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Science Fiction v. Fantasy



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  #1  
Old October 7th, 2007, 6:16 am
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Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Though these two genres are very related and are almost always lumped together, and can overlap at times, I think they are very unique. Here are some discussion questions about the genres:

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
2) What do you think separates these genres?
3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.

Feel free to contribute more questions.


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  #2  
Old October 7th, 2007, 6:36 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I am definitely more of a Fantasy fan. I do live Sci-Fi, but I seem to like it more in TV/Movie form. But give me a Fantasy book, and I'll read it. I have a wishlist of somewhere around 100ish books, and very few don't fall under the Fantasy genre.

2) What do you think separates these genres?
I think things such as HP, that deal more with things like magic, wizards, dragons, whole worlds that exisit within our own, but are something compltetly different, are really more Fantsy. Sci-Fi also takes place in our world, but more has to do with things such as time travel, space travel, that sort of thing. I think Sci-Fi is a bit more technological, and deals with, well, scientific and mathematical type things, while Fantasy deals more with the imagination. Sci-Fi is things that if you think about it enough, it is possible to logically explain, and think about, confusing as subjects like time travel can get, while Fantasy, no matter how much we wish dragons, elves, witches, and wizards were real, never will be.

3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
I think HP, while it does involve time travel, is really mostly a fantasy series. It presents our own world, with another secret world hidden right inside it that only the select lucky few get to be part of. I believe LotR is also primarily Fantasy. In fact, I can't think of really any part of it that I would consider Sci-Fi. (That's my opinion, though, if you think there's any sci-fi in there, then by all means, tell me. )

I'm finding it harder to come up with Sci-Fi ones, maybe because I haven't really read that many. I think The Time Machine would probably fall under this category, as would 1984 and similar works. I think part of the problem for me (for me) is that Sci-Fi, the way I see it, overlaps into Fantsy more than Fantasy into Sci-Fi.


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Old October 7th, 2007, 9:18 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I'm probably more of a fantasy fan, but I like blends a lot as well.

I love the possibility that is inherent in sci-fi. The feeling that "maybe this is what the future will be like". The creativity behind it, in not only thinking up an amazing "out of this world story" but backing it up with science (real or not) as opposed to pure fantasy which rarely even tries to truly explain itself.

I love the "magic" of fantasy literally and figuratively. I love to see how authors balance having different rules while holding on to core emotions. Generally, I just adore how much you can do with this genre, the possibilities are really only bound by the authors imagination and the readers ability to grasp that imagination.

2) What do you think separates these genres? Well, in their purest forms I think it's what I said above--sci-fi has to back their imagination up with possible scientific explanations while fantasy doesn't. Though both deal with alternate universes.

3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
Well I'd say Harry Potter is pure fantasy, same with things like the "Sword of Truth" series, C.S.Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, George MacDonald's fairy tales and Phantastes & Lilith, Orson Scott Card's "Enchantment", "Beauty" by Robin McKinley, and most fairy tales really are all pure fantasy.

Pure sci-fi: a good chunk of Orson Scott Cards stuff, "Sphere" "Jurassic Park" and the like, all the Star Trek and Star Wars stuff, Isaac Asimov, Farenheit 451, I'd say almost anything with robots, space travel, aliens, etc.

I love the blends where technology is involved but fantasy is more the focus. Like CS Lewis' Space Trilogy, "Pastwatch" by Osron Scott Card, I'd probably put Hitchhiker's Guide in this category as well.

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  #4  
Old October 9th, 2007, 5:18 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?

I lean more toward fantasy when I read but more toward Sci-Fi for movies and television. Its sometimes hard to visualize in my head whats going on in Sci-Fi and have found that it is just as hard to make good fantasy movies.

What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.

Dune Series - Sci-Fi
Harry Potter - Fantasy
Star Wars Expanded Universe - Sci-Fi
Vampire Chronicles - Fantasy

Right now I am reading Kim Harrison's Hollows series about a Witch Bounty Hunter with a Vampire Partner. I am on the second book and so far so good.
My all time favorite series to read is the Apprentice Adept series by Piers Anthony. 1. Split Infinity 2. Blue Adept 3. Juxtaposition This is a mix of hardcore Sci-Fi and Fantasy all rolled up together. The story is about a short man who lives on a Science ran planet and is in fear for his life. He finds a curtain/portal that takes him to the planets alternate reality ran strictly by magic. I don't give these books' description justice so please look them up and try them out. I think you would be very pleased and I hope someday that they will make them into movies.


