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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

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

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Old October 9 2012, 10:40 PM   #1681
Nerys Myk
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Yeah, since when do we worry about maintaining strict standards of genre purity? Me, I like getting chocolate in my peanut butter . . .

Bring on the scifi-horror-Bollywood-westerns!
Will you be writing the novelization?
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Old October 9 2012, 10:46 PM   #1682
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: The First Adventure.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:09 PM   #1683
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Horror is the kind of genre that overlaps multiple other genres. The source of horror can be science fictional like an alien parasite, supernatural like vampires or zombies, natural like a school of piranha, or just a human psychopath like Norman Bates. So there's no real way to segregate it from other genres.
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Old October 10 2012, 12:37 AM   #1684
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

yeah, but when the sci-fi channel plays pure horror movies with sci-fi it's like my classical music station playing new age music or what have you. There's even a seperate station for modern music like there should be for horror and fantasy. I'm not suggesting classifying Star Wars as a fantasy or anything. The writers should write sci-fi for the sci-fi channel, no?
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Old October 10 2012, 06:29 AM   #1685
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

xortex wrote: View Post
yeah, but when the sci-fi channel plays pure horror movies with sci-fi it's like my classical music station playing new age music or what have you. There's even a seperate station for modern music like there should be for horror and fantasy. I'm not suggesting classifying Star Wars as a fantasy or anything. The writers should write sci-fi for the sci-fi channel, no?
How do you classify "pure horror"? Besides Syfy have always shown horror, fantasy, sci-fi and a variety of stuff. Besides sci-fi isn't some "pure" genre either. I mean look at something like Bones, it's all played straight but that even has sci-fi elements with the hologram systems and speculative ideas on how things can be applied to investigations. Same for CSI and the like.
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Old October 10 2012, 12:07 PM   #1686
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Purity of genre is a red herring. The issue has always been consistency of style, especially in what you might call the tonal register. You can certainly have an arch mix-and-match tone, cleverly allusive and gently ironic, ingeniously blending the disparate "genres" into a patchwork quilt. Most of these purported quilt are just rags, but yes, some do succeed.

But generally consistency in tone increases the effectiveness of the work. Exceptions for relief are generally brief pauses aimed at intensifying the ultimate effect. Further, choice of genre signals authorial intent. Keeping the intent secret from the reader/viewer may make it easier to pass off whatever escapes into print or screen as consciously artful. And it may even pride itself on its friendly winking at the reader/viewer who also can congratulate himself or herself on being in on the gag. But by and large, despite the exceptions, this kind of mutual conspiracy by author and his or her specially enlightened reader, is aimed against one of the great (and legitimate) aims of art, which is to communicate.

You can't just call it entertainment, because of the differences in what entertains. Also, none of this is going to be as entertaining as real life. I suspect even a cheap hooker would be vastly more entertaining than this kind of eclecticism.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:14 PM   #1687
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Horror and fantasy are pretty easy to define so keeping the integrity of science fiction intact shouldn't be too hard though nobody can define what science fiction is as everything is a science and fantastic and horrible as well.
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Old October 10 2012, 03:39 PM   #1688
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Zombie Cheerleader wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Yeah, since when do we worry about maintaining strict standards of genre purity? Me, I like getting chocolate in my peanut butter . . .

Bring on the scifi-horror-Bollywood-westerns!
Will you be writing the novelization?
Make me an offer . . . .

For the record, I recently edited a very good horror-dark-fantasy-Western for Tor Books. The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher is coming out in 2013 and is worth checking out, if I do say so myself.

And I'm currently working on jacket and catalog copy for an upcoming book that involves biomechanical steampunk faeries, Cleopatra, Tam Lin, and Richard Nixon . . . . .

I'm a big fan of what I think of as "kitchen sink" books that mix and match genres in creative ways. I often find that the most interesting work is done on the blurry borderlines rather than straight down the middle of one genre or another.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:35 PM   #1689
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

My classical station plays the better sort of movie scores - John Williams, LOTR etc - largely because the listeners approve of that kind of expansion of the definition of "classical music."

I used to listen to a classical music station that switched to jazz in the evenings. And I wouldn't mind if they started playing minimalism like Philip Glass, who certainly deserved to be counted as a serious, not pop, musician. (But I know the guy's stuff is not universally liked.)

For me, classical, jazz, minimalism and the best movie scores all fall under the same general category of "serious music." So I can easily see how someone might lump horror, sci fi and fantasy together without worrying too much about boundaries.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:41 PM   #1690
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Who ya gonna call?

