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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old April 30 2012, 04:28 AM   #811
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Does anyone know if there's anyway to legally see the original Beautiful People, (that's the robot show right?)? It seems like when they do this kind of stuff no matter how hard they try they can never quite match the quality of the original.
Is there an original Beautiful People? I didn't think this series was based on anything (except the general trope of "are androids people?")
I might have mistaken it for one of the other new shows then. Wasn't it the one where people posting links to the trailer for the original Swedish (or Norwegian, I'm pretty sure it was Scandanavian) version? I know I saw a couple links to a video for foreign android show where a bunch of guys grabbed grabbed an android woman and then hooked her up to something.
Honestly, I've never understood why people get so worked up over the whole sci-fi/fantasy thing, they're basically two sides of the same coin. They are both looks at either alternate worlds or alternate versions of our world where things that can't exist exist, and things that can't happen happen.
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Old April 30 2012, 07:01 AM   #812
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I think you're thinking of Real Humans. Kudos in the UK is remaking the Swedish show.
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Old April 30 2012, 10:14 AM   #813
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
If the "problem" is lack of quality, my point is that the quality of the material, on the whole, has improved over time. If the "problem" is the blurring of the lines between fantasy and science fiction, my point is that there is no problem, because neither genre is intrinsically superior and there's plenty of room for overlap.
You seem to be still missing the point. Neither of those are the problem.

Well, yeah, that's my point. I wasn't trying to ask you to lump those shows into one category or the other -- it was a rhetorical question, meant to offer examples of shows that defy simple categories. (Flash Gordon may nominally be space opera, but it's loaded with elements of high fantasy and always has been.)
And I said that any story can fall into multiple categories-- that doesn't mean the categories don't exist or that words don't have meanings. Should Discworld novels be put in the Humor section? Should Tarzan be shelved under African Studies? Should Rendezvous With Rama be located in Astronomy with Cosmos? Certainly there are some books or movies that are hard to classify, but there's generally a primary theme-- a Western is a Western, whether it's comedy or drama, realistic or fanciful.

Okay, what you said was, "And, as insecurity has grown in genre fandom, the trend has been to go along with those low standards in desperate hope of acceptance." I suppose what you're referring to is the tendency to blur genre labels -- in which case "low standards" is an odd and misleading choice of words, and it took me a long while to figure out what you were talking about. I don't think "insecurity" has anything to do with it. And whose "acceptance" are you referring to? If the term "science fiction" is applied to fantasy, horror, slipstream, miscellaneous, whatever, doesn't that mean the SF community is the one that's already "accepted?" Are you implying that it's fantasy and horror fans who are desperately craving acceptance and think they'll be more popular if they call themselves science fiction? If so, then I don't know what parallel universe you're posting from, since fantasy and horror seem to be rather more popular these days than SF. So I'm just thoroughly confused right now.
Obviously, I'm talking about genre fans-- you know, those people who are so popular that they are usually referred to as nerds, geeks, losers, misfits, dorks and so on-- who are desperate for mainstream acceptance. Because you know that if you worry about things like speaking English correctly or if you actually know when the 21st century began or care too much about the quality of literature or cinema then you need to move out of your mommy's basement and get a life. I'm on the other side of the fence here; I think high standards should be encouraged and not be something to be ashamed of-- culture should not be defined by the lowest denominator.
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Old April 30 2012, 12:44 PM   #814
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Would that be the vulture culture who shakes it's prey into confusion?, because the standards on that have been raised. Does the German word Valkurie mean vulture? Lowest common demon eater.
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Old April 30 2012, 02:10 PM   #815
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Obviously, I'm talking about genre fans-- you know, those people who are so popular that they are usually referred to as nerds, geeks, losers, misfits, dorks and so on-- who are desperate for mainstream acceptance. Because you know that if you worry about things like speaking English correctly or if you actually know when the 21st century began or care too much about the quality of literature or cinema then you need to move out of your mommy's basement and get a life. I'm on the other side of the fence here; I think high standards should be encouraged and not be something to be ashamed of-- culture should not be defined by the lowest denominator.
See, that doesn't clarify what you're talking about at all. Since you mistakenly assume your point is obvious, you're making no effort at all to express it more coherently. As far as I can tell you're just rambling.
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Old April 30 2012, 06:58 PM   #816
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

FOX might have just had no good sci fi projects in the pipeline this year. The premises for the shows they didn't pick up to pilot didn't really sound very interesting as a TV series - a pandemic run amok, Punisher adaptation, Zombieland adaptation, The Spectre adaptation, and a cop teams up with outer space aliens living in LA (cue obvious joke).

