Parsifal is an opera by Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883). It’s a very unusual opera, which has baffled and intrigued audiences since it was first performed in 1882. Most operas are about larger-than-life human relationships and emotions, and Wagner’s earlier works are no exception. But Parsifal is different. It’s all about ideas — very abstract ideas of philosophy, metaphysics and theology. I would argue that this places Parsifal firmly in the realm of speculative fiction. Moreover, the focus of speculation in Wagner’s opera is remarkably similar to that found in the novels of Philip K Dick and in the Matrix trilogy.