Is Fantasy the same as Science-Fiction?
I've always thought that Fantasy and Sci-Fi books belong in two different categories, but a classmate challenged that theory today in saying that they are both one in the same. Do these two genres really belong in the same category, or should they each be recognized separately (and WHY?)?
For whatever reason, they have been lumped together where authors are concerned. I agree, they really have little in common and then when you add the horror category usually lumped in as well, it becomes even more generalized. All three are treated by most publishers as undesirable, so I think we'll see a temporary decline in all three genres. As for why they should be regarded separately, from a writer's point of view, because its not fair for someone to write epic fantasy and have it presented to a publisher as sci-fi/horror/fantasy.
The college level classes lump them together, though personally I prefer the new term Speculative Fiction. I think only fans of the genre are really going to care. For that matter, the Fantasy story I am writing is a Sc-Fi/Fantasy hybrid, in that I have a scientific underpinning to the magic. Check it out, if you like: http://jymdonovan.hubpages.com/hub/leavesofyggrasill
They're both concerned with things that aren't 'real', so it's somewhat understandable that they tend to be lumped together.
Science fiction tends to be based on of what the future may be like, or how things could have been different if things had gone a different way. It's fiction with a basis in science, to put it simply. There's an implied plausibility in it - like, 'this could really happen'.
Fantasy is pure imagination. Fantasy elements of fiction don't need any basis in reality, or science. Magic, for example - magic is one of the stables of fantasy. Many authors put thought into internally consistent rules for how magic works, though most aren't overly concerned about justifying its existence. Unless they're doing something creative with a mix of sci fi and fantasy.
Beyond that, there's no real difference. The two genres can, and have, overlapped with each other. And, there are so many subgenres of each that trying to sort it all out can become a confusing mess.
Thank you all for sharing your insights on this subject. I think that I now agree that fantasy and sci-fi will be combined into the same genre by society, and now I can see why. Thanks a bunch!
I agree with Dallas Matier's summations. Even though i see how they get lumped together i view them very differently. I have a voracious appetite for science fiction but very little interest in fantasy. The potential plausibility inherent in science fiction (as far fetching as it may at times seem) is a critical distinction, for me.Good Question Elizabeth.
I think they get lumped together because they have similar, if not the same, roots. Stories were just classified as 'weird' or 'speculative' and science fiction was the first major genre to come out of it. For example, many of H. P. Lovecraft's monsters come from outer space, leaning the stories towards science fiction. However they deal with the protagonists going mad over seeing such monsters, bringing it more into the horror genre. I would also argue that the depth of the mythos and its tone of fantastic creatures also roots it in fantasy. Yet when it was released, Lovecraft's stories were 'weird tales'. So I can see why these genres get grouped together; it's just so easy to cross the boundaries. But as time went on, modern writers have branched out those respective genres into more complex areas than their origins.
(I know that the origins of each genre go deeper than this, but I'm thinking more of the modern genres as we know them now.)
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