The Difference Between Sci-fi and Fantasy

It is quite understandable if you are not able to tell science fiction and fantasy apart. At first glance, the two genres may seem similar. However, with a bit of research, you can point out notable differences that distinguish fantasy from sci-fi. This article will help you understand it in depth.

The basic difference between the two genres is that fantasy deals with improbable eventualities while fantasy with plausible impossibilities. This notion is was supported by a quote from a renowned American writer, Miriam Allen.

Difference by Definition

Sci-fi is described as a genre of hypothetical fiction that tries to determine the possible impacts of scientific innovations and inventions in future times. Formal scientific knowledge is largely used to determine the repercussions of the undertaking. On the other hand, fantasy is termed speculative fiction that incorporates magic, among other terrene ingredients into the chronicle.


While fantasy narratives exhibit unique magic systems, mythical creatures, dangerous undertakings, and more elaborate terrene structures, as the genre’s notable characteristics, sci-fi is characterized by an authentic world, more advanced technology, and significant space travel and exploration.

Besides, sci-fi takes into consideration the laws of nature in that, every technological undertaking must follow the laid out rules without compromise. Fantasy, on the other hand, has no regard for such. The genre’s narrative can only be based on magic. There’s no solid evidence or logical explanations to support the sophisticated phenomena. In terms of existence, fantasy is arguably traced back to times of mythology while sci-fi is much newer.

In terms of practicality, some of sci-fi’s predictions can- and have- been adopted into actual technology. What was science fiction 50 years could be a reality today.