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Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: 10 interesting differences 09 April, 2019   

Science Fiction Vs. Fantasy: 10 interesting differences

People consider that science fiction, and fantasy are two terms that come under one umbrella, and yes, this thought is right to some extent. Being closely correlated, understanding the difference between them is really a task. Though the terms have been discussed in great detail by many professionals, they failed to put an exact line between the two. 

Both of the terms have been further classified into different genres for the sake of understanding. So, here we will discuss the interesting realities about science fiction vs. fantasy to make you understand the differences between the two.

1. The difference of facts: This is regarded as a basic difference between the two terminologies. The great writer Isaac Asimov nicely elaborated this. He said that when we talk about science fiction vs. fantasy, we must consider that science fictions have some ground values. It is based on facts, and it exists in reality. It can be about robots, aliens, space, etc. 

On the other hand, fantasy is just imaginary. It has no connection with facts, and there are no sound grounds of fantasy at all. In science fiction, we may discuss the things that can happen in real time, but fantasy talks about the things that do not exist in our society.

The things or events that cannot happen in real time. In other words, a supernatural element is present in the case of fantasy whereas it is absent in the case of science fiction. Fantasies can be about different things like animals or something immortal and the presence of such things in real time is not possible.


2. Science and Technologies: We should know that science fiction deals with the science and technologies. It has a connection with science. Science fiction involves the time travel stories that feel impossible, but they have certainly some connection with scientific theory. On the contrary, fantasy is considered as an old genre of literature and has no connection with science. All the things exist in the imagination. There is no role for technology in fantasy. 

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3. Discrimination by goal: People who distinguish between these two terms claim that the elements of goal make a huge difference in this regard. In science fiction, a problem is tried to solve by utilizing different facts and assuming “what if.” But in the case of fantasy, the situation is different. “What if” debate is handled differently here? Fantasy presents a problem and its solutions that are beyond the actual thinking and realities. It focuses on the world that does not exist. Myths play a key role in fantasy.


4. Rules following in Sci-Fi and Fantasy: Fantasy and science fiction worlds both operate according to their internal rules. Parameters of the story are laid out by authors and events, and characters always follow the rules. The same happens with Sci-Fi, but the difference is that rules which are followed are mostly based on current scientific knowledge. 


5. Transcendence vs. Aspiration: Aspiration is another main difference between fantasy and science fiction. Humanity can look forward into the achievements assumed in science fiction, or they can look into the horror as a result of something bad happening in future, while in fantasy, the human brain dreams of the impossible things that can be fabricated. The difference between science fiction vs. fantasy is that science fiction heavily expands our world while fantasy transcends it.


6. Fantasy has some magic: Fantasy usually has some magic behind it and does not have a technological base. Fantasy has ideas of prophecies, swordplay, quests, archery, etc. On the other hand, science fiction has nothing to do with magic. It is usually about modern or future times. Science fiction uses superheroes, aliens, FTL travel, flying cars as the subject of the story. 


7. Combination of genres: It is good to know the basic differences between science fiction and fantasy, but an interesting fact is that these two genres can be combined well. But fantasy elements should never be added to science fiction films or stories. A Superman is mostly a fantasy film with elements of science fiction added later in the story. But it is never okay to add fantasy in a science fiction story as the audience does not believe that.


8. Pensive Fantasy: The difference between fantasy and science fiction is quite obvious. Usually, fantasy revolves around the elements of supernatural and will define magical occurrences in place of science fiction’s more scientific tropes.

There is a common belief that anything can be mentioned in fantasy, but this is not the real case. On the other hand, anything can be possible in science fiction if it has an actual scientific background. In fantasy, few laws and regulations are inhibited by the author. Fantasy is the creation of author’s own fantasizing of reality. It means the author has the freedom to govern the laws of his or her fantasy world.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is acclaimed as one of the very first fantasies written in literature. The same thing can be said about old Greek tragedies, mythologies or stories rely on supernatural and theological characters. The main difference between fantasy and science fiction is based on the core principles of their genre. A writer’s ability to time travel is one of the finest examples of a well-written fantasy story because scientifically it is not possible to create such a genre.


9. The combined Tincture: The metamorphosis between science fiction and science fantasy depends on an author. How he imagines the things around and how he creates his magical world on paper since anything is technically conceivable as long as it deals with science, technology or future aspects of society. The writer can make his work more unbelievable with fantastic qualities of idiosyncrasy supported by a wonderfully – built fantasy world.


10. Probability vs. Improbability: The easiest way to find out the difference between science fiction and fantasy is this less obvious caveat: possibility vs. impossibility, where science and fantasy contradict in real-world connotations. When we consider a piece of art as science fiction, what we want to say is that, whether this thing is possible or impossible, if that situation is possible, it means that it is real science fiction as science relates to facts and figures.

On the other side, fantasy is a world of boundless possibility. And this is the point where people get confused about the debate of science fiction vs. fantasy. Both these subjects go side by side, and both these genres share some similarities, but more obvious differences.

Fantasy always deals with supernatural or non-existing characters, and it becomes difficult for masses to relate with those characters in their real life. It is the main reason; Star wars is recognized as a fantasy rather than a science fiction.


It is often confusing for people to differentiate between science fiction and fantasy. But these points are good enough for the general understanding of the people. Science fiction vs. fantasy is a continuous debate. Both of the terminologies are often mixed with one and other, but if you have gone through these points, you will be able now to make a proper difference between these two. These points are not only interesting, but they increase your general understanding of these two terms and help you in your best interest. 





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