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Old October 9th, 2007, 6:11 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I really love them both. I suppose if I had to chose, I would pick SciFi because I think it's more interesting since the stories are all possible. Fantasy isn't. Plus I am a science geek.

2) What do you think separates these genres?
One is possible and one isn't.


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Old October 9th, 2007, 9:42 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I really love them both. I suppose if I had to chose, I would pick SciFi because I think it's more interesting since the stories are all possible. Fantasy isn't. Plus I am a science geek.

2) What do you think separates these genres?
One is possible and one isn't.
Exactly the same goes for me!
Exept that sometimes you cannot say what could be possible and what not...


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  #7  
Old October 14th, 2007, 5:58 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rell View Post
1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I like both equally. I think I even like them for the same thing - world building and having good stories.

Quote:
2) What do you think separates these genres?
"Science" playing some role. But the distinction is not hard and fast.

Quote:
3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
I think of the classic example of a blend to be "The Dragonriders of Pern" by Anne McCaffrey. Especially the early books could more or less be read as straight fantasy. There are fire-brathing dragons, and the humans that have a mysterious magical connection to them and can ride them, all set in a relativekly primitive world with some feudalish sorts of social structures (guilds, Lords, etc.). Though there are little hints of tech peeping through.

In the long run of the series, it turns out the backstory is pure SF - the dragons are the product of bioengineering, the mysterious link is telepathy, which is given a genetic basis in that universe, and the people are descendants of space colonists who lost touch with the rest of the settled galkaxy because of the disastrous nature of the planet on which they unsupectingly settled.

Marion Zinner Bradley's "Darkover" series is simliarly a blend. Her world has 'magic', only again it is mental powers that are conferred by genetics, including intermingling of humans with a native species of sentien, telepathic beings. And the planet, originally having lost touch when first colonizedm is rediscovered by spacefaring humans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit View Post
2) What do you think separates these genres?
One is possible and one isn't.
In what sense is faster-than-light travel (a common SF trope) possible?


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  #8  
Old October 14th, 2007, 3:04 pm
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post



I think of the classic example of a blend to be "The Dragonriders of Pern" by Anne McCaffrey. Especially the early books could more or less be read as straight fantasy. There are fire-brathing dragons, and the humans that have a mysterious magical connection to them and can ride them, all set in a relativekly primitive world with some feudalish sorts of social structures (guilds, Lords, etc.). Though there are little hints of tech peeping through.

In the long run of the series, it turns out the backstory is pure SF - the dragons are the product of bioengineering, the mysterious link is telepathy, which is given a genetic basis in that universe, and the people are descendants of space colonists who lost touch with the rest of the settled galkaxy because of the disastrous nature of the planet on which they unsupectingly settled.

Marion Zinner Bradley's "Darkover" series is simliarly a blend. Her world has 'magic', only again it is mental powers that are conferred by genetics, including intermingling of humans with a native species of sentien, telepathic beings. And the planet, originally having lost touch when first colonizedm is rediscovered by spacefaring humans.


The Artemis Fowl series is kind of like that too - it has a lot of science and technology in it, but it also involves fairies and magic.

I like both genres equally as well. As long as the story is good and the "world" is well made, I don't care if it's science fiction or fantasy.


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  #9  
Old October 15th, 2007, 6:23 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
In what sense is faster-than-light travel (a common SF trope) possible?
It may be possible some day.


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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:20 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

i am definitely much more of a fantasy fan, but sci fi is ok. the only thing that really seperates them is that sci fi is mostly in the future, and fantasy is more of magic. but the idea of creating a new world and stuff like that is about the same. but fantasy is cooler, to me anyways.


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Old January 7th, 2008, 9:21 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

I'm more likely to read books on the fantasy side but I do enjoy a good science fiction novel every now and then. The two genres definitely overlap at times but I see a Sci-Fci as a story with some kind of scientific base while with fantasy, anything is possible (which I think is one of the reasons I enjoy it more than Sci-Fci).


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Old January 16th, 2008, 12:55 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I lean towards SciFi, since I'm into scientific explanations to things and futuristic sort of things.

2) What do you think separates these genres?
Though both usually have elements of realism, I think SciFi is more realistic and of course, incorporates some scientific aspect into the story or premise.

3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
Harry Potter is fantasy
Dune is SciFi
Lord of the Rings is fantasy
His Dark Materials (Golden Compass/Northern Lights series) could actually be both, but it's more fantasy than SciFi. Same with the Time Quartet (Wrinkle in Time) - more fantasy but there are elements of SciFi.


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Old January 16th, 2008, 3:48 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

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Originally Posted by nightstalker View Post
Star Wars Expanded Universe - Sci-Fi
Star Wars is fantasy.


