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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fantasy and the mode of the fantastic permeate science fiction, in spite of the genre’s claim to be based on realistic extrapolations from existing scientific knowledge. This chapter discusses science fiction’s use of various forms of the fantastic, from the merely extraordinary to the outright magical. It also proposes arranging SF texts along a scale with what is sometimes called Mundane SF at one end and the hybrid form known as science fantasy at the other. Even Mundane SF texts characteristically include unexplained events and conventional cheats such as faster-than-light travel, while science fantasy has developed a number of strategies to rationalize or frame outright impossibilities.

Keywords: science fiction, the fantastic, Mundane SF, science fantasy, rationalized fantasy

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