Main Difference – Science Fiction vs Fantasy
Science fiction and Fantasy both fall under speculative fiction genre where many elements, characters, and settings are created out of imagination and speculation rather than reality and everyday life. However, there is a distinct difference between science fiction and fantasy. Science fiction is based on science and technology and therefore, depicts scenarios that could be true one day. Fantasy, on the other hand, involves many supernatural elements and takes place in a world that does not and cannot ever exist. Therefore, the main difference between science fiction and fantasy is that science fiction has its base in science and consists of possibilities whereas fantasy has no base on reality and consists of impossibilities.
What is Science Fiction
Science fiction is based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes. It often deals with futuristic settings and plots such as time travel, space travel, extraterrestrial life, parallel universe, and various futuristic scientific inventions. This type of fiction often involves various laws or theories of science. Since it contains scenarios and technologies that are based on science, it makes logical sense. Therefore, the story is plausible and can be explained through science and logical reasoning. Science fiction talks about things that could happen in the real world.
Science fiction can be basically categorized into hard science fiction and soft science fiction. Hard science fiction often involves accurate details, especially physics, astrophysics, and chemistry, and accurately portrays and predicts advanced technology that is yet to be invented. Soft science fiction is based on social sciences such as psychology, political science, sociology, economics, and anthropology and are not as scientific as the hard genre.
H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Benford, Mary Shell are some noteworthy authors of this genre.
What is Fantasy
Fantasy is a literary genre that uses supernatural elements as the main plot element, theme, or setting. Many stories that belong to this genre takes place in imaginary worlds where magical, and other supernatural creatures exist. Fantasy can be considered as one of the oldest genres in literature. If we look at some of the oldest surviving stories from ancient civilizations, most of them contain supernatural elements such as gods, demons, and other supernatural creatures. Many legends, myths also belong to this genre. In fact, modern fantasy fictions are often inspired by folklore and mythology.
R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are some popular works in this genre.
Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy
Science Fiction is a genre based on imagined future scientific or technological advances
Fantasy is a genre that uses supernatural elements as the main plot element, theme, or setting.
Science Fiction has its base in science.
Fantasy is not based on science or reality.
Science Fiction describes improbable possibilities.
Fantasy describes plausible impossibilities.
Science Fiction deals with scientific concepts.
Fantasy deals with imaginary concepts.