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Old April 25 2012, 08:17 PM   #773
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
It's not so much that Syfy should stop showing wrestling as they should make some room on their schedule for showing some sci fi worth bothering with, and at least one show set in actual outer space. If you can't get that from the alleged "sci fi channel," that's pretty sad.
You know, I hear this a lot from TV audiences, this idea that if a science fiction-themed network isn't heavy on space opera, they're somehow out of touch with "real" science fiction. (In fact, I heard it on another board just this morning and I'm reposting this from there.) Now, personally I prefer space opera, but the fact is that for a while there, particularly in the '80s and '90s, the prose science fiction community (or at least its editors, critics, and tastemakers) held space opera in disdain as an outmoded and implausible genre, and the emphasis of SF literature shifted away from spaceflight and aliens toward near-future Earthbound themes like cyberpunk/virtual reality, genetic engineering/transhumanism, the technological Singularity, dystopianism, environmental disaster, and admixtures of all of the above. It wasn't until more recently, with the rise of authors like Greg Egan and Iain M. Banks and Dan Simmons who revitalized space opera as an innovative genre, that it became respectable to write stories or novels about interstellar travel and alien interactions once again, but the space opera is still largely outnumbered by more Earthbound tales.

So if mass-media SF these days has trended away from a focus on space opera toward a focus on Earthbound content, that's not losing touch with science fiction, it's just doing what mass-media SF has always done, which is reflecting the trends that began in prose SF a decade or two earlier. And since prose SF has been trending back toward space in the past decade or so, we can expect the mass media to begin catching up eventually.
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