Fictional Heroes in Speculative Fiction

Today, my family went an agricultural festival and who appeared? Ultraman! He’s a very popular hero to children in Japan. Many TV series, movies, and public appearances. My daughter wanted to meet him, but we had no time. I got this picture, though.

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This had me thinking, in fiction, and particularly in speculative fiction, have there been any instances of fictional heroes in the popular culture of that world? Imagine a superhero story that dwarf children love. He could be called Super Gold Digger. Or an action hero for Vulcans named The Logical Pacifist.

What are some hero names you can think of for popular sci-fi and fantasy novels?

8 thoughts on “Fictional Heroes in Speculative Fiction”

  1. There’s the ever-popular [Blank] Man/Woman, or [Military Title] [City/Country], which are generic enough forms to work for any country. In fantasy, especially with high magic, it might be hard to draw a line between famous adventuring types and superheroes — I know all my D&D games eventually feel like super-groups, heh. But then, superheroes are often considered to be an outgrowth from the old mythic hero archetype — just that back then their origin stories tended to be ‘demigod’. I could see a fantasy setting in which the gods have become remote, but a couple demigods are still roaming around do-gooding (or do-badding), thus providing the requisite distance in power-level between them and the general populace.

    Being a big comics fan, I’ve considered a sort of superhero era for a late stage of my fantasy world. Will take a while to get there, though.

    1. Heh. Fantasy turning into superhero story?

      What I meant is that within the fantasy world, there are fictional superheroes. To the inhabitants of that world, they are fictional. So, fiction within fiction.

      1. Ahh. That’s an interesting idea — do you make up superhumans when you technically have superhumans? But it’s interesting to consider any kind of written culture, for a fictional world. Depending on the accessibility of printing, there could be plenty, and it might not fall into our real-world categories at all. I haven’t considered this much yet because the Empire that’s my setting places restrictions on printing, but I know that certain other lands have diplomatic romance novels.

          1. Trickily, in order to avert war between clans yet also avoid giving in to the other sides’ demands unilaterally for love. Requires intellectual sparring between potential romantic partners, understanding that they may be rivals in clan interests, and looking forward to a well-earned retirement — together — should affairs go well. For the highbrow romance reader.

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