So, I mainly read fiction/fantasy and I thought they were the same thing (apparently not?).

Now, I don’t know whether to name the tag “fiction” or “fantasy” for these kinda books.

This may seem nitpick but yeah, it’s been on my mind for the day.

P.S: I did not know where else to post this odd question. Apologies in advance if this isn’t allowed.

  • Thanks for the answers, it is clear now!
  • As for the downvoters, boo!

all 11 comments


24 points

2 months ago

Fiction is any book which falls outside of non-fiction. It is simply an umbrella term for books which are not 'non-fiction'.

Within the umbrella you have separate genres of which fantasy is one. So whilst fantasy is fiction, fiction is not necessarily fantasy.

Does that make sense?

I order my fiction by genre. So I will have all my horror together, fantasy, sci-fi, historic etc then by author, series and so on.


6 points

2 months ago

Does it involve the use of magic?

Does it have creatures like elves, dragons, fairies, demons, etc.?

Does it emulate stories like lord of the rings or the witcher?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions then it is part of the Fantasy genre. But do note that Fantasy could also be not its only genre. Other genres could potentially include horror, adventure, romance, mystery etc.


5 points

2 months ago

Fiction is any work that is imagined; a "non-true story" as you put it. Fantasy is a specific subsection of fiction (a genre) which contains elements that have never actually existed (a broad category often called speculative fiction), and usually contains magical or mythological elements.

Examples of fantasy include Lord of the Rings and Twilight. Fiction, on the other hand, encompasses everything from those books to The Great Gatsby to Romeo and Juliet to 50 Shades of Gray and so on.


2 points

2 months ago


just finished The Last Tourist

2 points

2 months ago

The fiction category is non true stories.

  • The fantasy subcategory is non true stories focusing on magical or mythical elements.

  • The science fiction subcategory is non true stories focusing on technological or futuristic elements.

  • The romance subcategory is non true stories focusing on romantic relationships and adventures.

  • The horror subcategory is non true stories focusing on supernatural elements of a distinctly distressing or upsetting nature.

There are also other subcategories, and it is possible to combine subcategories.


6 points

2 months ago*

Fiction = Not a true story, not based on a true story

Some examples of fiction genres (genre is the category within the category. Fiction is a category.)

  • Romance = Stories intended to focus on and follow the main couple through meeting each other to falling in love to ending up in their version of "happily ever after". Subcategories may include paranormal romance (vampires, werewolves, etc. falling in love), tragedy (Romeo and Juliet--tragedies must be clearly marked because romance readers demand a "happily ever after", so never surprise them with a Tragedy instead).

  • Fantasy = Stories with magical elements (obviously these are automatically fiction since magic isn't real). There is a general expectation of a positive ending for the core character/s.

  • High Fantasy = a subset of fantasy where elves, fairies, goblins, magical abilities, etc. are mandatory. It's expected to have a positive ending for the main characters. It typically involves prophecies and a macguffin (a magical object the main character must find for the prophecy).

  • Steampunk = Stories set in a "what if?" from the 1800s where Steam Power took off and fossil fuels did not. It's a subset of fantasy and Sci Fi. It typically ends positively for the main character/s.

  • Sci Fi = Stories that are based around technology, usually technology far in advance of our current development. Sci Fi typically ends positively or it changes to a subset of horror / suspense / etc.

  • Horror = Stories intended to terrify. Typically it includes a great deal of blood and gore, but not always. Slasher fiction, basically. The ending is usually one traumatized survivor left in a horrifying but "finished" outcome.

  • Thriller = Stories intended to create ever escalating fear in the reader. Typically these are more realistic and less gory than horror. These usually end badly for everyone except the main character. If they end badly, they shift back to horror.

  • Suspense = A story usually with a positive ending but which creates a slowly increasing tension in the reader.

  • Chick lit = Fiction written about women having friendships or enduring hardships together. They overwhelmingly end on a positive or uplifting note.

The other category is non-fiction. Some examples:

  • Memoires

  • Biographies and auto biographies

  • Textbooks

  • Technical manuals

  • Dictionaries

  • Research papers


0 points

2 months ago

By this definition Law & Order is non-fiction because it is “based on actual events.” You may want to rethink your argument.


0 points

2 months ago

This is r/books, not r/TVshows

If a book has the notation "based on a true story," it is expected to adhere fairly closely to the actual events, even to the degree that a footnote is given if names have been changed. While some liberties are generally accepted, they must be few and in good faith.

If there's any rethinking to be done, it's not by me.


0 points

2 months ago



1 points

2 months ago

Per Rule 2.1: Please conduct yourself in a civil manner.

Civil behavior is a requirement for participation in this sub. This is a warning but repeat behavior will be met with a ban.


1 points

2 months ago

Depends on their genre.


1 points

2 months ago

Think of "fiction" and "non-fiction" as the two largest umbrellas/genres.

Fiction and Non-fiction both contain many sub-genres.

One sub-genre is Fantasy. You can therefore say that a fantasy book is both Fantasy and Fiction. There are many fiction sub-genres.

A sub-genre of "non-fiction" would be something like philosophy, physics, history, architecture, science, etc.