The Difference Between Space Fantasy and Sci-Fi
Let’s dive right into this and say that both fantasy and sci-fi have a lot of overlap. They both involve things that border on the impossible, such as dragons, giant robots and both can take place in worlds beyond our own. They’re incredibly unique in the fact that they connect both to our world’s past of storytelling(Fantasy does this through myths) and ideas to the future. Historical Fiction also does this, but like, it’s not as fun.
What are they?
Science Fiction was originally considered an offshoot of Fantasy but is now recognized as it’s own complete genre. It involves the realm of the possible implausible, the realm of the future, things that could, but probably won’t happen. Frankenstein, Doctor Who, 1984, The Matrix and Star Trek are all staples and classics of this genre.
Space Fantasy, on the other hand, is a combination of both Sci-Fi and Fantasy, taking the often futuristic backdrop of Sci-Fi and adding elements of the impossible, such as magic, other species speaking English for some reason and various aspects of tech. Examples in this subgenre include She-Ra, He-Man, Voltron and Star Wars.
Of course, there are some works that don’t really fit into either genre, which further blurs the lines. Take Transformers as an example: Could there be an entire planet of transforming robots? Probably not, but like it could happen. Would their world be merged the body of their first leader? No. That’s just not how planets work and there’s a whole line of complexities that further blur Transformers’ true genre.
Then again, the whole franchise is kind of a mess, so I should probably stop looking so much into it. Another thing that mixes the two genres is anime and manga, quite a few of which play around with them. Not that I’m complaining, I like watching Son Goku kick people from alternate universes around.
So which came first? Sci-Fi or Space Fantasy?
Apparently, Sci-Fi has been around since the second century, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that it probably showed up in the form we know it around the 17th century. Space Fantasy is an offshoot and combination of both the ancient genre of fantasy and more modern genre of sci-fi, so it’s still pretty young, being popularized with Star Wars.
In conclusion, sci-fi takes place in our world, with some, if not all of our rules and space fantasy takes place in a galaxy far far away.
To discuss your thoughts, come join us in my fantasy writers’ discord: https://discord.gg/HW3jtR8
I hope this helped and happy writing!