I recently edited a question which had the (I left the tag alone). I recalled having seen that tag before, so I went back and looked at the questions with the tag.

The tag excerpt and tag wiki were the same. They read (past tense):

Science-Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction that combines tropes and elements common to both Science-Fiction and Fantasy.

I then checked Wikipedia, and found this:

Science fantasy is a mixed genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy, and sometimes also incorporates elements of horror. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction points out that as a genre, science fantasy "has never been clearly defined," and was most commonly used in the period 1950-1966.

First off, the tag wiki is clearly uncited plagiarism and should be cited (which I have just done, and made some other changes). Second, looking at the rest of the Wikipedia page was not any more enlightening. The genre doesn't seem to be very unique, and appears to be more a subset of fantasy than of science fiction.

I'd like to discuss the merits of the tag. Part of me thinks it's useful, part of me thinks it's not useful, and part of me thinks it should be a synonym of .

What should be done?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think so too that we should use fantasy instead. If it's not science it's magic and therefore we should not use science. Or it's speculation science. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't it just be called science fiction? $\endgroup$
    – TylerH
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ So, what is happening? $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I've removed it from the one question that used it, which already also had fantasy-based. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Edit: I've gone through and removed the tag

can do nothing but confuse people who look at our and tags. It is also an attempt at a meta tag.

I've looked at a couple of questions that use it, and it seems that this tag effectively applies to every fantasy setting ever. Either remove it, or replace it with if it looks like the question is asked for scientific answers.

Looking at the questions that use it, none of them need it, so remove and it will self burn.

Note: Going off topic now. Upvote or downvote based on the above, not the following:

Unfortunately, I think this brings us to a bigger problem. seems to have evolved into something other than what I had intended it to be a sprawling mess that means nothing. It should mean (in my opinion) that you don't need to question the how. Evolution? Bah, A wizard did it (See Owlbear), FTL communications? Technology does it (aka, magic), but don't ask me to explain it. That kind of thing.

Take a look at the questions that use it, it adds nothing to almost all of them. Therefore I think it might be time to talk about burning it as an unnecessary meta tag.

  • $\begingroup$ You're right - I was pretty confused when I first saw the science-fantasy tag. I think that science-based is also having some problems (and I agree with your second paragraph). A discussion of them could take up a new meta post. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ I guess I'll start the metapost. I created the monster, I shall call for its death. $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 23:37

I'd say: Remove it entirely.

We have to ask for answers based on science.

We have to ask for answers based on fantasy.

Science-fantasy is a genre name! We don't have the much more popular science-fiction genre as a tag. So why would we have science-fantasy?

Genre names do not qualify how the question should be answered!

There is no benefit to telling your genre. Pick one of the aforementioned tags to define what kind of answers are helpful to you. If both apply use both.


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