YA Genre 101: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Happy Monday, all!  Hope your weekend was a good one.

Today we pick up with YA Genre 101.  The topic today:  Fantasy and Sci Fi. (not SyFy as the Sci Fi channel would like to spell it).

Fantasy is not all knights and gnomes and dragons, but you will find elements of magic and paranormal activity.  The story tends to take place in other worlds with magical creatures but it doesn’t have to.  Many times the story takes place in both the real world and a mysterious magical world accessed by portals of some sort.  Fantasy stories tend to steer clear of technological/scientific themes.  They usually contain elements of folklore, and mythology.

Fantasy relies heavily on world-building.  Characters and the environment have rules (as magic has rules).  Word count for fantasy YA tends to be a bit higher because of the extra need for world building.

Science Fiction is fantasy in a technological sense.  It often takes place in outer space/other planets, but it doesn’t have to – as long as the theme is scientific/technology related. Many times the plot will involve aliens, paranormal activity, space travel and parallel universes.  It is not uncommon to see the story take place in the future, though it can happen in the ‘now’ if the ‘now’ is an advanced technological race.  You’ll tend to find items like ray guns, humanoid androids and mutants.

It is not unusual to see this genre overlap with others – urban fantasy being a huge offspring of fantasy.

Samples of YA Fantasy:


Samples of YA Science Fiction:



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