In general, I don't think the distinction is between fantasy and science-fiction, but actually between aristocratic and democratic narratives (and this is one of the reason I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars: Starfleet officers might seem like naive do-gooders, but it's better than patronizing and self-important Jedi knights...)
Getting into David Brin territory there. Although I don't disagree with you. As often as TNG can be a punching-bag even here, I still love that show for its attempts to seriously and optimistically portray high minded ethical approaches to difficult problems... while Star Wars is so much chosen one Joseph Campbellian adventure stories.
Zombie Cheerleader wrote:
I avoided the Pern novels for years because of the word "dragon". Then the girl I was dating explained it was actually Science Fiction. The dragons were alien creatures and the human colonists had reverted to a medieval level of society because of a natural disaster on their world.
I've never read the Pern novels, but didn't they start out as a fantasy premise and then later reveal their science fiction underpinnings or whatever? There's a fair bit of fiction that blurs the distinction between the two genres, and 'science fiction explanation for why things are happening as if this is basically fantasy' is one of the most common examples.
I know that Ron D. Moore lamented that his Pern
TV series fell through because if it had worked out the show would have been on the air around the time the first Lord of the Rings movie hit theatres, for what that's worth.