One of the key elements of science fiction is its ability to enlighten as well as to entertain. An age old form of entertainment and enlightenment is the myth, or tales of legend. In very many science fiction stories we can see various elements of mythology, or at least mirrors of the same type of storytelling that cause mythologies to endure. In "Science Fiction: The Story of the Modern Quest," Janice Antczak explores both mythology and science fiction. She accurately displays many qualities of legend and exemplifies these same qualities in science fiction. It seems plain that we may take a given great science fiction story such as Frank Robinson's "Oceans Are Wide" and find these qualities. Antczak's analysis of science fiction paralleling the romance and adventure of the mythic quest is found in many details of Robinson's short story. It is possible then to place "Oceans Are Wide" into a realm of popular mythology, where tales of the future speak truths about our past.
The first criteria Antczak believes to be prevalent in both myth and science fiction is the presence of a personable, identifiable protagonist or hero. "Science fiction and its pantheon of superheroes have become a mythology of our age." (Antczak, 2) She further states that the hero possesses qualities inherent in most people, but to a more noticeable degree. Robinson's hero, Matty, is initially portrayed as a child, hiding from his father's death. Gradually we see that Matty is not afraid, he shows more strength and poise than most people when dealing with John Smith, the Astra's predict. Matty seems an unlikely hero when compared to some classic myths like Odysseus or King Arthur, as he is portrayed as frail and weak at the beginning of the tale. .
With every hero in mythology, there must be adventure and romance. Romance could be described as more than a relationship between two people, Antczak points out.