Science fantasy is a mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy. In a science-fiction story, the world is scientifically possible, while a science-fantasy world contains elements which violate the scientific laws of the real world. Nevertheless the world of science fantasy is logical and often is supplied with science-like explanations of these violations.
During the Golden Age of Science Fiction, the fanciful science-fantasy stories were seen in sharp contrast to the terse, scientifically plausible material that came to dominate mainstream science fiction typified by the magazine Astounding Stories. Although at this time, science-fantasy stories were often relegated to the status of children's entertainment, their freedom of imagination and romance proved to be an early major influence on the "New Wave" writers of the 1960s, who became exasperated by the limitations of "hard" SF.
Eric R. Williams lists the following "microgenres" which can belong to science fantasy: Discovery, Dying Earth, ET Relations, Mad Scientist, Space Opera, Sword and Planet. Carl D. Malmgren classifies science fantasy by the type of the violation of science and distinguishes the following main types: the time-loop motif, the alternate-present world, the counterscientific world, and the hybridized world.
Distinguishing between science fiction and fantasy, Rod Serling claimed that the former was "the improbable made possible" while the latter was "the impossible made probable". As a combination of the two, science fantasy gives a scientific veneer of realism to things that simply could not happen in the real world under any circumstances. Where science fiction does not permit the existence of fantasy or supernatural elements, science fantasy explicitly relies upon them.
In explaining the intrigue of science fantasy Carl D. Malmgren provides an intro in regards to C.S. Lewis speculation on the emotional needs at work in the subgenre: "In the counternatural worlds of science fantasy, the imaginary and the actual, the magical and the prosaic, the mythical and the scientific, meet and interanimate. In so doing, these worlds inspire us with new sensations and experiences, with [quoting C.S. Lewis] 'such beauty, awe, or terror as the actual world does not supply', with the stuff of desires, dreams, and dread."
The label first came into wide use after many science fantasy stories were published in the American pulp magazines, such as Robert A. Heinlein's Magic, Inc., L. Ron Hubbard's Slaves of Sleep, and Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp's Harold Shea series. All were relatively rationalistic stories published in John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Unknown magazine. These were a deliberate attempt to apply the techniques and attitudes of science fiction to traditional fantasy subjects. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction published, among other things, all but the last of the Operation series, by Poul Anderson.
Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore published novels in Startling Stories, alone and together, which were far more romantic. These were closely related to the work that they and others were doing for outlets like Weird Tales, such as Moore's Northwest Smith stories.
Ace Books published a number of books as science fantasy during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry is sometimes cited as an example of science fantasy. Writer James F. Broderick describes Star Trek as science fantasy because it includes semi-futuristic as well as supernatural/fantasy elements such as The Q. According to the late iconic science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, many purists argue that Star Trek is science fantasy rather than science fiction because of its scientifically improbable elements, which he partially agreed with.
Dinosaur Train is an American/Canadian/Singaporean children's animated series created by Craig Bartlett, who also created Hey Arnold! and Ready Jet Go!. The series features a curious young Tyrannosaurus rex named Buddy who, together with his adopted Pteranodon family, takes the Dinosaur Train to explore his time period, and have adventures with all kinds of dinosaurs. It is produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with Media Development Authority, Sparky Animation, FableVision, and Snee-Oosh, Inc. PBS Kids has ordered 11 more episodes, taking the total number of episodes to 100 which were planned to be released 2018, but has since been postponed to summer 2019.Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is a 1980 adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game written by Gary Gygax. While Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is typically a fantasy game, the adventure includes elements of science fiction, and thus belongs to the science fantasy genre. It takes place on a downed spaceship; the ship's crew has died of an unspecified disease, but functioning robots and strange creatures still inhabit the ship. The player characters fight monsters and robots, and gather the futuristic weapons and colored access cards that are necessary for advancing the story.
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was first played at the Origins II convention in 1976, where it was used to introduce Dungeons & Dragons players to the science fiction game Metamorphosis Alpha. In 1980, TSR published the adventure, updated for first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. The adventure was not updated for later rules systems, but a Wizards.com article did provide a conversion to Future Tech. It included a separate booklet of illustrations, in both color and black and white. The adventure is an old-time favorite of many Dungeons & Dragons fans, including Stephen Colbert. It was ranked the fifth-best Dungeons & Dragons adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, and received positive reviews from White Dwarf and The Space Gamer magazines. The other adventures in the S series include S1 Tomb of Horrors, S2 White Plume Mountain, and S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.OzLand
OzLand is a 2014 American science fantasy drama independent film starring Zack Ratkovich and Glenn Payne. It was written and directed by Michael Williams in his feature film debut.The film's story and characters are inspired by and are references to characters and events that appear in L. Frank Baum's children's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.Reign of Fire (film)
Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic science fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale, with the screenplay written by Matt Greenberg, Gregg Chabot, and Kevin Peterka. The film also features Izabella Scorupco and Gerard Butler.
The film is set in England in the year 2020, twenty years after London tunneling project workers inadvertently awakened dragons from centuries of slumber and the creatures have subsequently replaced humans as the dominant species on Earth. With the fate of mankind at stake, two surviving parties, led by Quinn Abercromby (Bale) and Denton Van Zan (McConaughey), find that they must work together to hunt down and destroy the beasts in a desperate attempt to take back the world.
