My wife and I had a fairly long discussion about Fantasy vs. Science Fiction.
We both read the book Dragonflight this January of 2015 – the first fiction book that I’ve read in several years… I’d been so busy studying educational books, that I decided I should take a break!
The book essentially starts in a medieval setting and involves Dragons. Seems like fantasy, right?
The introduction mentions that the people on the planet traveled from earth and colonized there. That the dragons and dragon riders evolved together, forming a bond. From my angle it leans more towards science fiction. An interesting twist of making dragons an alien species, or in other words, Science fiction with a fantasy feel to it.
In this sense the book seems to have been of both genres, very cool!
Often Fantasy has magic and science fiction does not. The book Dragonflight does not contain magic in the sense of Wizards and spells, however the characters have special abilities that seem like magic.
This brings to mind the quote from Science Fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Based on a Poll in 1987, Dragonflight ranked at number nine among the 33 “All-Time Best Fantasy Novels”, seems lots of folks considered it a Fantasy book…
Let us consider Ware Shelly’s History of Science fiction Mind Map!
If you take a closer look at the dark blue/purple you will see Star Wars.
If you look near the top middle you will see C.S. Lewis Narnia stories listed.
Unable to locate Dragonflight on it, I did some google searching but still couldn’t locate a list of all books listed, please let me know if you do!
On Quora.com there is a good Q&A about this question.
The discussion is interesting, it also brings the Horror genre into the mix…
What do you think? What makes a book fantasy, science fiction, or both?