science fantasy n. 3

a genre which combines elements of science fiction and fantasy; a work in this genre

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism


  • 1948 M. Zimmer Letter in Startling Stories Sept. 125/2

    I may say in conclusion, that Kuttner is noted for his versatility in science-fantasy such as Mask Of Circe, in pure fantasy such as Call Him Demon.

  • 1950 L. Carter Letter in Thrilling Wonder Stories Oct. 146/1 Lin Carter

    Best news in aeons is the Return of Hankuttner in the next issue! Hope it’s another bang-up science-fantasy for a change. Kutt hasn’t given us a really good one since THE TIME AXIS.

  • 1957 S. Moskowitz 1957 in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 66/1 Sam Moskowitz

    The rise of H. G. Wells with his The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and When the Sleeper Wakes, towards the end of the 19th century, found him inheriting that term along with the frequent use of SCIENTIFIC FANTASIES to describe some of his work that seemed too scientific to be fantasy and too borderline to be scientifically plausible. SCIENCE FANTASY is still commonly used today to describe work of that nature.

  • 1959 R. Eney Fancyclopedia II (1979) 142 Dick Eney bibliography

    Science-fantasy, a classification sometimes used for science-fiction proper. But in this volume it designates science-fiction in which fantasy elements are vital—e g Lest Darkness Fall, in which hero Padway is struck by lightning and thus transferred to decadent Rome, where all his other actions are science-fictional; or those in which the author (like Ego Clarke in The City and The Stars ) depicts the accomplishments of a science so advanced that it merges with wish-fulfillment fantasy.

  • 1973 B. Aldiss Billion Year Spree 133 Brian W. Aldiss

    Tales of prehistory have always remained a sort of sub-genre of science fantasy.

  • 1973 B. Aldiss Billion Year Spree 8 Brian W. Aldiss

    In many cases, it is impossible to separate science fiction from science fantasy, or either from fantasy, since both genres are part of fantasy.

  • 1980 G. Wolfe What Do They Mean, SF? in Writer Aug. 13/1 Gene Wolfe

    A science fantasy story uses the means of science to achieve the spirit of fantasy. Like fantasy, science fantasy rests upon, and often abounds with, ‘impossible’ creatures and objects—girls asleep for centuries, one-eyed giants, weapons that can speak and may rebel. But it uses the methodology of science fiction to show that these things are not only possible but probable.

  • 1980 M. Z. Bradley Darkover Retrospective in Planet Savers/Sword of Aldones (1982) 304 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    Donald A. Wollheim…has done more to encourage fantasy and science-fantasy in this country during the lean years before ‘adult fantasy’ became respectable.

  • 1980 Thrust Fall (verso front cover) (advt.)

    The second volume in Harrison’s Viriconium Sequence takes place in a post-holocaust dream world of the far, far future: one peopled by feudal fantasy figures, spaceship captains, alchemist dwarves, and resurrected humans known as Reborn Men. A marvelous science fantasy sequel to The Pastel City.

  • 1982 B. Searles et al. Reader's Guide to Fantasy 77

    Besides a couple of novels in the ‘Conan’ series, Howard’s major long work is Almuric, which is really of that curious hybrid genre, science fantasy. The earthly hero reaches another planet by a ‘space-transition machine’, but once there he finds it as chock full of magic and demons as any locale in Howard’s fantasies.

  • 2001 R. Klaw & M. Moorcock Geek Confidential (2003) 194

    I grew up reading science fantasy, Leigh Brackett and stuff like that, which, to me, is the perfect combination. You can have magic and science, throw it all in.

  • 2001 Locus June 69/3

    This sort of tale pioneered the science fantasy tradition that in recent years has been so effectively exploited by Gene Wolfe.

Research requirements

antedating 1948

Earliest cite

Marion Zimmer [Bradley], letter in 'Startling Stories'

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1980 cite from Gene Wolfe in The Writer. Fred Galvin submitted a 1982 cite from "A Reader's Guide to Fantasy". Fred Galvin submitted a 1948 cite from Marion "Astra" Zimmer in a letter in Startling Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1970 cite from Alexei Panshin in Fantastic Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1970 cite from Ted White in Fantastic Stories. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1980 cite from John Shirley in Thrust. Fred Galvin submitted a 1950 cite from a letter by Lin Carter in Thilling Wonder Stories. Fred Galvin submitted a 1957 cite from Sam Moskowitz's "How Science Fiction Got Its Name".

Last modified 2020-12-21 00:39:59
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.