Fantasy vs Science Fiction

Fantasy in all its forms

So. In my string of posts about Fantasy as an overarching genre that covers all things magic and not yet technologically possible, I pose that Science Fiction is but a subgenre of Fantasy.  Oh dear! What has happened? How could I possibly say that?!? Well, it really depends on your point of view and how you define certain things.

If you argue that Science Fiction covers fictive narratives that have a possibility of becoming possible in our reality of experience, and that Fantasy covers fictive narratives that have no possibility of becoming possible in our reality of experience…then, I guess it really depends on what you, as an individual, find plausibly possible.

All in all, I see it like this: The real difference between pure Science Fiction and pure Fantasy is magic. In Science Fiction, there is no magic. In Fantasy, there is magic.

But, like I have said in other posts, these genres just won’t stay in their own play pens.  Does Steampunk fall under Science Fiction or Fantasy? A lot of the gadgets in Steampunk are actually possible to manufacture right now…so, is it still Science Fiction? It certainly isn’t factual history. I guess it could depart these shores and head off to become Historical Fiction…but, you can ask almost any Steampunk fan and they would tell you that Steampunk falls under the Science Fiction/Fantasy banner. Sooooo….

This is why I put all the piggies in one pen. Sometimes they want to play  together, sometimes they don’t.


What do you guys think?


2 thoughts on “Fantasy vs Science Fiction

  1. missgrumpee says:

    I’m not a huge fan of either genre, but I find “fantasy” more accessible. I think as I find (according to my definition of) fantasy more organic – more of our world…. and therefore more accessible to me. Both science fiction and fantasy involve other-wordly creatures… just one feels more futuristic, and the other more mythical. Hmm… so what I think I’m trying to say is that I agree with your statement that science fiction could be a “fantasy” subgenre.


  2. Categorizing things is a human habit making it subjective. I find it helpful to think of Science-Fiction as being fiction that is explainable by present or conceivable science whereas fantasy doesn’t need that boundary. Readers attach themselves to either the believable or unbelievable according to their taste and thus will be inclined to classify a work piece as whichever genre suites them best.

    PS. While scanning over the blog I read the words ‘Star Wars’ and now the Cantina Song is stuck in my head. Forever.


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