What is the difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy?

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Jesse
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Hmmm...

Post by Jesse »

I think science fiction is something that has already been in a book or movie or TV show. Fantasy is something in your, my or anyone else's imagination. :roll:

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Spiderkeg
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Post by Spiderkeg »

My feelings/beliefs are on this subject:

Science Fiction:
Fictional story which primarily deals with actual science, imagined science, or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component. Realism tends to be a more readily accepted component of science fiction.

Fantasy:
Fantasy typically combines the elements of magic, divine intervention, or supernatural forms as a primary component of plot, theme, and setting.

Science Fantasy:
Science Fantasy gives a veneer of realism to things that simply couldn't happen in the real world under any circumstances.

Example: Magic exists with scientific explainations

A good quote on Science Fantasy is:
"Science fiction makes the implausible possible, while science fantasy makes the impossible plausible."

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Post by MainComputer »

You'd go a long way to beat these words from Wikipedia...

"Fantasy:
is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. The genre is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by overall look, feel, and theme of the individual work, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three (collectively known as speculative fiction). In its broadest sense, fantasy covers works by many writers, artists, and musicians, from ancient myths and legends, to many recent works embraced by a wide audience today.

As with other forms of speculative fiction, actions and events in fantasy very often differ from those possible in consensus reality. In many cases, especially in older works of fantasy but in many modern works as well, this is explained by means of divine intervention, magic, or other supernatural forces. In other cases, most frequently in works of modern fantasy in the high fantasy subgenre, the story might take place in a fantasy world that is wholly different from our own, complete with distinct laws of nature that permit magic."

"Science fiction (often called either sci-fi or sf, though there are distinctions in the way these abbreviations are used):
is a genre of fiction in which the story depends (at least in part) upon some change in the world as we know it that is explained by science or technology (as opposed to magic).

The science fiction genre is frequently used as a literary device for creating a type of "alternate reality," wherein writers can explore human issues by way of metaphor, exaggeration, and abstraction —thus maintaining both a removed distance and a broader perspective toward current human life and events.

According to renowned science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, "a handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method." Heinlein immediately adds that if you "strike out the word 'future' it can apply to all and not just almost all SF."

Science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon wrote "a good science fiction story is a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, that would not have happened at all without its science content."

Of course, both of these authors are defining what they consider to be good science fiction. Not all writers or fans agree on how important realism and characterization are in science fiction. Any story, game, or film that involves extraterrestrial life, advanced space exploration, time travel, or the future is generally referred to as science fiction."


Personally however, I find defining genres limiting to both writers and the audience, allowing the ongoing support of generally false stereotypes. Flick through any book store and you'll find loads of incorrectly defined and indefinable books. Ask the shoppers in this store where they have browsed for their new purchase and they will invariable tell you they stuck to their usual genre section. This is both unfairly limiting for the reader and narrowing to the author's audience.

Hopefully this new electronic era will be able to begin tackling this problem with the use of tools such as keywords, allowing you to search more intelligently for your current desires.

Maybe?
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Post by Spiderkeg »

I'll copy and paste what I wrote in another thread. It's short, sweet, and to the point.

While seated on a park bench giving the introduction for The Fugitive, Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) notes that this episode combines science-fiction (“the improbable made possible”) with fantasy (“the impossible made probable”).

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