FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” ~ Terry Pratchett Obviously defining Fantasy/Science Fiction is hardly a task that can simply be reduced to a few paragraphs. Whole books have been written on the subject but let’s try, shall we? Fantasy contains elements that depart from realism and how we perceive the world, primarily centering around the magic and mythic. It often contains medieval elements but it doesn’t have to. Fantasy novels are set in imaginary worlds but Fantasy differs from Science Fiction in that it does not have to concern itself with explaining the how’s. However Fantasy does ultimately require an internal consistency within the fictional world the author has created.
Science Fiction in its most root form explores the consequence of science, real or envisioned. It explores the consequences of the scientific within society and the world at large. The science doesn’t have to exist currently but it needs a mooring to reality. While Science Fiction is an extremely broad genre with a plethora of sub genre’s and goals, it does tend to use technology and the relationship characters and or societies have to technology as a vehicle to dig in and examine the human condition. Imagination rests at the genre’s core but is somehow rooted and explained through science. Science Fiction novels can explore almost anything, from the future to extraterrestrials, space travel to time travel. Any of these vehicles can be used to examine our experience as human beings. Perhaps Rod Serling defined it most efficiently, “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.”
Author Examples: Guy Gavriel Kay, Jacqueline Carey, Octavia Butler, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ursula Le Guin, Neal Stephenson, Terry Pratchett, James Corey, Joe Abercrombie, Patricia Briggs