We all know the difference between fantasy and sci fi

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Joined: 6 May 2016
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09 May 2022, 6:05 am

Just came across this via it being shared by WordPress blogger,

We all know the difference between fantasy and science fiction. Fantasy has witches and wizards with magic powers, whereas in science fiction the exact same character doing the exact same thing is called a psychic or psionicist.

Fairy tales have monsters and science fiction has space monsters.

Fairy tales have absurd, unbelievable, impossible things like true love, heroic sacrifice, noble knights, holy hermits, and fair damsels chaste and pure, whereas science fiction has believable and realistic science things like time machines, mind reading, parallel worlds and faster than light drive.

When Gandalf the Gray returns from the dead, this is a miracle arranged by the Valar, the angelic powers of the world; but when Spock returns from the dead this is mumble mumble mind meld something something genesis torpedo something.

So far so good. But what of stories that have both?

Blogger who shared it: https://carolinefurlong.wordpress.com/2 ... -wright-2/

"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011


Joined: 31 Mar 2022
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09 May 2022, 6:11 am

I spose the fantasy equivalent to spaceship battles would be dragon rider battles?

spaceship battles are way cooler


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Joined: 6 May 2008
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09 May 2022, 6:32 am

What was described in the OP are the similarities between magic fantasy and science fantasy.

Science fiction involves reasonable extrapolations of known scientific principles, with a minimum of gimmicks (if any, at all) like FTL travel and FTL communications.

Sadly, most 'hard' science-fiction would not pass muster with those interested only in special effects and epic battles, where the order of the day is "Make our movie more boomier and zoomier than the last one".  It is likely that more people remember the worst "Star-Something" fantasy movie than a quality science-fiction movie like "Gravity".

I have to wonder if the person who wrote that essay has ever read the classics: Asimov's "Foundation" series; Bradbury's "Marian Chronicles"; or Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey".


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Joined: 12 Apr 2010
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09 May 2022, 5:08 pm

As a horror aficionado, I can testify to the fact that the horror genre easily can fit with sci-fi (Alien, The Thing) and with fantasy (Worms Of The Earth, by Robert E. Howard).

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer