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Old September 24 2012, 11:30 PM   #26
iguana_tonante
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

stj wrote: View Post
You're surreptitiously redefining "fantasy" as "not-realistic" instead of looking at what there actually is.
The difference between "fantasy" and "non-realistic literature" is fuzzy at best, and mostly propped by some SF fans who incomprehensibly feel demeaned to admit they enjoy fantasy literature.

stj wrote: View Post
SF is supposed to be realistic.
"Supposed" by who? If that was true, then SF fails miserably, because it is not realistic in the slightest. Warp drives are no more realistic than orcs.

stj wrote: View Post
Realism as a mode of literature rather presupposed that the world made sense (another Enlightenment idea) while fantasy doesn't, whereas SF does. Fantasy can be serious (not necessarily solemn, indeed the manifest nonsense is rather discordant with solemnity) but it is not pseudorealistic.
I disagree. Some SF fans like to pretend it's realistic, but it's not. I suppose it enhances their enjoyment of the story, but that's just that: one more layer of fiction, a framing story to make the story feel close to the reader. Functionally, there is no difference from an author pretending to tell "the history of the future" and him pretending to tell "a story he found in an ancient, mysterious tome", or "an adventure related to him by the protagonists". It's just window dressing to make the story more "believable": of course, readers know that already, but they might enjoy the game because, pretend or not, the emotional punch of the story is enhanced, and that is all they ask from the writers.

As for fantasy not being solemn, I think JRR Tolkien might want to have words with you. Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings are both internally consistent universes, with their own established rules and mileage. The only difference is that Star Trek call the foundation of the wonderful stuff the characters can do "science", but I can assure you, it is not. As they say, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and anything indistinguishable from magic, by all means and purposes, is magic.
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