Fantasy vs. Science Fiction

I've been reading both fantasy and science fiction for years. Many, many years. I love them both, although I do tend to read much more science fiction than fantasy. And I've always considered myself strictly a science fiction writer… until now.
I have a fantasy story that has been running around in my head for years, and my muse tells me it is time to start writing it down. As I've begun to outline it, and spin the plot out before beginning to write scenes, I'm struck by the differences and similarities in my process.
I am, and probably always will be, a hard sf writer (that is, when I write scifi.) I think it's that I've been a scientist, and I like to have my stories have scientific credibility. An upcoming novel I have in draft form, tentatively titled The Right Asteroid is very definitely a hard SF novel. You could argue that the Casitian series is soft, because of it's focus on social commentary, but I tried pretty hard to make the science mostly believable. So in the process of outlining a new novel, I spend a fair bit of time figuring out the science. How fast can ships go? Is the star I'd like to pick for the location of a planet truly a good candidate to have a habitable planet? What would living on Mars be like 100 years from now?
In starting to write this new fantasy (ish – I don't want to spoil it, but it does have science fiction elements) I'm starting with what the families look like, and what does royalty look like, and what faith do people adhere to, and what is the social structure like? I'm delving into landscape and weather, and level of technology (like, uh, swords and stuff.) I'm looking at what kinds of gifts people have, etc.
Some similar elements are things like language and names – I've spent time on that a lot in writing scifi as well.
It's fun. It's different, and I'm enjoying the different muscles I'm stretching. And I think it's going to be a fun story.

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