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

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Old September 25 2012, 10:06 AM   #31
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
I'm with iguana on this. I reckon if the name changed to science fantasy, it would do away with two of the major problems of the science fiction genre; 1) that it's too unattractively geeky to be cool and 2) that the 'science' is bunk. So then you would have fantasy and science fantasy, which a very small niche for the totally geeky true science fiction.
Back in the 1970's, writers in Starlog referred to Star Wars as science fantasy, since it was regarded as in between science fiction and fantasy, as it were.
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Old September 25 2012, 10:42 AM   #32
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

I agree with those who say Sci Fi is a sub-genre of Fantasy.

As for why do women prefer fantasy over sci fi? Damn, I really don't know, but I too have noticed that. Normally I am really quick to speculate on the inner workings of female behavior, but I got nothing.

As for the success of Twilight; this has nothing to do with the appeal of "fantasy" and everything to do with the seduction of sexual metaphors and hot guys with washboard abs.



The difference between sci-fi and fantasy is strictly aesthetic.

Fantasy: picture a knight, on a horse, with a 15th century English castle in the background. There are elves by his side firing arrows at an oncoming crowd of knights and elves.

Sci Fi: Picture a goofy dressed warrior with a laser gun, a star ship in the background, a bunch of aliens by his side, firing lasers onto a crowd of other aliens.

Cowboys vs Indians, cops vs robbers, humans vs aliens, humans vs orcs, allies vs axis, British navy vs pirates, Yankees vs confederates. It's all the same game, different aesthetics.

As for the notion that science fiction is "scientific" oh rubbish!
Let's compare star trek to harry potter.

1.Harry Potter uses a teleportation stone that works on "magic",
Scotty uses a teleportation device that works on "science".

2. Harry Potter uses his wand to shoot a "magic" bolt of energy at someone.
Kirk uses his phaser gun to shoot a "scientific" bolt of energy at someone.

3. Harry Potter uses a magic spell to make a roast appear out of thin air, in his bag.
Kirk uses a scientific food replicator to make a roast appear out of thin air, on his table.

4. Harry Potter uses this "magic" spell to get out of a tight jam "Confundus Expecto Patronum Stupefy."
B'Elanna Torres uses this "technobabble" to get out of a tough jam "Run the plasma through the tachyon dispersal matrix into the neutrino flux regulator."

5. In some episode of Harry Potter, Hermione used a magic spell to create a force field around them to keep them from being seen by their enemies.
On some episode of Voyager they used some sort of tachyon arm band to avoid being scanned for by their enemy.

There is nothing scientific about science fiction.

Fantasy is sci-fi in a medieval period, sci-fi is fantasy in the future. Both can be utopian or dystopian, and all of it is cops and robbers.
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Old September 25 2012, 11:14 AM   #33
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Well as some people have already pointed out, there is some science fiction which can be described as 'hard', since it keeps within the boundaries of known science. Moon is a good example.
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Old September 25 2012, 11:54 AM   #34
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

^^^No "hard" SF is plausible as true scientific speculation, which is no problem since it doesn't aim at the kind of accuracy opponents of SF pretend it does. At least, not since Jules Verne, but that was so early on he can be forgiven. Also, he was kidding himself.

Military SF is a genre where the pseudorealism is essential to willing suspension of disbelief. How does arbitrarily miislabeling the prose style help anyone shop, much less understand?

Further, how does arbitrarily labeling Kage Baker, Catherine Asaro, Justina Robson and Sandra Macdonald science fantasists make them less geeky and more cool, like Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurel K. Hamilton and Diana Gabaldon?

Science fantasy is a stupid term, evocative of nothing but confusion. Wells' "scientific romance" was better than that.
Calling either Wells or Verne "science fantasy" is plainly bizarre, much less someone like Olaf Stapledon. Calling Kim Stanley Robinson's Capital trilogy or Joan Slonczewski or Greg Egan fantasists is positively crazy.

There's a threadbare pretense of reasonableness, brought in by idiosyncratic notions of plausibility as the only acceptable meaning of realism. The question is why people are so aggressive about this issue? Ordinary readers have no great difficulty in distinguishing SF and fantasy. The true attempt at a bastardized blend of SF and fantasy is steampunk, which is fueled by an unseemly love of imperialism.

But for whatever reason, something is pushing buttons too hard for people to understand what they read. Or write, since claiming the difference is strictly esthetic is completely inconsistent with the claim that SF is a sub-genre of fantasy.
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Old September 25 2012, 12:05 PM   #35
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Well allow me to retort.

Science fantasy sums it up perfectly. And for the reasons I outlined, it might make it slightly less unappealing to the masses.
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Old September 25 2012, 07:07 PM   #36
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

stj wrote: View Post
Yes, yes, I've seen you Literary Tsars issue the ukase that SF is Fantasy before.
So now I'm a Literature Tsar? Cool. Do I get a Winter Palace made of books?

stj wrote: View Post
But you're still wrong. On a very simple esthetic level, you're basically claiming that a hiking trip down the Appalachian trail and a cruise to Bali are the same because they're both vacations!
No. Well, actually, yes: I'm claiming exactly that, that both are vacations, two particular examples of a larger category. To build on Deckerd's words, "science fantasy" and "magic fantasy" are both part of "fantasy".

As for the rest of your posts, you seem to enjoy talking to yourself more than talking with people, so I'll leave you to your favourite past-time.

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Warp drives are no more realistic than orcs.
*cough*Alcubierre drive*cough*
The Alcubierre metric, while a theoretically interesting speculation, is still pretty implausible, from the humongous energy requirements, to the issue of information transport, to the problem of impacting a speck of dust at superluminal speed. Compared to that, creating an orc with genetic engineering would be rather mundane.
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Old September 25 2012, 07:26 PM   #37
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

The OP clearly is taking the position that fantasy and sci fi are different genres. Otherwise, there isn't much to this topic, is there?

But clearly there is some real world distinction in the popularity and appeal of the elves & wizards stuff vs the spaceships & aliens stuff, regardless of what label you want to slap on each. That distinction shows up in book stores and on TV, and somewhat less distinctively in movies. Hopefully this thread won't descend into a boring semantic quibble.

And I doubt that rebranding sci fi as "science fantasy" is going to do much to enhance its appeal. I'm sure book publishers would have done it by now if it were that easy.

The difference between sci-fi and fantasy is strictly aesthetic.
In terms of why one is more popular than another, yeah. People have been taught to believe aliens and robots are dorky and angsty teen vampires are cool, so they respond differently to the "stuff" in each genre. You can have the same story, but perceived differently, because of the "stuff."
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Old September 25 2012, 07:51 PM   #38
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

RB_Kandy wrote: View Post
As for why do women prefer fantasy over sci fi? Damn, I really don't know, but I too have noticed that. Normally I am really quick to speculate on the inner workings of female behavior, but I got nothing.
This is probably pretty easy to explain actually...

Women, from an early age, are socialized away from the very things that might have translated into an interest in science fiction. Think about it, even as kids, boys are necouraged to like things such as rockets, robots, computers and machines of every sort...i.e. the things that are at the heart of science fiction. Girls on the other hand are forced fed images of faries, princesses, handsome princes, evil witches, magic etc.

Just look in the toy isles in stores. The boys are being largely being shown the technical world of today and the adventure of the world of tomorrow. Girls are being shown pretty things and images of a fanstatic mystical past.

Some women rebel against that sort of socialization (and it becoming a bigger issue these days since its been discovered that it impacts the willingness of women to go into things like the sciences) and do their own things and comout as the rabid scifi fangirls that we all know and love

Others go with the flow and end up more as followers of more adult versions of the fantasies that they grew up with.
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Old September 25 2012, 07:57 PM   #39
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

RB_Kandy wrote: View Post
As for why do women prefer fantasy over sci fi? Damn, I really don't know, but I too have noticed that. Normally I am really quick to speculate on the inner workings of female behavior, but I got nothing.
I think there's a difference in the way some women relate to things - they seem to be more attracted to a character or characters within a film or novel than the rest of us. You only need to look at the 'shippers', slash enthusiasts, militant Janeway fans, Xena followers, cosplayers etc.

I'm probably going to get 'Guys do that as well' thrown back at me, but none that I know do. And yes, I know it's wrong to generalise...that's why I was careful to use 'some'.

I'd also say that fantasy appeals more to women as it is more 'romantic', and I don't mean that in a boy meets girl kind of way. More in the idealised, heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious way...
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Old September 25 2012, 07:58 PM   #40
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

I'm definitely on the SF and fantasy are basically the same thing side of this. Both are a method for the author to create fictional worlds in order to tell stories that could never be told in the real world. Sure one is based on magic, and one "science", but really they serve the same purpose either way, to separate the fictional world from the real one.
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Old September 25 2012, 10:00 PM   #41
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Interestingly, the biggest fantasy film franchises since 2000 - Harry Potter, Twilight, Narnia and Lord of the Rings - have all ended, are going to end this year, or will end soon (3 Hobbit movies? )

Clearly the spaceship/alien subgenres of sci-fi are less prevalent these days, Avatar and Prometheus notwithstanding - although these are still ongoing series. But I would argue that superhero movies are much closer to sci-fi than fantasy, and they've been going strong for a long time now, and appear likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I'm not that familiar with fantasy, so can people make a list of the current fantasy franchises on film and TV that are big now?
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Old September 26 2012, 12:17 AM   #42
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
No. Well, actually, yes: I'm claiming exactly that, that both are vacations, two particular examples of a larger category. To build on Deckerd's words, "science fantasy" and "magic fantasy" are both part of "fantasy".

As for the rest of your posts, you seem to enjoy talking to yourself more than talking with people, so I'll leave you to your favourite past-time.
Your use of the word "fantasy" above is as phony as your indignation. The way you've misused/obfuscated "plausibility" and "realism," all literature is a branch of fantasy! The vast majority of adventure stories, the vast majority of mysteries, all operas and musicals are just as implausible in the same way as you claim SF is.
By your moronic standard, there's not just science fantasy and magic fantasy, there are also kid finds pirate map fantasy; there's murder in a locked room fantasy; there's people burst into impromptu song with an invisible orchestra fantasy. Enough already!

