The line between what can be called "fantasy" and what should not is a blurry one at best.
Some folks say that fantasy must possess a strong element of magic or the supernatural,
which generally leaves one with either sword and sorcery or urban fantasy a
Charles de Lint. Some "fantasy" designees actually hint at technological advancements
or alternatives which many consider the hallmark of "science fiction." On the other hand,
a lot of "sci-fi" follows mythological construction, and mythology is far more often associated
with fantasy. I've had some quite interesting conversations about where to draw the line
between the two, and while those chats have produced some intriguing insights into what
is good writing period, they haven't brought me any closer to making a definitive statement
about which is what when. So I give up. Call it all speculative fiction, and regardless of
whether the speculation involves scientific leaps or supernatural experiences, call good writing
in the broader genre good writing. I've tagged the must-reads listed here for those out there
who would be purists, and simply recommend all the sf&f (and even - gasp - literary fiction!)
you see listed here.
(Note: recommended authors are listed in no particular order.)
George R. R. Martin(fantasy, sword & sorcery, an extraordinarily well-presented world)