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Old January 17th, 2008, 8:22 pm
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I'm more of a fantasy kind of person. I have always liked magic and things like that when I read. To me, fantasy books are the kind of books that let your imagination run wild.

2) What do you think separates these genres?
Though Sci-Fi and fantasy can be quite similar, I have always thought that Sci-Fi is more realistic. It's hard to explain, but I think that Sci-Fi is more about what can actually happen, and fantasy can be just about whatever the author imagines.

3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
Fantasy: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicals of Narnia, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (The Lightning Thief)

Sci-Fi: Ender's Game, The City of Ember, ? (can't think of any more)

I know what you mean by blends, but I just can't think of any specific books that are a blend of Sci-Fi and fantasy at the moment . . .

Wab, you said that Star Wars is fantasy, but I don't understand how that could be. I've always considered it to be Sci-Fi . . .


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Old January 18th, 2008, 3:46 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

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Wab, you said that Star Wars is fantasy, but I don't understand how that could be. I've always considered it to be Sci-Fi . . .
Well, the whole debate is pretty pointless as few artists or artworks can be confined to a single genre. For example, Discworld is as much (usually more) satire as it is fantasy.

Anyhoo, the best distinction I've heard is that sci-fi is about how the technology works and fantasy is how the people work (which should be true of all fiction, but that's another story).

Leaving aside the EU (which I've never liked) Star Wars never ventures into explanations of how the technology works beyond a few glib lines. Whereas the mystical element of the Force is central to everything and explained in great detail.


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Old January 19th, 2008, 2:05 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Oh. OK, thanks.


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Old April 9th, 2008, 8:59 pm
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
Edit: About the whole "Sci-fi being more realistic" thing - as much as I'd love it to be realistic sometimes, it generally is just as out-there as fantasy. I mean, time-travel is, in a way, possible, but not in the way that Sci-Fi depicts it (as in, going back in time and altering things). And when spaceships go the speed of light - yeah, right, if only.
I understand exactly what you mean. Sci-Fi is not always more 'realistic' than fantasy. It can have just as much of that sense of wide-eyed wonder as fantasy. It just tends to get labeled as 'realstic' because they are more scientific.


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Old April 13th, 2008, 4:12 pm
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

Quote:
1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I'm generally a mix of both, but a little moreso in terms of being a fantasy fan. I generally like the imaginativeness of fantasy books themselves, the world(s) that are in the stories themselves, the inhabitants and different creatures in them. As for sci-fi, I like the interesting plotlines and that kind of thing.

Quote:
2) What do you think separates these genres?
Well I tend to think that fantasy writing is more from a person's imagination than sci-fi is. Don't get me wrong though, sci-fi writing does require a certain amount of imagination to write (look at any Star Trek books -- the creatures in them had to come from someones' imagination ), just not as much as fantasy does. Sci-fi writing is more based in reality, in part -- it tends to be more based in science and that sort of thing.


Quote:
3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
Hmm... well I consider any of the Star Trek books to be sci-fi based, Lotr is definitely fantasy based... don't really know of any books that are a blend of the two though ...


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Old April 13th, 2008, 5:14 pm
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

I would say that I'm more of a fantasy fan. Fantasy is more about imagination and fantastical things and fantasy stories are just much more appealing to me. Sci-fi is just too technical and sciencey (hence the name ). Science really doesn't appeal to me, so that's probably why I don't enjoy Sci-fi as much.

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Old April 22nd, 2008, 5:16 am
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Re: Science Fiction v. Fantasy

1) Would you consider yourself primarily a SciFi fan or a fantasy fan, or both equally? What do you like best about each?
I'm into fantasy a lot more, definitely. I can read Sci-Fi and I've enjoyed some books, but it's not *my* genre. I don't enjoy science that much, anyway, so that might explain it. I love that fantasy can incorporate different things - such as creatures - and seeing how the world would function in that story. It's experiencing another world and watching the conflicts that arise out of it. Fantasy has so much potential for a great, interesting story - how could I not enjoy it?

That's the best I can explain it. I really do like fantasy and I'm not a big fan of science fiction. There's just something fantasy has that science fiction lacks for me.

2) What do you think separates these genres?

Science fiction is the same world as ours with something out there, and fantasy is another world with aspects that we will never have.

3) What kind of stories/books are uniquely one genre or the other, and which books are a blend.
Fantasy: HP, Inheiritance Cycle, LotR
Sci-Fi: Uglies trilogy, er. . . .
Both: His Dark Materials


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