Why do people insist on calling fantasy science fiction? ...
Harry Potter and Twilight, for example, are fantasy, NOT science fiction.
Heinlein and Asimov wrote science fiction. To see current authors, look up "Analog" magazine, for their stories and book reviews of real science fiction.
Yes, irritating isn't it? I think the the problem, perhaps, comes from lumping fantasy, science fiction and horror all under the heading of, speculative fiction.
There are lots of quotes around by science fiction authors, I particularly like Rod Serling's definition:
'Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible'
I can't remember all of Orson Scott Card's definition, some thing about fantasy is in the village with forests, magic and nails, science fiction is in the city with computers, ray guns and rivets.
Remembering those should make the difference easier; however, we also have to fight our way through the media who tell us what something is according to how the vendors want it marketed.
To play the devil's advocate I'd have to say that science fiction and fantasy do have things in common: both genres are about things we imagine, things that do not exist in our day-to-day life. In that sense they do fall under the same category. On one side you get aliens (which can be lizard-men, giant insects, etc) and on the other side you get wizards and dragons ... more or less the same lol
This is a pet peeve of mine too. People always look at me like I'm crazy when I insist that Star Wars shouldn't be called Science Fiction at all, but rather space fantasy or something similar.
People who lump the two together probably aren't into either genre or work for a company that intentionally simplifies fantasy and science fiction.
Fantasy is mythological and spiritual; science fiction is scientific. Occasionally the two overlap, such as in Christopher Stasheff's Warlock series, but usually they're distinctly different. The similarity is that both are different quantum realities and can metaphorically represent this reality.
you are right they are different, but both escape reality, whether it is based on science/ technology vs, flights of fancy, myths, and legends. But when people do mix them up, i think that the goal is for escape and with all things, aren't two escape routes better than one? PLUS, when the first comics came out depicting tanks, lasers, computers, etc, like in the captain marvel series(forgive me if i got the name wrong, this is old trivia, hee hee), did that lay the ground work for reality... and garsh, star trek and their communicators design became cell phones??? so maybe the difference between the two genres is that sci fi can become a reality? the other is forced to stay in the imagination? just a thought. me, i am into both and don't really care what it is called, good question though, meow48
Because many people DO NOT KNOW that there's a difference. To many, the terms are interchangeable. I recently discovered the difference. At times there can be a thin line between the two. For example, a sci-fi story set up in space could have some sorcery aspects... making it also fantasy.
Or rather, the Insistence of calling ... Fantasy, Science Fiction ... is a matter that relates the Metaphysics, of Exact Sciences; thus, a looking into the limits of what could be made Possible, or what be humanly Desirable ... within the given Situation..
Science Fiction is a sub-genre or spin-off of Fantasy. Science Fiction Fantasy (SFF) includes creative works such as the Stargate television series and Doctor Who and lets not forget one of the original founding fathers of SFF, HG Wells. SFF can include other 'fantastical' species and physics that we simply don't understand and would classify as 'magic' (or as some say, magic is an unexplained science). There are many different genres of Fantasy and SFF is just one. Harry Potter would in my opinion come under High Fantasy and Twilight is really a Romance Fantasy.
Indeed, SF is more of a subgenre of the Genre fantasy. Think of it like this: You have drama, yes? There's crime drama, family drama, romantic drama, blabeddy blah blah blah.
And then you can break them down even further, but why bother, because I'm not a fan of crime, court-room, suspense, chilld, behind-the-scenes, upskirt, commercial-free, janitorial, canine drama.
Just can't eat popcorn to it.
People mix up fantasy and magical realism too. I think anything that deviates from traditional modes of viewing the world all get lumped into the fantasy genre.
In my memory the two have generally been linked in the pulp magazines of the 1940's and earlier. The tile of one magazine was as I recal "fantasy and science fiction" and published both genres. back then neither were considered respectable fiction. I myslef tend toward SF and am not a big fan of Fantasy.
I did some research on this very thing, and really there is no separation as far as I can see. (you may disagree and this is just my observation.)
a supposition based on no solid foundation; visionary idea; illusion: dreams of Utopias and similar (dictionary.com)
Literary fantasy involving the imagined impact of science on society (dictionary.com)
So to simply say science fiction and fantasy is two different areas of writing, we need to remember... Jules Verne wrote Fantasies about time travel, and exploring the deepest realms of the sea, or discovery of a new world inside our own.
H G Wells even refered Verne to be "the Father of science fiction" so there you have it....
Science fiction is fantasy. Vampires, wizards and Aliens are fantasy, but are part of the world of science fiction.
Again, this is just my opinion, and I am an amateur author wanna be. (LOL)
The misconception likely comes from 20th century mainstream media. Fantasy for a longtime, was commonly associated with the medieval age.
Throughout the 20th century, we saw changes in sci-fi too. Sci-fi would sometimes use supernatural and paranormal elements. Even, magic could find it's way in. Either as myths, advanced technology where you couldn't tell the difference between the two, or sometimes in co-existence creating mixed genres.
There's also debates among some, that you can only label a story with one genre even though it's a mixed genre. Example being, sci-fi with fantasy. Based on the amount of content relating to either genre, it's more likely to be marked by some as either sci-fi or fantasy. Not both. This is mainly for marketing purposes.
This, kinda makes fantasy a pain to explain to others. But, fantasy clearly uses magic and supernatural elements different contextually. There is no need for science, to make anything work or make sense of why this is possible.
Also, fantasy is so loosely defined you can have it work in any age and overlap with any genre. In the case of Twilight and Harry Potter, I'd say they are fantasy. It's modern fantasy. Which for some, is not easy to accept or don't understand the differences in the genres.
But, I think wikipedia has some great articles on both genres. If you wanted to make a point, on why one genre is this way and one is the other - this would be a great a start.
They are incredibly related. They are both part of the Speculative Fiction Uber-Genre, and in truth, with the exception of 'Hard Science Fiction'; most of the 'science' in science fiction is really fantasy.
I define things in degrees of how far away from reality they are. There is non-fiction, which is reality.
Then there is non-speculative fiction, which is not reality, but exists in a place of plausibility and even probability (this could be going on right now, or is going on right now). A fiction piece about a soldier in Iraq, would be non-speculative fiction, for example.
Then there is speculative fiction, which is not reality, and although plausible, isn't probable (for right now). However, even under speculative fiction, there is a major divide.
Hard Science Fiction and Hard Alternate History usually exist in the realm of possibility. This could've happened if a certain event happened, or this could be how it happens if a certain event happens.
General Science Fiction and Fantasy exist in a realm of neither possibility or plausibility, and therefore, are disconnected from reality. The vast majority of Science Fiction falls under this vein, even Star Trek (which fields high thinking concepts, but is based on very little actual science).
When I get to be King of the World we'll clear up this matter.....
A little bit of the confusion may come from the old pulp magazines and comic books that told science-fiction tales but had the world fantasy on their masthead.
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