is because it's a mark of reverence for a genre that stood apart, and alone, for many decades until it was embraced and interwoven with other genres and with the mainstream. It's blazed its own trail, a homage to its pioneers - Verne, Wells, Rice Burroughs and others - and to its leading lights - Asimov, Clarke, Wyndham et al - pushing boundaries, and illuminating the infinite possibilities not just of the universe around us but of the ingenuity within us.
And that seems like a good enough reason to me.