In linguistics, the “irrealis mood” refers to grammatical rules around describing events that are not known to the speaker to have occurred. The subjunctive, the conditional, the imperative—these are all moods to refer to the unreal.

Modality Irrealis is S. Qiouyi Lu’s newsletter about the craft of writing and translation, mostly as applied to speculative fiction, which imagines the unreal. Free and paid subscriptions are available with new issues delivered to your inbox. Back issues are also available in the online archive. Most issues will be free. Fees from paid subscriptions help to support my work—thank you!

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