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Old September 4 2008, 03:07 PM   #41
Steve Roby
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Location: Ottawa, ON Canada
Re: Ripping the supernatural out of science fiction.

cynical dreamer wrote: View Post
Name me a science fiction series that avoids any and all supernatural elements in all of it's many forms.

Yes that includes psychic councellors and doctors, psychic links to marine mammals, ghosts, demons, gods, devils, mind melding, vampires, etc, etc...
Part of the problem with what you're asking is that for some time some people thought there might really be a scientifically verifiable form of psychic power and did scientific research to try to back that up. The idea caught on with a number of SF writers.

When JMS was all over the online world promoting Babylon 5, he described it as the most scientifically accurate SF TV space opera ever, saying he was going to leave out a lot of the unscientific stuff from the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars. When I asked why the most scientifically accurate SF TV series was going to have characters with psychic powers, he said, basically, lots of good classic SF has characters with psychic powers and it's accepted as a standard SF idea. In other words, he didn't answer the question.

If you're talking about TV series rather than, say, a science fiction novel, you have two issues to deal with. First, not too many TV writers know anything about either science or science fiction; they just go for the "weird shit." See, for example, the writing career of Brannon Braga. Second, if you're doing a couple of dozen stories a year for several years, eventually you're either going to get lazy and fall back on this kind of stuff, or you're just going to want to put your own spin on the ideas everyone else has already done.

TV just isn't the place for pure, rigourous science fiction.
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