The only one I would have liked to have seen was an adaptation of The Magicians by Lev Grossman.
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Old April 30 2012, 07:14 PM   #817
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

A broader definition to suit a broader appeal so instead of raising the bar and bringing people up to it , authors are talking down to them on their level of appreciation so that will garner them more money and acceptance and favor.
I love Greg and Christopher as people, and great thinkers but I haven't read a whit of their work thus far so this is not a personal attack except maybe on the complicity of the publishers with the authors which seems to be too all convenient and comfortable these days is all. It is what it is because we say it is just doesn't wash with me. Hopefully there's some profit to it but that hardly interests me as a science fiction/Trek fan. The quality of an idea is what interests me, not how well it's written or if an author can deliver it on time and schedual. The movies are full of well written garbage. Not that an author is dispensable or disposable either but qualifications does not a great author make neither are they better than their work. In that sense it's not like a marriage, but more like big love where publishers should not only be fickle but feral as well.
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Old April 30 2012, 09:13 PM   #818
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
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Despite the alleged practicality of mixing them all up, the fact is that I personally can no longer keep track of the kinds of "weird shit" I prefer to read, particularly new authors, because they are buried in tired old novels and short story collections rehashing folklore for the millionth time. Even military SF tends to be more original than that!
The fuck you attitude towards SF fans trying to find SF is just about as offensive as any perceived snobbery.

Of course, as everyone well knows, since these discussions keep arising, part of the issue is the idea that SF should try to have some decent speculative science, an issue of standards. The fuck you attitude that it's all just weird shit is offensive, particularly since there's no reason for it beyond resentment at the implication that genuine literacy should include scientific literacy. Well, no one ever read SF for a text book, so no one should feel so intimidated. .

But, you see, you're almost making my case for me. First, you dismiss entire subgenres as "tired" and "rehashing folklore for the millionth time,"...
No I didn't. In my first paragraph I pointed out that it made no sense to lump in horror novels with SF and fantasy. Even in the later paragraph you cite, I first remarked that I personally can no longer track SF titles, especially by new authors, because they're buried amongst the fantasy. Dismissing whole genres when you're shopping is perfectly permissible, not to mention sensible. No one would bat an eye if someone shopping in a used book store was peeved that they couldn't find X or Y because they were buried amongst the romance novels! Clearly, the real objection is the very idea that there is some sort of difference between fantasy and SF.

...then state outright that anyone who doesn't distinguish between different kinds of "weird shit" clearly resents having to know about science or something.
Don't whine, just give a good reason for thinking fantasy and SF should be lumped together. But don't repeat the bullshit about convenience. Really, I can think of one reason for wanting to keep fantasy and SF in separate bins, which is that fantasy doesn't have to make sense and it would be absurd to carp about lapses in logic. And I should think writers should like to have the fantasy label so that foolishness about the absence of rain shadow deserts on the map or preposterous societies where there's no economy or the rules of magic are entirely arbitrary can be dismissed.

(For the record, I majored in Chemistry and think science is vitally important--in real life. In imaginative literature, it's just one flavor of plot device.)
It's one flavor that doesn't mix with everything. You can mix your peanut butter and chocolate but the pretended naturalism of the fantastic element in SF blends with the supernatural or irrational like salt herring and whipped cream.

There is also another major error in this, which is that the speculative element in SF may be more than a plot device. Real science doesn't just contribute to technology (plot devices, so to speak,) but informs our view of our world. SF may use its speculative element to address the real world. A supernatural element removes that option. Why do you insist on congratulating yourself for decreeing that SF cannot do certain things, when we don't even know who gave the power to make these decrees?

And, you know, maybe we just find werewolves and androids equally entertaining, and equally worth writing and reading about. And would like to embrace the entire range of "weird shit" without worrying about keeping everything in neat little categories--or, worse, yet trying to elevate one over the other.
This is a red herring. It's not about the fake populist sneer about elitists setting high-faluting standards. It's certainly not about trying to elevate one over the other. People who like fantasy can find their own reasons to think that their preferred mode can achieve artistic significance. Or not, if they believe that no literature or drama has anything other than entertainment value. And it most certainly is not about "neat" little categories, it's about having any categories at all, even with blurry edges. SF has a huge blurry edge with every thriller set in the near future with some sort of futuristic tech or menace and it's never caused any consternation yet! The pretense otherwise is just a cheap, malicious rhetorical trick.

To me, it's not about "standards." It's about not getting so hung up on whether any given book or show is sf or fantasy or an alternate-history-steampunk-horror-space-opera about extraterrestrial cyborg elves . . . .
If you're writing SF, writing stupid speculative science is bad writing. It's a bad style for the mode. If you're writing fantasy, it's foolish to carp about things that would be bad style in a pseudorealistic mode. It's makes a huge difference how you approach things, not just as a critic, but as a reader. From the writer's perspective, choosing the mode is part of actually trying to communicate to the reader.
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Old April 30 2012, 11:00 PM   #819
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Obviously, I'm talking about genre fans-- you know, those people who are so popular that they are usually referred to as nerds, geeks, losers, misfits, dorks and so on-- who are desperate for mainstream acceptance. Because you know that if you worry about things like speaking English correctly or if you actually know when the 21st century began or care too much about the quality of literature or cinema then you need to move out of your mommy's basement and get a life. I'm on the other side of the fence here; I think high standards should be encouraged and not be something to be ashamed of-- culture should not be defined by the lowest denominator.
See, that doesn't clarify what you're talking about at all. Since you mistakenly assume your point is obvious, you're making no effort at all to express it more coherently. As far as I can tell you're just rambling.
I really don't know how I can make it more clear for you, especially since it's far from an obscure topic. It's the fanboy equivalent of being a grammar Nazi. If you care too much about standards then you need to get a life; 'cause, y'know, nothing matters and so what if it did.
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Old April 30 2012, 11:19 PM   #820
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I think you must be using the word "standards" in a way I'm not getting. If you mean it in the sense of levels of quality, I don't see what that has to do with labels or category subdivisions. Maybe you mean like standards for admission into a particular group or organization? If so, that's a peculiar usage. It implies a value judgment, and I don't think that's what we're talking about here.
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Old May 1 2012, 04:26 AM   #821
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

