To supplement the Five Reasons Fantasy Is Better Than Science Fiction, I’ve decided to create this list of the exact opposite. I am a science fiction nut, after all, and what science fiction nut doesn’t think about his/her favorite things about his/her favorite genre? Enjoy:
Sure, science fiction doesn’t have dragons and unicorns, but it does have awesome spaceships. Okay, so not all of the spaceships in SF are all that great, but a lot of them are. I wouldn’t mind owning the Enterprise. I’d throw some awesome parties on that ship!
- Gadgets and Technology (all forms)
Gadgets, of course, are better known as a James Bond thing, but SF has a lot of gadgets too. Everything from all those handheld gizmos in Star Trek to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (don’t panic!). Then there’s all the lovely technology that makes SF so wonderful (nanotech, cyberspace, robots, universal translators, automatic, self-cleaning toilets that also clean your bumb for you, give you a quick shave, and send you on your way to work…).
- Expansive Interstellar Geography
Unlike fantasy, SF is not limited by location. In a fantasy world, you can theoretically see everything there is to see in a single lifetime (or a couple if you’re one of those reincarnated folks). But SF has many planets with many cultures and geographies. Imagine all the amazing things you could see! Aliens cities and artifacts and even new human ones with new cities. And this is, in theory, limitless, because there are likely trillions of planets in our universe. Unfortunately, I think if you visited them all you’d probably explode. It’s one of those rules in the Bible or something…look it up if you don’t believe me.
- Fantasy Simulation
Well, with the invention of virtual reality (cyberspace, etc.), SF has the luxury of recreating any environment imaginable, but in the safety of one’s own home, or in a corporate complex, which likely isn’t all that safe at all. So, while a fantasy world may be wonderful to live in, isn’t there something to be said about having the best of both worlds all in one package? Well, SF offers you that opportunity, or at least the characters that populate SF stories.
- The Future
This particular item is mostly to poke fun at LoopdiLou, who vehemently contested my inclusion of the same thing in my Five Things Every Science Fiction Story Should Have right up until Kim Stanley Robinson put her straight during a Q&A sessions at UC Santa Cruz. I’m quite interested in the future, as you all may well know. It explains why I read quite a lot of science fiction for fun, because the future is fascinating and wondering where we will be in ten, twenty, even a hundred years is ripe with amazing speculations and imagery.
What things would you add to this list? What thing would you omit? Let me know in the comments!