Speculative Fiction

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

I've heard it said that science fiction is speculative fiction that has a possibility of being true, while fantasy is speculative fiction that in no way can ever be true. But aside from that, the two are really quite similar in their themes and motifs.

For instance, in fantasy, you have dragons. In science fiction, you have dinosaurs.

In fantasy, you have flying carpets. In science fiction, you have flying saucers.

In fantasy, there are talking animals. In SF, there are cute aliens.

In fantasy, you have a magic sword. In SF, you have a lightsaber.

In fantasy, you have witch-induced slumbers of many years' duration. In SF you have cryogenics.

In fantasy, there's teleportation. In SF, there's...teleportation.

In fantasy your magical assistant is a genie. In SF it's a robot.

In fantasy, you rescue a fairy princess. In SF you rescue an alien princess.

In fantasy, you can be resurrected from the mostly-dead by a cleric. In SF you can be brought back by the ship's doctor, or have your consciousness joined to a robotic body.

In fantasy, you battle monsters. In SF you battle monstrous aliens.

In fantasy, there are evil wizards. In SF there are mad scientists.

In fantasy, you have a magic wand. In SF you have a sonic screwdriver.

In fantasy you have to interpret the ancient scroll. In SF you have to crack the secret computer code.

In fantasy, you travel to strange lands. In SF you travel to strange planets.

In fantasy, you drink a magic potion, and gain incredible powers over life and death, enhance your intelligence, or gain the ability to change your shape. In SF there's genetic engineering.

In fantasy, you don special armor made by dwarven smiths. In SF you ride in a mech.

In fantasy, you can view distant happenings through a crystal ball. In SF there's videophones and com-links.

In fantasy, you can use magic to physically affect things. In SF there's the Force.

In fantasy, you can call down the lightning with your magic staff to smite your enemies. In SF, you've got a Death-Ray.

In fantasy, you learn you are merely a pawn of a god. In SF you find you are merely a pawn of some vast computer network.

In fantasy, there are amulets which have magical powers. In SF there's advanced technology.

In fantasy, you have a Fool making jests. In SF, you have an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards making blog entries.