"Nobody ever became a wizard because they read fantasy. But plenty of people have become physicists and biologists because they read science fiction."
Now, the reason this tickles me is the plug for SF, not the (very funny) dig at F (which I also love). But, as I already have very clear ideas on the purpose of SF, and I happen to love F too, I've been contemplating recently what it is that fantasy does - beyond the entertainment/intellectual value that all literature bequeaths - that is unique to its form. Opinions welcome!