I'm rather confused as to why my most recent question is being voted to be closed. Even some of the answers are saying it will be closed.

But why?

Do questions HAVE to be about specific sci-fi/fantasy works? I read the FAQ's and I don't think my question fits into the "What questions should not be asked?" section.

2 Answers 2


Earlier in the beta, we found that questions about subgenres of SF were invariably of two kinds:

  • Questions involving determining whether a particular work is in a particular genre. These are useless because no two people agree on the definition of a genre.
  • Questions asking for a definition of a particular genre. Wikipedia is ——→ that way.

When we tried to come up with criteria for acceptable questions, one of our most agreed-against topic was questions about genre classification. Writers Stack Exchange came to the same conclusion.

The answer to your original question (“can a work be both science fiction and fantasy?”) is yes, there are works that at least some people would classify in both (there are even works that the author deliberately made borderline). (Speculative fiction is a highly prolific genre, the answer to “is there a work that has characteristic X” is always yes.) The answer to your revised question is purely a matter of terminology; whether someone chooses to give a meaning to the term “Scifi-Fantasy” or not does not make for an interesting discussion, therefore asking about the term's applicability is a subjective and argumentative question (of little interest to boot).

  • if this is true, can the FAQ be updated to reflect? Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 1:51
  • @OghmaOsiris We've had an FAQ improvement in the plans for months, see here. Please add your suggestions there so that we can keep track of them. The FAQ does reference the criteria question already.
    – user56
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 7:15
  • Apparently I can't find it then. I only see things about not asking for lists and open-ended questions. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 13:38
  • @OghmaOsiris questions about genre classification
    – user56
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 18:21

Questions about the various genres are on topic provided that they aren't asking for lists, recommendations, identification of a work's genre, or aren't general reference questions.

Always consider how interesting a question is and how common answers will be when asking.

I'm sitting back and letting the community decide if your question is too general reference or not. But considering there is a sub genre called "Sci-Fantasy" in common use, I'd suspect your question will be closed eventually.

  • 1
    And see, I didn't know there was a genre called sci-fantasy... Why couldn't someone just provide that answer and give some detail about that? I think it would be an awesome answer to my question. Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 17:35
  • Because this knowledge is the definition of general reference. Or at least is to most of the people here. Considering Star Wars is of this genre, it is obvious to most of us here.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 17:43
  • 1
    Most isn't all. And I tried to find something like that before asking the question. Although this seems obvious, not everyone is going to know of every sub-genre of sci-fi/fantasy. Which is my argument that this shouldn't be general reference... Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 17:45
  • 1
    And also why I haven't closed it. :)
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 18:22

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