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This is another genre that’s hard to define. Broadly speaking, sci-fi stories hinge on imagined scientific progress or technology, often within a futuristic setting. Though scenarios are invented, like aliens visiting earth or the ability to time travel, they typically rely on only a slight bending of the laws of physics as we know them and, though unlikely, seem within the realm of possibility if the technology were to develop. If sci-fi sounds similar to fantasy, take a look at Arthur C Clarke’s distinction: ‘Science fiction is something that could happen – but you usually wouldn’t want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn’t happen – though you often wish that it could.’ Or Rod Serling’s definition: “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible”.
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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes