Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

fantasySci-Fi vs Fantasy

Everyone likes to curl up with a good book now and then. There are many genres of fiction on the shelves of today’s libraries. Some of the post popular varieties allow their readers to escape to different lands and live out different lives within their pages. Both science fiction, or sci-fi, and fantasy novels have been favorites with readers since the inception of their genres. Even though many publishing houses specialize in that they call ‘sci-fi/fantasy’ there are actually many fundamental differences between the themes, purposes, and readership of the two genres.

Themes of Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Sci-Fi ‘“ ask the question: ‘what if?’ It explores what might happen in a scenario given a different outcome to a historical event, a new form of technology, or a different style of government. The elements of a good sci-fi story are plausible. They might happen given the existence of one of the above elements. Common themes in sci-fi center on robots, space travel, alternate histories, dystopia, natural phenomena, or the physical laws of nature.
Fantasy ‘“ creates a world that is colored or dominated by elements of magic or the supernatural. While the rules that govern this world may be entirely different than the rules that govern our own world, this rules remain consistent throughout the duration of the book. The story is not necessarily meant to be plausible, but it should be believable to the characters. Common themes in fantasy center on witches, elves, fairies, magical spells, demons, and alternate dimensions or universes.

Purposes of Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Sci-Fi ‘“ discounting the ‘pulp’ phenomena of the 1960’s and 1970’s, true sci-fi is meant to force its readers to question the world around them. They should be inspired to think about the application of new technology or weigh the pro and cons or space exploration or a new system of government.
Fantasy ‘“ is primarily meant to entertain. It is a creative genre and there are some masterpieces of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings being foremost. Fantasy can teach moral lessons or highlight social issues, just as any other work of fiction can.

Readership of Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Sci-Fi ‘“ originally it was speculative fiction written to be read by the men and women who were bringing American into the nuclear and space ages.
Fantasy ‘“ has been told to children and adults since the being of human existence. Gilgamesh can be considered the earliest known example of fantasy. It has a universal appeal to anyone with an imagination.

1.Sci-Fi is written to explore the different outcomes of events or technologies that could exist while fantasy is written to entertain its readers with magical events.
2.Sci-Fi centers on technology, alternate history, or dystopian societies while fantasy gives its pages over to mythical creatures and alternate universes.
3.Sci-Fi was originally written as a leisure literature for scientists whereas fantasy has been entertaining entire populations since the dawn of language.

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  1. While I applaud and agree with much of what you wrote, you have made a serious error. You said “originally it was speculative fiction written to be read by the men and women who were bringing American into the nuclear and space ages.”

    I’d like you to tell that to H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Foundational Sci Fi authors who were neither American nor anywhere near the nuclear and space ages.


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