Science fiction or fantasy?

      2 Comments on Science fiction or fantasy?

It’s time to put on my librarian hat for a few minutes and clear the air about science fiction and fantasy.

Because the sad truth is, many people don’t seem to know the difference between the two. They use the terms interchangeably, as if they are the same.

But they’re not. They’re about as alike as strawberries and pineapples.

Fantasies are flights of the imagination, often full of dragons and magic. The worlds in which fantasies exist are always just beyond our view. We feel that if we could move a little faster, dig a little deeper, or find the right door to open, we could enter that world and have access to all of its wonders.

Many fantasies are based on legends or fairy tales, or even scary stories told around the campfire.

The television show Grimm is fantasy. The Harry Potter books are fantasy. Lord of the Rings series is fantasy. Vampire and werewolf shows are fantasy.

Science fiction, on the other hand, lives not around the corner, but in the future. It takes current scientific thought and projects potential outcomes.

In other words, if we can invent our way there, it’s science fiction.

Post-apocolyptic stories are science fiction. As are space travel stories and stories set in the future.

Star Trek is science fiction. Planet of the Apes is science fiction. The Matrix is science fiction. Any story that deals with robots, computers, or viruses taking over the world are science fiction.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, the Behold the Eye (Braumaru, Cerulea, and Viridia) books are fantasy, while the Department of Temporal Adjustment is science fiction.

Great! Now that that’s all cleared up I’ll take my librarian hat off again.

See you around.


2 thoughts on “Science fiction or fantasy?

  1. psikeyhackr

    But what if there was a way to measure science fiction and fantasy. How can a story be science fiction without using "science" words? How can a story be fantasy without using "fantasy" words? So what if we count the words? How many science and fantasy words occur for every 1,000 characters.

    In Mysterious Island Jules Verne uses the word "engineer" more than 500 times. JK Rowling uses "wand" more than 1,500 times in the Harry Potter series. Ender's Game and Dune use science words more then 3 times for every 10,000 characters. If 1 science word for every 1,000 characters is a density of 1.0, the Hard SF like Clarke's A Fall of Moondust score in that range.

  2. Veronica R Tabares


    I love words, but I have to admit that counting how many times a word occurs in a story doesn't sound like my idea of fun.

    For me, I'd rather sit back and enjoy a good story.

    To each his/her own, I guess. Take care!


What do you think?