Speculatively is the home to speculative fiction and cultural criticism written by me,  Nate Eckman.

It's a breeding grounds for stories and ideas that I hope will become best-selling stories, novels, books, and films. It's a place to share my earliest works with my inner-most circle. So, I'm happy that you're here.

Why "speculatively"?

The name speculatively encapsulates a philosophy towards thinking. Most literally, by possessing a thinking marked by questioning curiosity. It's also a formula for arranging information. Simply stated:

Questions >  Answers

This isn't to say that answers have no value. Rather, this formula acknowledges that an answer's value is inexorably linked to the question it satisfies. Which I realize is an elaborate rephrasing of the old adage, "life is about the journey not the destination."  Curiosity, after all, is the reason why someone makes a midlife career change, or mends a broken relationship, or chooses to travel to the center of Antarctica. So, curiosity begets stories. Stories then, are much like answers. Both are predicated on questions - the impetus to a most interesting-life.

It is also true that questions possess a kind of universality. Across eras and cultures we have record of different people asking the same questions. Why am I here? What am I to make of the newest technology? What does it mean to love? These wonderings thread our humanity; suggest that a woman in B.C. Persia possessed similarities t0 a man in 21st Century USA.  It is our answers to questions that divide us, for better and worse. In answers we express our subjectivity - reflect the influences of our language, geography, culture, and times. So, to celebrate answers is to elevate our differences but fixating on our curiosities is a reminder of our unspoken unity.

To think speculatively is also to value humility. It wasn't long ago when science indoctrinated generations of people into believing that the earth was at the center of our solar system. Those who disagreed were killed. Similar treatments were awarded to those who thought unorthodoxly about religion, medicine, or labor. In literally every category of life there is a martyr who died a shameful death for believing something we take for granted today as fact. It doesn't take a devotee of history to understand that at every point in history the collective human experience is marred with misclassifying murder and censorship for "justice." Which begs the question, will there ever be any point in existence when humans will live inoculated to ignorance?  I don't believe that this modern society, nor its near descendants, will evolve beyond such errors. Therefore our convictions must be tempered with speculation, each fact asterisked by a belief that even the surest of truths may be discovered as previously misunderstood.

But this is not all a matter of right and wrong. Rather, as a reminder to expand our ideas of what's possible. As Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk wrote in his Magnum Opus The Body Keeps The Score

Imagination is absolutely critical to the quality of our lives. Our imagination enables us to leave our routine everyday existence by fantasizing about travel, food, sex, falling in love, or having the last word - all things that make life interesting. Imagination gives us the opportunity to envision new possibilities - it is an essential launchpad for making our hopes come true. It fires our creativity, relieves our boredom, alleviates our pain, enhances our pleasure, and enriches our most intimate relationships...Without imagination there is no hope, no chance to envision a better future, no place to go, no goal to reach.

It is no coincide that I have chosen the two of the most imaginative forms of literature within fiction and nonfiction. The genres of speculative fiction and criticism stand as the foundation which I hope to stir myself and readers to think more speculatively.

To summarize, here is what I hope to accomplish through my forthcoming writings.

  • Encourage more-interesting lives
  • Empower unity
  • Deepen humility
  • Expand imaginations

Through Stories and Essays

I hope to capture the essence of thinking speculatively in two ways. First through cultural criticism: essays that explore the meaning and implications of societal trends and behaviors. Secondly through publishing short stories under the genre of speculative fiction. While each essay will speak directly to actual behaviors, addressed within the first person, it is through fiction that explorations in what's possible reaches new bounds. Because, there are no problems more clearer to diagnose than another's.

In this framing then, Speculatively, is not just a brand. It's an applied philosophy to how I hope I, and my readers, will think.

The Speculatively Experience

Over time, there will be three experiences on this site. One as a visitor. Another as a subscriber. And the third as a premium member, which will launch early 2023. The most concise summary of each experience can be found below.

Visitor Subscriber Premium
Cost Free Free TBD
Newsletter No Yes ^
Essays Most All ^
Fiction Some All (for now) ^

A Fourth Experience, As Contributor

There is a fourth experience to Speculatively, as a contributor. In the coming months, I will begin formal searches for particular members to join the team. But in the meantime I welcome unsolicited requests from marketers, writers, photographers, graphic or web designers, or just a general enthusiasts who believe that they have a skill that could enhance the Speculatively experience. If that's you, please reach out to hello@s-ly.blog and we'd be happy to discuss how, if at all, you can contribute to building this home for speculative fiction and cultural criticism.

Already, I've discovered one young, talented editor, Maya Capasso, who is currently speculatively's lead editor. I'm excited for the pieces we'll craft together.

Thank You For Visiting

And Happy Reading.