The implausibilities of an Alcubierre drive simply are not the same kind as orcs who are supposed to live by the horde where there's no food! Have you honestly confused implausibility with outright impossibility?

On a personal note, don't you know that petty spite is as good a sign of surrender as a white flag?

JD wrote: View Post
I'm definitely on the SF and fantasy are basically the same thing side of this. Both are a method for the author to create fictional worlds in order to tell stories that could never be told in the real world. Sure one is based on magic, and one "science", but really they serve the same purpose either way, to separate the fictional world from the real one.
The literary geniuses have ignored the mention of this before, but no, as a matter of fact, they don't serve the same purposes at all. In fantasy, the deliberate invocation of impossibility is there precisely as a rejection of the real. And in SF, the invocation of possiblity is there to invite us to think that this is a real possibility. Where you are just flat out wrong is the assertion that the invitation is merely another trick to help willing suspension of disbelief. Sometimes it is, but it frequently is not. H.G. Wells did not slay his Martians with a microbe because he thought it was easier for the readers to accept their defeat! If your notion SF=fantasy steers you so badly wrong about such a classic SF novel, then you should abandon a bad idea.


Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
STJ, it's not so much a "rejection" of Enlightenment, as a recognition of it's limitations and failures. Sometimes the only thing that makes sense out of the world is to realize that it in fact does not make sense, at least within the materialistic, secularized frame of reference the Enlightenment proposes.....For all the technical advancement the Enlightenment has given us, it has in powerful ways taken as much or more from our spirits, reducing us to mere cogs in a vast universal machine. A love of Fantasy is a rejection of that diminishment.
I've hesitated to comment because it has to start with contradicting you: You can't be partly rational and partly irrational, therefore you are rejecting the Enlightenment. Nor are you really standing for our spirits or whatever. The world has wonders and horrors enough for any spirit. The light in the Enlightenment comes from its awe at the sublime, a fire in the mind that comes from understanding. This is the primary motive in the end for science (and an esthetic in SF that is not the same order or kind as that in fantasy, for that matter.)

On a purely practical level, I don't really think you can make a case that people have been cursed by an excess of reason. They love their technological toys but science, science the ignorantia curse as "technobabble." The Enlightenment above all is about people, not machinery, not even the body as machine or the universe as machine. The Enlightenment is about human equality. The Enlightenment is about sexual freedom. The Enlightenment is about social justice. The Enlightenment is the hope and belief that we can be better. The notion that we are diminished by these things seems to me to be utter nonsense.

I hope maybe you have been taken in by those who claim that science has conveniently proven true every old idea exploded by the Enlightenment. Free market economists and evolutionary psychologists are infamous for this. Though not infamous enough. If you are really interested in the Enlightenment, I strongly recommend the trilogy by Jonathan Israel. They are long, but his Revolution in the Mind might serve as a sampler.
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Old September 26 2012, 01:07 AM   #43
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Science fantasy is basically Star Wars, and Star Wars has always been one of the few franchises of SF that transcended a geeky, nerdy ghetto.

But then if aping Star Wars was enough to win sci-fi would be fine by now.
Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
The OP clearly is taking the position that fantasy and sci fi are different genres. Otherwise, there isn't much to this topic, is there?
Yep.

Thing is, we all know exactly what we mean here, however one wishes to redefine the words.

To be altogether trite: Technology is playing an increasingly large role in our lives, a lot of it seemigly ripped from science fiction tales of yesteryear - I type now in cyberspace, once a fiction in William Gibson's head, and people use devices that resemble the PADDs of Star Trek, and so on.

In other words, these elements are no longer fantasies we can escape into. They're the world we live.

Alternately, a lot of fantasy deals with wish fufilment based on stuff that will always be impossible (magic) and a sizeable amount also leans towards worlds which operate either on magical principles or pre-industrial principles, or places otherwise alien to our humdrum existence. Fantasy's escapism then isn't something the next technological development can catch up with.

I'm sure there's more to it than that, but if I had to guess I'd assume that's part of the reason. Hell, look at the biggest science fiction hits of the last decade, Avatar - it embraces a pre-industrial society of hunter-gatherers overseen by a benevolent godlike creature as opposed to the high-tech wizardry of future science.
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Old September 26 2012, 08:33 AM   #44
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

stj wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
No. Well, actually, yes: I'm claiming exactly that, that both are vacations, two particular examples of a larger category. To build on Deckerd's words, "science fantasy" and "magic fantasy" are both part of "fantasy".
...
By your moronic standard, ...
How do you get away with saying things like that? I mean how can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say things like that?

You are, like everyone else here, perfectly entitled to a robust rebuttal of someone else's point but you go way beyond what's acceptable.
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Old September 26 2012, 09:09 AM   #45
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Re: Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

I guess his posts are such a pain in the ass to read that not even the mods do that.

Can't say I blame them.
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