The film was released by Touchstone Pictures on July 12, 2002. Upon release, it received generally mixed reviews from critics and audiences and became a commercial failure, grossing $82 million on a $60 million budget.Road Rovers
Road Rovers is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation that premiered on Kids' WB for the 1996 Fall Season on September 7, 1996. The series ran for one season and ended on February 22, 1997. Reruns continued to air until September 6, 1997. It was later shown on Cartoon Network from February 7, 1998 until 2000.
The show follows the adventures of the Road Rovers, a team of five super-powered crime-fighting anthropomorphic dogs, known as "cano-sapiens".Science Fantasy (magazine)
Science Fantasy, which also appeared under the titles Impulse and SF Impulse, was a British fantasy and science fiction magazine, launched in 1950 by Nova Publications as a companion to Nova's New Worlds. Walter Gillings was editor for the first two issues, and was then replaced by John Carnell, the editor of New Worlds, as a cost-saving measure. Carnell edited both magazines until Nova went out of business in early 1964. The titles were acquired by Roberts & Vinter, who hired Kyril Bonfiglioli to edit Science Fantasy; Bonfiglioli changed the title to Impulse in early 1966, but the new title led to confusion with the distributors and sales fell, though the magazine remained profitable. The title was changed again to SF Impulse for the last few issues. Science Fantasy ceased publication the following year, when Roberts & Vinter came under financial pressure after their printer went bankrupt.
Gillings had an inventory of material that he had acquired while editing Fantasy, and he drew on this for Science Fantasy, as well as incorporating his own fanzine, Science Fantasy Review, into the new magazine. Once Carnell took over, Science Fantasy typically ran a long lead novelette along with several shorter stories; prominent contributors in the 1950s included John Brunner, Ken Bulmer, and Brian Aldiss, whose first novel Nonstop appeared (in an early version) in the February 1956 issue. Fantasy stories began to appear more frequently during the latter half of the 1950s, and in the early 1960s Carnell began to publish Thomas Burnett Swann's well-received historical fantasies. Carnell felt that the literary quality of Science Fantasy was always higher than that of New Worlds, and in the early 1960s his efforts were rewarded with three consecutive Hugo nominations for best magazine. Under Bonfiglioli more new writers appeared, including Keith Roberts, Brian Stableford and Josephine Saxton. In the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley, the final year of Impulse, as it was titled by that time, included some of the best material ever published in a British science fiction magazine.Slaves of Sleep
Slaves of Sleep is a science fantasy novel by American writer L. Ron Hubbard. It was first published in book form in 1948 by Shasta Publishers; the novel originally appeared in 1939 in an issue of the magazine Unknown. The novel presents a story in which a man travels to a parallel universe ruled by Ifrits. The protagonist takes on the identity of a human in this dimension, and becomes involved in the politics of Ifrits in this fictional "Arabian Nights" world.Tales of Arcadia
Tales of Arcadia is an announced trilogy of American computer-animated science fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You.
The series comprising the trilogy follow the inhabitants of the small suburban town of Arcadia Oaks, which is secretly home to various supernatural creatures and the teenage heroes who fight against the forces of evil that lurk in the shadows.
Currently, the first two installments of the trilogy, Trollhunters and 3Below, have been released worldwide.
The third and last installment, Wizards, is set to release later in 2019.Technomancy
Technomancy, also called technomagic, is a term in science fiction and fantasy that refers to a category of magical abilities that affect technology, or to magical powers that are gained through the use of technology.
It is a portmanteau of technology and -mancy, a suffix used in magical sciences to refer to specific types of specialization or divination (-mancy is derived from the Greek manteia, meaning divination).
An early appearance of the term can be found in Steve Martindale's 1990 short story "Technomancy" in the magazine Aboriginal Science Fiction.The Magic School Bus (TV series)
The Magic School Bus is a Canadian-American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. The series has received critical acclaim for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children." A revival series titled The Magic School Bus Rides Again was released on Netflix on September 29, 2017.Weird Science-Fantasy
Weird Science-Fantasy was an American science fiction-fantasy anthology comic, that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a 14-month span, the comic ran for seven issues, starting in March 1954 with issue #23 and ending with issue #29 in May/June 1955.Weird fiction
Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction originating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Clute defines weird fiction as a "Term used loosely to describe Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction and Horror tales embodying transgressive material". China Miéville defines weird fiction thus: "Weird Fiction is usually, roughly, conceived of as a rather breathless and generically slippery macabre fiction, a dark fantastic ("horror" plus "fantasy") often featuring nontraditional alien monsters (thus plus "science fiction")." Discussing the "Old Weird Fiction" published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock says, "Old Weird fiction utilises elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy to showcase the impotence and insignificance of human beings within a much larger universe populated by often malign powers and forces that greatly exceed the human capacities to understand or control them." Weird fiction either eschews or radically reinterprets ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other traditional antagonists of supernatural horror fiction. Weird fiction is sometimes symbolised by the tentacle, a limb-type absent from most of the monsters of European folklore and gothic fiction, but often attached to the monstrous creatures created by weird fiction writers such as William Hope Hodgson, M. R. James, and H. P. Lovecraft. Weird fiction often attempts to inspire awe as well as fear in response to its fictional creations, causing
commentators like Miéville to say that weird fiction evokes a sense of the numinous. Although "weird fiction" has been chiefly used as a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been increasingly used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
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