Science Fiction or Fantasy?

I was at a local author’s showcase recently and had a guy come up to me and say that he liked science fiction but hated science fiction/fantasy. Being a bit of a word nerd, that set my brain into motion trying to figure out where the line is between Science Fiction and Fantasy. If the definition is that to be science fiction everything in the book must be based on science, then is something like Star Trek truly fantasy? I mean tribbles are not based on science, nor is the Vulcan Mind Meld. On the other hand, there is a branch of science that has been studying things like telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation as well as multiple dimensions occupying the same space.  Does that then make Harry Potter more science fiction than Star Trek? More to the point is Star Trek more fantasy than Harry Potter? Perhaps I’m just too much of a nerd, wasting all these brain cells on such a question, but it does cause me to question where my largest series (The Power Colors Saga) fits into the science fiction vs fantasy realm.

I know the traditional wisdom says that Harry Potter is indeed Science Fiction Fantasy, and Star Trek is more hard core Science Fiction. But as a word nerd, I still have to wonder if faster than light travel is really more possible than magic. Assuming that it is, does it also follow that a tribble is more possible than an elf? Near as I can tell, there is nothing definitive that can be used to determine whether a book is Science Fiction or Fantasy, it is just a matter of opinion about what is more possible. For me, the Power Colors Saga is Science Fiction but I can understand if someone sees it differently and thinks it is Science Fiction Fantasy. All that really matters in the end is whether or not it is entertaining. I hope you will take the time to decide for yourselves.


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