Daniel’s Journal #12 – Fantasy vs Sci-Fi

This is based off a friendly debate I’ve had on and off with a writing buddy. My stance, unpopular as it is, is that fantasy and sci-fi, as genres, are not only one in the same, but interchangeable. If you’ll enter into the realm of infinite possibilities with me, I’ll explain.

The definitions of fantasy and sci-fi will disagree with my opening statement. Here are the definitions according to Wikipedia:

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama.

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, spaceflight, time travel, and extraterrestrial life

Each of these two genres have their own set of tropes, but I’m saying you can interchange them. Want some examples? I thought you’d never ask!

An evil space overlord and his hoards of alien armies threaten the last human resistance, sparking an epic interstellar war.

A supremely powerful warlock and his armies of orcs and goblins threaten the last human settlement, sparking an epic ground battle.

You can do this with anything. Time machine? Time portal. Flying cars? Horses with wings. Androids? People made from sticks and mud and magic. I’m reaching here, but you get my point.

I’ve written in both genres, and I enjoy them both. I enjoy reading them too. World building is one of my favorite writing tools, and both genres require it.

So I have a little fun, imagining sci-fi as fantasy and vice-versa. I don’t understand why people get upset about me comparing them to each other. It doesn’t diminish either one as a whole.

To me, Sci-Fi/Fantasy can be one genre. You can keep them together at the bookstore. I can write back and forth through the genres as I see fit. Just don’t mesh them together in one book, though. That would be foolish.

Feel free to engage and debate me on this. I live for the interaction. My Twitter is @Daniel_Aegan if you don’t already follow.

-Daniel Aegan
11/19/18

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