“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke.

Science Fiction, to me, has always been closely associated with Fantasy, in its endeavor to take us beyond our current reality. On a surface level analysis, I view the main difference between the two to be that the former posits a *more* realistic situation than the latter in many cases. Some kind of scientific explanation is posited to illustrate the unknown. 

The best example that comes to mind is in the Arrowverse. The various meta-human powers of people like “The Flash” or “Black Siren” are clearly explained with scientific reasoning, which is  differentiated with people such as Damien Darhk, whose magical powers are classified as “mystical” (no real rhyme or reason behind them) as opposed to “scientific.” 

That aside, I know there are some realistic fantasies which have built in magic systems or something of the sort to set a concrete group of rules, but more often than not…

“A wizard did it.”

I think Sci-Fi attempts to expand upon the universe as we know it, exploring the possibilities of what we, as humanity, can become and/or achieve through technology and intelligence. It attempts to create practical circumstances that can exist in the future by using the foundations of our real-life scientific knowledge. 

It attempts to make theory a reality.

I also think one of the most important questions Sci-Fi as a genre often tries to answer is whether or not there is life outside of Earth, and if so, what does it look like? Our technological advancements, or those of said alien races, are usually a given at this point, so what’s left is first contact. There have been countless depictions of life existing in the vast reaches of space, either discovered by us venturing out into their home, or them invading ours. But, one of my favorite concepts born of extraterrestrial life is probably the idea that the ancient gods (Greek, Egyptian, Mayan, etc.) were actually aliens visiting Earth in an effort to examine and/or stimulate a given civilization.

With all that being said, I believe Sci-Fi is a way to delve into the many futures (and the past, ‘cause time machines) of humanity and theorize what’s next.