'Science fiction is one of the more secluded parade grounds where private fantasy and public event meet. They call it entertainment'. (Aldiss Billion 1) This quote is interpreted to mean that, in the genre of science fiction there is a fusion of fantasy and reality. It is this combination of two opposites that produces the novel categorized today as science fiction.
There is one aspect of science fiction that separates it from any other genre. Science fiction can be written as fantasy one day, and read as scientific fact the next. Jules Verne has written about man setting foot on the moon. When read by its original readers the idea of space travel was not a reality. It is now common knowledge that man has walked on the moon, and when this novel is read today no longer is space travel considered to be imaginary.
Skillful science fiction novelists brilliantly blend fantasy with reality, composing a very fine line between the two perceptions.
When reading, one sometimes does not even realize when the author makes the transition from a plausible concept to a ludicrous one.
Science fiction is a relatively new term. Novels were first categorized this way towards the close of the 1920's. This word was first utilized in short stories that appeared in the pulp magazines, of the era. The phrase 'science fiction' was considered an enhancement of the term scientifiction. However several British novels were categorized as scientific romances before the 1920's. (Aldiss Trillion 27)
Before Frankenstein the only forms of science fiction were 'the plays of Aristophanes or some Myrenaean fragment concerning the flight to the sun on a goose's back.' (Aldiss Billion 2) In these fantasies there is no blend of reality and fantasy, it is pure fantasy. There is no one story that is...