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Elements of Science Fiction

and Fantasy
Elements of
Science Fiction
 Realistic and fantastic details
 Grounded in science
 Unknown inventions
 Makes a serious comment about the world
 Often contains a warning for humankind
Science Fiction Settings
 Another planet
 Under the oceans
 Another dimension of existence
 May be a utopia or dystopia
 May be in the future
 May time travel to the past or future
 May take place in present, but alternate reality
Science Fiction Characters
and Conflict
 Protagonist (hero)
 Antagonist (villain)
 These characters may be a being (human or
other) or may be a force
 Characters may include creatures, robots, aliens,
machines, etc.
 Conflict may center around a society’s laws, a
disease or other problem, technology
Science is Important to the
Story
 Advanced technology
 Genetics
 Disease
 Exploration
 Special powers or senses as a result of science
 Science can be the savior or the root of the
problem
Science Fiction vs. Fantasy
 Science fiction is based in fact: some of the
technology is invented, some of the places are
made up, but all of it is conceivable
 Fantasy is not based in reality: it is purely
imaginative
Elements of Fantasy
 Contains supernatural elements such as magic
and shape-shifting
 Characters use magical transportation such as
flying broomsticks and magic portals
 Conflict centers around good vs. evil
 Author’s purpose is to entertain, not to make a
social commentary or issue a warning
Fantasy Settings
 A magical world
 A parallel world that is entered
through a portal
 Fantasy settings: Hogwarts, Narnia,
Oz
Fantasy Characters and
Conflict
 Characters may include witches,
wizards, sorcerers, talking animals,
ogres, elves, unicorns, magical beasts,
vampires, and werewolves
 Conflict is usually good vs. evil
Final thoughts
 Sometimes the two genres overlap
 New term: science fantasy
 Rod Serling said, “Fantasy is the impossible
made probable. Science fiction is the improbable
made possible."