Strange Calls centers on good-hearted, bumbling Boston cop Toby Banks, who is exiled to night duty on Nantucket island, where strange, unexplainable occurrences become the norm nine months out of the year.
So what, the tourists scare off the ghosts the other three months of the year?
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Old October 10 2012, 05:41 PM   #1691
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

And the same applies to authors, of course. How do you categorize authors like Tim Powers or Graham Joyce, or even Ellison, Leiber, Matheson, Sturgeon, etcetera?

But I suppose we're digressing a bit from "tv development news," so let's just note that sf, fantasy, and horror have blurred together on TV since the glory days of The Twilight Zone . . . .
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Old October 10 2012, 08:00 PM   #1692
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

TNT is fearlessly forging ahead with The Last Ship, despite the failure of Last Resort on ABC.

And I wouldnt be surprised if this concept works much better on TNT than ABC. It's the kind of nichey premise that used to work on broadcast but now has a harder time of it. TNT has glommed onto that formerly broadcast turf pretty successfully. Falling Skies is a good example of a show that would very likely be cancelled on broadcast by now.
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Old October 10 2012, 10:36 PM   #1693
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Friendly Ghost wrote: View Post
Who ya gonna call?

Strange Calls centers on good-hearted, bumbling Boston cop Toby Banks, who is exiled to night duty on Nantucket island, where strange, unexplainable occurrences become the norm nine months out of the year.
So what, the tourists scare off the ghosts the other three months of the year?
Having been to Nantucket in Summer, I would say that's very likely.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
And the same applies to authors, of course. How do you categorize authors like Tim Powers or Graham Joyce, or even Ellison, Leiber, Matheson, Sturgeon, etcetera?
Not to mention Rick Hutchins. Variety is the spice of life. Plus which, some people just can't make up their minds.
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Old October 10 2012, 10:59 PM   #1694
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

xortex wrote: View Post
Horror and fantasy are pretty easy to define so keeping the integrity of science fiction intact shouldn't be too hard though nobody can define what science fiction is as everything is a science and fantastic and horrible as well.
I don't think they are that easy to define, especially horror. The majority of horror stories (novels, books, TV shows/movies) tend contain elements of fantasy or sci-fi. We've gotten horror stories about genetically engineered monsters, witches, demons, and a lot of other stuff like that, that could can also be used in sci-fi and fantasy stories. So most horror stories could also be categorized as one of those two genres too. Typically you tend to see the three genres lumped together in a lot of places, so I don't see why it's a problem that they show "horror" and fantasy on Syfy.
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Old October 10 2012, 11:46 PM   #1695
stj
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
And the same applies to authors, of course. How do you categorize authors like Tim Powers or Graham Joyce, or even Ellison, Leiber, Matheson, Sturgeon, etcetera?

But I suppose we're digressing a bit from "tv development news," so let's just note that sf, fantasy, and horror have blurred together on TV since the glory days of The Twilight Zone . . . .
Ellison is a fabulist; Matheson was primarily a horror writer, with some quasispiritualist religious novels; Leiber was multimodal, writing fantasy, SF and horror. The interesting thing should be that Leiber's SF/fantasy blend Gather, Darkness! was mediocre, while Conjure Wife is great horror, The Wanderer Hugo-winning SF and the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series beloved fantasy.

Matheson's horror novel I must submit did not successfully blend SF/fantasy tropes or the movies would have actually used his version.

Sturgeon was another multimodal writer. But again, I don't see much success in mixing genres. Also, Sturgeon's More Than Human, Venus Plux X and The Cosmic Rape, as well as such famous short stories as The Widget, the Wadget and [Boff] simply cannot be reconceived with fantasy tropes. The insistence on blurring the lines means misreading these works.

Incidentally, such Sturgeon fantasies as the one where a man discovers the people who change the scenery so that time passes (forgot the name) are notably good because they eschew all the previous fantasy tropes. If there were predecessors to that they weren't well know enough to be considered tropes. There's no kitchen-sinkism there. Tim Powers is pretty straightforwardly a fantasist, unless for some bizarre reason you insist that fantasy excludes time travel.

Horror uses SF or fantasy tropes. It doesn't often use both in the same work with great success. Maybe Robert Matheson's I Am Legend is an exception, but the movies never troubled using much of his rationalizations, so I'm doubtful. But horror often doesn't use either form of the fantastic, sticking with grim reality, as in serial killers or child abusers. Does this mean SF and fantasy both blur into realism? Hardly. That's as peculiar as insisting that since so much SF is satire, that SF and satire blur together.
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