“It is also a story of superstition and fear and how it is overcome—by children.” —Rocky Mountain News interview with L. Ron Hubbard
Science fiction is often unfairly compared with fantasy books for educational uses. This is a weak analogy because the two genres are so very different. The two are only related in that they both fall under a larger genre known as speculative fiction and are found in the same section in bookstores.
Epic in its current use seems to mean a sort of meld of awesome (i.e., neat-o) and outstanding. Epic: “telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures very great” or “large and usually difficult or impressive” This is the meaning that was in my mind after reading Battlefield Earth.