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Topic – Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy novels are very popular forms of writing for people of all ages. Science fiction and fantasy are different genres. This means that all science fiction books have certain characteristics in common, and all fantasy books have characteristics in common.

Definition of Genre

A genre is a category of an artistic, musical, or literary creation. Each genre has a particular style, form, or content. So westerns are one genre of movies; hip-hop/rap is one genre of music; and biographies are one genre of literature.

Science Fiction

Science fiction stories often tell about science and technology of the future. The science and technology in these stories have some basis in actual science and fact. The stories should not be completely unbelievable. The settings for these stories are often in the future on Earth, in space, or on a different world. So the situations people in the story find themselves in are different than what could happen today.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a very popular science-fiction novel for young people (and adults too). The story takes place in the future on Earth. In it, a young boy (Ender) is chosen to go to a very special military school. There he trains for war by fighting mock battles in zero gravity using special technology. The hope is that Ender, or someone like him, will be the one who can lead the final fight against alien invaders.

Fantasy

In fantasy, things happen that could not happen in the real world. Magic is a large part of fantasy stories. Characters may have supernatural powers. Witches, wizards, superheroes, mythical creatures, talking animals, and ghosts are often characters in fantasies. Common themes in fantasies include battles between good and evil or greed and unselfishness. Fantasy stories are often about long journeys or quests. Sometimes the whole story is set in a fantasy world. Sometimes the story starts in the real world but moves to a fantasy world. And sometimes, magical and supernatural things are found in the real world.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende is a popular fantasy story. In it, a young boy has just lost his mother. He starts to read a book and, through the book, is drawn into a doomed world called Fantastica. He can save this world but, only if he can reach the ruler of the country and give her a new name. In his travels, he meets dragons, giants, and other monsters.


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