View Single Post
Old October 2 2012, 10:22 PM   #116
Ian Keldon
Fleet Captain
Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Planet wide "super-consciousness," falls close enough for me into the range of fantasy and way outside of at least Trek sci-fi where repeatedly they debunk such notions as nonsense.
Do they? I don't recall Trek ever addressing the topic of an such a planetary superconsciousness.

Check out Star Trek V the film and why, 'god doesn't need a Starship.'
Has nothing to do with an integrated neural network trillions upon trillions of times larger than the human brain and what consciousness it may or may not possess.

Asking the question in a different way: If I understand you correctly you see no qualitative difference in genre between say the Twilight Series or the Potter books and films and Trek in terms of format, style, narrative etc when it comes to their respective approaches to the notion of 'fantasy,' versus science fiction?
NO. That is not what I am saying. I'm saying that all stories have certain plot-mechanical processes in common. Those processes can be met in different ways, but have the same effect.

Example: My story needs to get the protagonists from Planet A to Planet B.

Fantasy: The protagonists pray to a god, or a wizard casts a spell to move them from A to B. This invokes an arbitrary, supernatural component with no scientific basis or credibility.

Science-Fiction: The protagonists board some sort of spaceship which travels from A to B. The trip may either be instantaneous (a space fold of some sort), or one or more FTL drives of varying plausibility may be used.

Alternately they use a device that creates a stable wormhole through which they can travel from A to B without the use of a ship (a la Stargate).

In both stories, the effect is the same, and the same plot need serviced:get the protagonists from A to B.

However, the fantasy story throws out or ignores a mechanism consistent with known or extrapolated scientific principles in favor of one invoking arbitrary supernatural power.

The science-fiction story on the other hand EMBRACES the known or extrapolated scientific principles.

That is the critical difference between the two, even though, as I said, they have the same plot effect.

Another great example for me is the film Serenity but the difference between say Avatar and Serenity in terms of the 'supernatural parts,' is they explained the Zombies - albeit eventually - by using science rather than supernatural elements.
And Avatar explains Ewa ALSO using science (neurally interconnected ecosystem) rather than supernatural, just like Bajor's prophets, while worshiped by Bajorans, were shown to simply be non-linear life forms.

ETA: Just remembered that Trek DID address the idea of planetary consciousness in one of the books ("Mutiny on the Enterprise" if memory serves), and far less creditably than Avatar did.

Last edited by Ian Keldon; October 2 2012 at 10:37 PM.
Ian Keldon is offline   Reply With Quote