How come fantasy is more popular than science-fiction?

Yeah, like Star Wars just does Sci-Fi shit (sometimes really shit), where Star Trek explains the Science-y stuff as they go along with the story… Even if it does insult the intelligence of ordinary folk at times.



I’m so glad we’re seeing less of this in recently published books. Eurocentric world’s are being replaced by rich, cultural worlds from Africa and Asia, and sometimes even native America.
I’m so excited to see more of these world in fantasy moving forward!

And yeah, fantasy is a genre much more popular than sci-fi. I don’t really know why…
I love me some science fiction, but I love fantasy so much more, and if you asked me why, I don’t think I’d have an answer. I just love fantasy.


That’s because I can make a bizarre whilrygig that flies across the screen at 300mph, making u-turns right and left that defy human flight, but describing how that looks in a book is a description of a flight machine no one has a visual image of, with having to bring up things like g-force, how the travel looks. It’s a 10 second visual vs trying to not go over 600 words in description.


Oh, fantasy has been way more popular than sci-fi for years. People often prefer dragons and magic over aliens and science. It’s a preference thing. That’s why science-fantasy is basically the midpoint of the two and why it’s more popular than straight sci-fi. I wouldn’t say one is more important than the other, though. They both have their pros and cons


I see a lot of answers pointing to complexity as in scifi is a little more complex due to it being a less “familiar” genre, and to a degree that’s true but a good fantasy should be equally as complex as a scifi and a good scifi should be equally as easy to follow as fantasy. Neither has a particular tendency to be more or less unique or complicated than the other, and they often share tropes between each other because of how similar they are.

It’s likely that fantasy has a perceived wider fanbase simply because it’s an older genre. Science fiction has grown to become its own genre now, but it wasn’t too long ago that it was considered a subgenre of fantasy, and some people still consider it to be that. If you liked scifi then you automatically liked fantasy, because it was fantasy, but if you liked fantasy that didn’t necessarily mean you liked the scifi subgenre of fantasy.

I would also argue that in some cases people forget that scifi is more than space and high tech gadgets. It covers a wide range from soft to hard just like fantasy ranges from low to high, and has plenty of its own subgenres. But again, because these two genres are so similar, it’s easy to mush softer scifi and its fans in with fantasy.


Star Wars explains it a tiny bit sometimes and sometimes just makes up stuff to fill the void when theres engine failure or something :sweat_smile: I appreciate how Star Trek explains things; I may not understand, but I feel like I understand.


The rise of Wuxia book popularity was nice for me. A good non-European fantasy genre that I can Fi d easily now


Thing is, both genres have a wide variety of ideas that don’t necessarily fit into a single box. Some people think of science fiction as advanced technology, aliens, or even the future whereas others think of fantasy as medieval times and dragons and magic. Truth is, this isn’t the only way to identify the genres. There are science fictions where it doesn’t take place in the future, but in the modern world. Take Jurassic Park for example. In the 1993 movie, there wasn’t a lot of advanced technology or aliens or time travel. It wasn’t much of your basic sci-fi feel, but it is science fiction because of the dinosaurs—in other words, the biology of the plot (creating them) fits the genre. Or the Day After Tomorrow—also science fiction—which doesn’t have any of the “sci-fi vibes.”

Fantasy is the same. Most people associate it with the past like in Game of Thrones or the majority of princess movies from Disney (Tangled, Cinderella, Snow White), but fantasy can take place in modern day or the future (which can fit into science-fantasy like the Marvel universe) but urban fantasy is a genre where it takes place in modern times but specifically in a city like the Mortal Instruments. Fantasy doesn’t have to mean “past” or no technology/advanced tech because you can definitely mix it up if you wish, and it’s the same with the dragons and magic. Not all fantasies have those. Just look at the Pirates of the Caribbean. No dragons. No magic (or the type we all might think of when we think of the genre). It does check the “in the past” box, but otherwise, there’s monsters, curses, etc. that make it a fantasy.

That’s also the beauty with writing, too. Your story doesn’t have to fit into a single box. You can mix and match, doing whatever you want. If you want advanced technology for some places in your story (like only specific towns can have access to it) while the other villages act like it’s the medieval times, you can do that. If you want creatures and monsters that don’t look and act like other mythical or fantastical creatures, you can do that too. Even if they were created through science or came from other planets to give a background story on them. Letting your imagination wander is an amazing thing.

Personally, I love both equally. Now, I do read more fantasy books than I do with sci-fi, and I do watch more sci-fi movies/shows than I do with fantasy, but technically, I am getting a decent dose of both genres lol.

I’m similar to you where I do love science-fantasy more because it adds an even wider range of ideas for you (hence, why my YA novel is sci-fi fantasy) but I don’t think one is better than the other. I’m a lover of all (or at least, most) genres and find the good in them, so I can’t personally say anything wrong with either genre.

But on a generalized spectrum, it does seem that fantasy is more popular than science fiction and that’s probably because the majority of fantasy takes place in beautiful places with magic and a plethora of plots and problems and whatnot that isn’t equal to the reader’s or the current world they live in. The majority of science fiction is the opposite to that. Many take place in modern times or at least, the near/far future but are often (in many circumstances anyway) about problems that humans create that can theoretically be plausible. Take Interstellar for example. The main issue these characters faced, besides the whole multiple dimensional thing, was how the world was coming to an end due to lack of resources (food in particular). This is a real-world problem and it’s something that many people don’t want to be reminded now. Same for pollution, corrupted governments, and more that is featured in many science fiction novels and movies.

The other problem that I’ve noticed is how science fiction, in a way, requires it to be factual or possible like being able to recreate a dinosaur or making a technology that could help scientists understand natural disasters and prevent a lot of casualties (like in Twister) whereas in fantasy, you can make anything up and get away with it. Of course, to be a good writer, you do have to make sure the laws of physics and other sciences in your story should be factual according to what you’ve created (like if your world naturally produces natural resources, there should never be a resource shortage), that way it saves you the time and embarrassment of having plot holes lol.

The Middle Ages in Europe are a very popular setting time-frame for many reasons, some of which include the feel and environment (like castles) along with how the Europeans, back in the day, had a lot of rich literature. I mean, most classic writers are European. :sweat_smile:


Yeah me too… I really try to understand the Science-y stuff, but most of it just passes me by… :smiley:



Some of the problem with Star Trek tech (and TNG to a good bit of DS9 was my childhood) is that it takes some memory retention to know the tech.

If something has been established, they use the title for the thing and then make am explanation about using it to mess with the title of the next thing.

“Oh, another Warp Core Breach!”

“A what?”

“Come on, you should know what his is, it happens every 7th episode!”


Oh dear that sounds confusing as heck. I never really paid attention to Star Trek cause Id only see it when my dad was watching it and I was hiding from schoolwork by “spending time” with my dad, so i have only seen bits and pieces of various series.

Oh the fanbase has running gags on half of it. Things that are established cause a massive headache to drop, which is why the fanbase goes nuts when you go against canon on about anything. Spock goes from being an only sibling, to having a half brother out of nowhere, to having an adopted sister who cares a lot. It’s enough to cause meltdowns. That’s not even one of the tech rants, but a continuity and are we in the prime universe?

Hahaha same. I don’t understand a single thing but I love how they try to explain it all even though I can’t comprehend it. Just makes it feel more real lol.

Star Trek also came up with a simple tactic for relating history and fiction:

Reference 2 real events and 1 future to the audience event, so that people relate the fictional event to the real for parallel relevance.