Almond's brilliant characterization and ability to evoke atmosphere, time and place mixes the real and unreal in a totally believable way.
He makes life on a space station believable, and uses technology brilliantly not only to train his young characters, but to move the plot forward when Ender discovers an unusual landscape in a complex training game.
If Spielberg could give us dinosaurs that seemed alive, and Lucas could create entire parts of Star Wars that never existed before (and Han shot first, dammit!), then the effects guys could surely make a believable lion.
Many will argue that buying Maui Jims at full price is worth it while others won't stop until they're sure they've found the absolute best deal on the real think or have located a pair of believable replicas.
While Galactica may look like a mechanical sea monster to some, her re-imaged design and inner workings make for a believable setting where the theory behind the show makes this a popular Sci-fi series.