Why Science Fiction AND Fantasy?
why these two have to be associated together, even in a community website such as this one? (..and it happens more and more often)

having two websites that speak - mainly - about scifi (or fantasy) with some overlapping on each sides wouldn't be that bad to me, and would at least give back some kind of purity to the subject

  • just joined the site, there is some kind of overlap: as you have scifi.stackexcange.com you should have fantasy.stackexchange.com or else. @EdmundDantes I don't know how to move the question...
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:44
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    Because, if we had separate sites for science fiction and fantasy, then we'd have to agree on what's the difference between the two. (It's hard enough to agree on what's the difference between scifi and/or fantasy on the one hand and mundane fiction on the other.) What about the Star Trek and Star Wars movies, the Foundation and Lensman books, with ships flitting from star to star at multiples of lightspeed. Are they fantasy or are they science fiction?
    – user14111
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:50
  • yes @user14111 I am reading this and a lot of other good points on the meta post, still you should not consider such a rigid separation, having two websites that speak - mainly - about scifi (or fantasy) with some overlapping on each sides wouldn't be that bad to me, and would at least give back some kind of purity to the argument: a starry night background was chosen for this website cause is one of the few visual points that the two genres have in common? I hope you see what I mean.
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:55
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    Well, to me fantasy is not just stories of elves, gnomes and little men going on quests; fantasy is vast, it encompasses all sorts of what you might call the weird or off-trail or speculative, including science fiction. If you want to atomize the subject, you could have a hard science fiction site, and an elf-dwarf-dragon site, and a ghost story site, and a magic lamps and bottles site, and an angels and devils site, and a vampire and werewolf site, and a time travel site . . .
    – user14111
    Mar 28, 2017 at 9:11
  • ok @user14111 I'll stop here before you tell me stargates were actually built by elves.
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 9:17
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    Fantasy.stackexchange redirects to this site. Try it.
    – Mithical
    Mar 28, 2017 at 9:18
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    @eddyce - uh, what argument are you talking about?
    – Radhil
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:07
  • @Mithrandir - Definitely a dupe. I'd vote but my vote is binding.
    – Valorum
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:11
  • @Radhil subject, I meant to say subject.
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:28
  • @Mithrandir yes, maybe a dupe but I don't have the 5 points needed to speak there...
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:30
  • Well, it's rather easy to get 5 rep. You could suggest a couple edits; if they get approved they will raise your rep to 5.
    – Mithical
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:32
  • @Mithrandir yeah ok, I didn't do it on purpose: I just posted the question cause it looked bad: scifi and fantasy naa
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:34
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    If you don't have the 5 rep required to post on meta, that means you have virtually zero experience with the site. How about trying it out for a while? Ask or answer a couple of questions. Give it a quick spin, then you'll not only have the rep to post on meta but at least a modicum of an informed opinion. As it is you've clearly judged the book by its cover. You know some very ugly cars are a dream to drive if you get behind the wheel but you wouldn't know if you don't give them a spin.
    – Caleb
    Mar 28, 2017 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


Long story.

The site was originally just for sci-fi (which is probably why the main URL is still scifi.stackexchange.com). One of the earliest meta discussions on the first day of private beta was Is Fantasy in spec for this site?, in which it was decided that fantasy should be on-topic here too. The site was officially renamed and an alias of http://fantasy.stackexchange.com (try it) was added shortly afterwards.

Because they fit together well and can be hard to distinguish.

It's often been said that the real scope of this site is not "science fiction and fantasy", but rather speculative fiction. See also Would non-horror Speculative Fiction be on-topic for this site? I mean, what's the difference between sci-fi and fantasy anyway?

The shortest definition of SF I know of is that it's any form of fiction that asks “what if?”. That's SF as in speculative fiction, not the more restrictive “science fiction” or “sci-fi”. [...]

Be careful when using the terms “science-fiction” or “sci-fi” or “sf”, because people have different definitions. Science-fiction is usually about what might be, alternate history about what might have been, and fantasy about what can't be, but people disagree strongly on where to draw the line (is Star Wars science-fiction? Is anything with faster-than-light travel science-fiction? Is technology so advanced that it's indistinguishable from magic science-fiction?)

See also What is science fiction? How are we to discriminate between sci-fi and fantasy? - another of the earliest meta posts on the site.

  • they fit together as much as you look at them superficially and they are not hard to distinguish; most simply: science fiction is based on science, has got some foundation into science at some point in human evolution, whereas fantasy does not, it is usually the outcome of an idealisation of human society inside the writer's brain. this is a lot debatable I know but my point is just why the hell you would want to keep together star trek and the neverending story in the same place? only for the sake of some fantasy inside star wars? or maybe this is a fantasy community branded as scifi?
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 11:45
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    @eddyce That might be your definition of science fiction and fantasy, but I'm sure other people have slightly different definitions, which would involve pigeonholing some works differently. What about books that contain both science and magic, such as Artemis Fowl? What about the Dragonriders of Pern, which could easily be argued to be either sci-fi or fantasy? And no, sadly, this isn't a fantasy community branded as scifi. There's still a bias towards sci-fi here, which is very frustrating to people like me who only came here for the fantasy.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 28, 2017 at 11:54
  • @rand-althor I know it is my definition of the matter - it is certainly debatable, I get it. What I don't get is why don't you want to leave the debate in each and every book, story or movie? moving questions from one site to the other. Isn't that the spirit of stackexchange, to create focused forums about a subject? and wouldn't that give the chance to somebody to express wether there is a philip k. dick book that is more fantasy than scifi? the chance to debate about something rather than about this top level non-classification that doesn't satisfy anybody ..it seems
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 12:09
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    SE is not about forums. It is a Q&A platform. If someone wants to debate the nuances of whether a book is more SF or F, that's something we don't want to handle on the main site, or meta. That's what the chat rooms are for. More to your point, the goal of SE is to put questions in front of targeted experts. Those who tend to be experts in SF are very often, though not always, also well-versed in F, and vice-versa. Instead of spinning up, managing, and shunting between two sites where the userbase is so matched, why not use one?
    – phantom42
    Mar 28, 2017 at 12:21
  • er whatever`... ok, I think I've had enough.. happy fantasy / scifi stackexchange-ing to everybody
    – Edoardo
    Mar 28, 2017 at 12:36
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    @Randal'Thor - Come for the fantasy, stay for the Sci-fi :-)
    – Valorum
    Mar 28, 2017 at 16:34
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    And where does "Technomancy" fit on your scale of Sci-Fi <-> Fantasy? Trust me, it's considerably better to have it all in once place, because with every new Final Fantasy game, the lines between the two seem to get more blurred. Mar 28, 2017 at 17:33
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    If our scope is speculative fiction then why do people keep insisting Spyfi and James Bond are off topic (and why do we have contrary meta posts about the subject)? It's a bold claim to say we're about speculative fiction.
    – user31178
    Mar 29, 2017 at 5:14

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