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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.

View Poll Results: Is science fiction better today?
Yes, definitely. 16 22.22%
No, not a chance. 25 34.72%
Hmm, I'm not sure. 13 18.06%
Meh, it's about the same. 18 25.00%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 29 2009, 04:10 PM   #1
Warped9
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Is science fiction better today?

Is science fiction and sci-fi better today?

Is it smarter, dumber and/or just slicker in f/x?

This board is overrun with opinions on old vs. new whether it be TV or film.

I don't think it's any better or really any worse. It's just more polished.

So what do you think?
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Old May 29 2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Need to have the option, "far easier to steal and to keep the money out of the hands of those who create it for us."
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Old May 29 2009, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Better than when? 80s? 50s? Or the time of Jules Verne and H.G.Wells?

I definitely don't see much new stories, plots or whatever lately on TV or movies, most of what comes now are the retellings of the older stuff (reboots, remakes and such). As to books - I don't read much sci-fi lately, but Dan Simmons seems to try writing something truly epic, both with great result (Hyperion Cantos) and just plain weird result (Ilium/Olympos - I lost interst in it somewhere in the first 1/3 of Olympos because it got too weird and incomperehsible).

I too don't think that sci-fi today isn't really better or worse but movies today have to try to rely more on the stories and less on SFX. It is possible to make a great sci-fi movie without or with nesessary minimun of effects ...
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Old May 29 2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

I said yes, mostly because in 2009 we have a lot of good, polished looking Sci-Fi on the way like Moon, District 9 and The Road.
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Old May 29 2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

No. The primary source of scifi is the written word-and the sections devoted to it in commercial bookstores are an intellectual wasteland. Hack authors like Kevin j Anderson and R A Salvatore take up a huge percentage of the available space, derivative series based on video games and tv/movie franchises eat up more and what little is left is overwhelmed by knock-off stories about vampires and magic written by fools who wouldn't know the difference between delta vee and a ballistic trajectory. I mourn that Harry Turtledove is considered the foremost author in alternative history-yet his recent work quotes lines from earlier bodies due to a lack of imagination. Everytime one of the great older authors dies I weep-as much because no replacement looms on the horizon as for the passing of an established talent. Scifi on tv/film may finally be growing up-but the source material grows feeble from a lack of talent.
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Old May 29 2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Shurik wrote: View Post
It is possible to make a great sci-fi movie without or with nesessary minimun of effects ...
That's a good point. Many sci-fi concepts don't need the big budget. At the same time, certain types of ambitious stories can now be brought to the screen as the creators visualize without compromising due to limited effects. So I'd say the sci-fi in films, at least, is better.
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Old May 29 2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

TheArsenal wrote: View Post
Shurik wrote: View Post
It is possible to make a great sci-fi movie without or with nesessary minimun of effects ...
That's a good point. Many sci-fi concepts don't need the big budget. At the same time, certain types of ambitious stories can now be brought to the screen as the creators visualize without compromising due to limited effects. So I'd say the sci-fi in films, at least, is better.
Particularly when so much near future stuff is being done.

I think there's a tendency to forget a lot of the B-grade stuff we had in years past and remember the good stuff we liked. That siad I don't think the new materiel is any smarter today, it's just slicker looking. But even if it's slicker looking I find little of it as imaginative as what came before.

It also seems that presently and for the last while most of what we get is remakes.

Far future SF on TV and film seems pretty much dead presently until/if the next thing comes along to give it a kick in the pants.
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Old May 29 2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Probably the same as its always been. A few great, some mediocre and a whole lot of crap.
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Old May 29 2009, 10:46 PM   #9
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Probably the same as its always been. A few great, some mediocre and a whole lot of crap.
Agreed.

Much I believe depends on how one perceives it.

I thought the remake of King Kong was good because it didn't try to get by on f/x alone. Indeed it brought emotional elements to us that are totally absent in the original.

On the flip side the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still was garbage. Slicker? Sure. But it was devoid of charm and humour and intelligence. It was just plain bad.

I can appreciate visual spectacle as much as anyone (assuming it appeals to my aesthetic tastes) but there has to be something more than that for me to get into the film or tv show.
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Old May 29 2009, 11:08 PM   #10
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Better than when? Visual or Literature???

In terms of books, which I don't read as much these days, 1980s-2005 era SF is perhaps less innovative than 1960s era SF, but more polished, more in depth, more satisfying as pure literature. Even hard SF has some really good writers that are probably comparable with the former classic "masters".

In terms of SF at the movies, there was a brief flirtation in the 50s and then again in the 70s with some non-blockbuster, smaller movies that used real SF themes and ideas. Unfortunately, the execution was often lacking. Star Wars basically changed that. It did prove a blockbuster can be good if you put some thought into it. Today, since the mid 80s, and especially since 1993's Jurassic Park, SF movies are capable of creating worlds that seem real, populate them with some real people. Even bad SF movies today can have a wonderful backdrop because they can create whole self-consistent environments to exist in.

To sum up though, I looked up my top SF movie list and if I look at the top 5-6 of every decade, do the newer movies hold up?? You bet ya.

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Old May 29 2009, 11:12 PM   #11
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

My initial post was flawed and a few of you have picked up on it. I meant SF in film and television and I didn't think to include SF lit. But, of course, that can apply too.
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Old May 29 2009, 11:23 PM   #12
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

My gut reaction was, "I don't think so." Though, TV shows like Battlestar Galactica and Lost certainly indicate otherwise.

As another poster previous stated, there have always been great productions and shitty productions. That continues to be the case, I suppose.

I definitely think that literary science fiction was better in the good old days.
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Old May 30 2009, 04:03 AM   #13
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

About the same as ever, I'd say. One thing we've got is volume. Summer blockbusters are overrun by sci fi. Plus sci fi seems to be a durable staple of TV because of the increasing importance of the cult fan following for anything but the most mass-market shows.

Volume means that for every Star Trek, we get a Terminator: Salvation and Wolverine misfire. On TV, there are a couple shows worth watching and a whole lot of junk. The fall season looks like a tsunami of crap, with one or two possibilities in the muck. But that's better than getting nothing at all.
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Old May 30 2009, 04:25 AM   #14
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Yeah, the vast majority of everything is crap. We remember the old days as being better, because we remember the good stuff from the old days.

In 40 years, noone will remember the piles of shit of the 2000s. (I hope).
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Old May 30 2009, 05:01 AM   #15
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Re: Is science fiction better today?

Yes, I think it is and hopefully it will evolve into better and better things as time goes on.
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