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Old February 27 2012, 02:32 AM   #495
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Re: Star Trek: DTI: Watching The Clock Review Thread

JamesRKirk wrote: View Post
Sure it could be told in other ways. Wave a magic wand and let Harry Potter deal with the moral ramifications. A handwave doesn't make the science plausable, it only makes it sound plausable.
You've completely missed the point. I'm not talking about the level of explanation, as I clearly said already. I'm talking about telling a story that could not be told without the scientific concept in it. "Tuvix"'s powerful ethical and personal dilemma couldn't be told without the science-fiction conceit of a technology that can combine two people into one. Without the science, the story wouldn't even exist. That's the power of SF as a genre, its ability to explore the human ramifications of situations that have never occurred in reality, and thereby reveal things about human nature or philosophy that could not be explored in any other kind of story. That's why good SF is more than just routine romances or mysteries or chase stories or whatever that happen to take place in a high-tech setting.

Having an idea that something could work under general ralativity doesn't mean it's plausable until we try to actually do it. There may be more to it than we know.
Science fiction is not about trying to predict the actual future. It's about telling stories about interesting hypothetical ideas. It's about making the audience think and explore new possibilities. What's plausible as a story is different from what's plausible as a real prediction of the future. In the former, plausibility is about the feel of the story, about making it feel genuine enough that the audience can easily suspend disbelief.

And really, how plausable are protomatter, the Genesis device and red matter? Or phasers that don't travel at the speed of light or water that makes you move so fast you can't be seen? (and how did they manage to comminicate with each other? They were moving much faster than sound. And how did they get from deck to deck?)
I never said it was perfect. Again, enjoyment of fiction is about the willing suspension of disbelief. If you insist that every last detail be a perfect match to reality, you can't enjoy any fiction. Reading or watching fiction is about choosing to pretend it's real for the duration of the experience, playing along with the conceit. And plausibility is about facilitating your willing suspension of disbelief: the more there is in a story that feels believable or true, the more willing you'll be to pretend the more fanciful stuff is also true.

And of course there are times when Star Trek falls farther short than others when it comes to plausibility, because it's a collection of hundreds of different stories by hundreds of different creators. But that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater. To me, it means doing what I can to increase the level of plausibility so that the implausible stuff is easier to swallow.

A Private Little War could have been told in any number of genres, does that mean it's not a good Star Trek story?
Again, ST stories can be many things. I was talking about the difference between a true science fiction story and a story that merely has the semantics of science fiction tacked onto a more ordinary syntax. ST includes both among its many, many different stories.
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