JD wrote: View Post
Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
Does anyone know if there's anyway to legally see the original Beautiful People, (that's the robot show right?)? It seems like when they do this kind of stuff no matter how hard they try they can never quite match the quality of the original.
Is there an original Beautiful People? I didn't think this series was based on anything (except the general trope of "are androids people?")
I might have mistaken it for one of the other new shows then. Wasn't it the one where people posting links to the trailer for the original Swedish (or Norwegian, I'm pretty sure it was Scandanavian) version? I know I saw a couple links to a video for foreign android show where a bunch of guys grabbed grabbed an android woman and then hooked her up to something.
Bob the Skutter wrote: View Post
I think you're thinking of Real Humans. Kudos in the UK is remaking the Swedish show.
I just looked up Real Humans, and you're right. Sorry about the confusion.
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Old May 1 2012, 09:58 AM   #822
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think you must be using the word "standards" in a way I'm not getting. If you mean it in the sense of levels of quality, I don't see what that has to do with labels or category subdivisions. Maybe you mean like standards for admission into a particular group or organization? If so, that's a peculiar usage. It implies a value judgment, and I don't think that's what we're talking about here.
I mean standards as in standards-- quality, integrity, maturity, everything. I mean standing up and not letting the lowest common denominator drag you down. The example that jumps into my head at the moment is a letter I read in Time or Newsweek around the turn of the century when there was "debate" about when the 21st century began. Some guy wrote in that he was fully aware that the 21st century began in the year 2001, but since "most people" thought it was the year 2000, he would go along with that. He said he'd rather pretend that the 1st century had 99 years in it than be out of step. That's letting the lowest common denominator drag you down. And so is going along with categorizations of literature derived from the ignorance of the common people.
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Old May 1 2012, 01:35 PM   #823
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

^Okay, then the reason you're not making sense is that you're dead wrong in your core assumptions. It's not "ignorance" to acknowledge that there are no sharp dividing lines between science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other facets of speculative fiction. As Greg pointed out above, there's a wealth of literature that includes aspects of two or more of those genres. That has nothing to do with the ignorance of the masses; it's about the free choice of creators to go wherever their imaginations take them rather than being shackled by simpleminded assumptions about categories. If anything, it's ignorant to assume the genres don't overlap.

(And for the record, "some guy" was right. It's arbitrary to insist a century has to begin in a year starting with 1. Yeah, there was no "year 0," but there wasn't a "year 1" either -- or a year 10 or a year 100 or a year 500. The calendar we use wasn't invented until the sixth century and it was based on an incorrect assumption about the birthdate of Jesus Christ. So it's all completely arbitrary to begin with, not representing any kind of cosmic truth. A calendar is simply a convenience adopted by human society, so if the mass of humanity agrees that a century begins on a certain year, then it's foolish prescriptivism to disagree, to sacrifice clarity in the name of pointless purism.)
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Old May 1 2012, 04:30 PM   #824
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Cosmic truths set standards which sets a value to an audience and not necessarily to the author. A genre is defined by cosmic truths. Lying about a lie is not neccessarily a truth, but purpetuating that for one's own benefit is hypocriticle, exploitative and wrong. Improving means living up to a higher standard not selling out and down to a lower one to make money. I'm pretty sanguine about sacrificing some clarity for pointless purism.

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Old May 1 2012, 08:33 PM   #825
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

The latest Netflix revivial rumor: Jericho!

I like this idea more than some of the previous candidates (Terra Nova, The River). Skeet Ulrich and Esai Morales are "at liberty." Lennie James may be, if Gotham isn't picked up. Can't remember who else they need to get back - Mayor Gray?

But I think they could recast a lot of the roles or just create new characters and continue where they left off, with an incipient civil war brewing. Kill off half the town in a huge attack to kick things off, and use that as an excuse for the missing characters.

Netflix has shown that it will open up the pocketbook for something it really wants. Arrested Development seemed on course to land at Showtime, until the streaming service swooped in and nabbed the cult fave comedy. In the case of Jericho, even CBS boss Leslie Moonves has hinted that it's a possibility. In February, Moonves revealed at an investor conference that CBS was in discussions with Netflix about potentially doing a show together — and yes, it's believed he was referring to Jericho.
And if CBS and Netflix can play nice with one sci fi series revival, there's another one I can think of that should go next.
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