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

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Old November 3 2012, 09:50 PM   #76
RAMA
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

Speculation: Physical paper-->biological observer brain--to--Electronic viewing medium--->biological observer brain---to---interactive electronic viewing medium--->more engaged biological user brain--to--immersive, virtual experience medium---biological brain--too--totally AI immersive experience--->biological brain, electronically enhanced, information interactive--to--totally immersive, completely interactive or self generated information/story--either virtual or with real life consructs, ie "holodeck" like with potentially nano-constructed foglet tech.

So the experience goes from processing words, to acting out the words, to becoming the words, the technology brings the experience closer. So ultimately, if you can have your uploaded AI brain in a computer "cloud" and your still human-derived brain craves entertainment, think up an adventure, your foglet/electronic system makes it so. Science fiction becomes the medium. Question is, will such an advanced human AI create science fiction stories? Will it always speculate on things far beyond their time? Will it explore endless permutations of modern technological possibilities?
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Old November 3 2012, 10:47 PM   #77
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

Eclecticism and obsession with superficialities of style historically have been hallmarks of decadent art.

This isn't really true, you know.

There actually are no periods of art where the dominant style isn't an eclectic melange of previous styles.

Generally the only reason historians of art and literature ever assigned some periods the role of being "truly creative" and other eras "decadent" was because of the gaps in the historical record available to Europeans. Any time they didn't know the antecedents for the work of a particular era, they declared it "creative". Any time where the antecedents were well documented and known to them, they declared "decadent".

It's easy to look like a great creator when all the people you stole from are forgotten.

I don't know if science fiction is exhausted or not. The problem with using the Dozois anthology to try to measure exhaustion is that its quality varies so dramatically from year to year. You pick up a copy from a bad year, and "Oh no sci-fi is dead!". But next year he could have another year like 16. 16's not that long ago, really, and after I read that one I thought we were on the verge of a new golden age.

In general I think science fiction has suffered because there no longer is an audience that can suspend belief for its former extremes. Roddenberry-type visions are no longer very credible, and neither are apocalyptic visions. When you take those away, what's left is a muddle. One exception is work that attempts to describe a post-Singularity environment, but those of course suffer from the "anything can happen" problem the article author laments.
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Old November 3 2012, 11:51 PM   #78
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

FluffyUnbound wrote: View Post
Generally the only reason historians of art and literature ever assigned some periods the role of being "truly creative" and other eras "decadent" was because of the gaps in the historical record available to Europeans.
And also this all sounds suspiciously anti-Decadent, and the Decadent movement was pretty awesome. Love me some Wilde.
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Old November 4 2012, 12:31 AM   #79
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

Oscar Wilde, the Decadent? Plainly I've gotten lost in deep waters without a compass. My idea of decadence in literature is something like Ausonius or "eight-legged essays." I hardly see Wilde as that kind of figure. I would withdraw the remark and rephrase if I could think of any other way to put it.
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Old November 4 2012, 01:02 AM   #80
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

stj wrote: View Post
Oscar Wilde, the Decadent?
He can quite be quite fairly called an English language example of a Decadent writer, anyway he was strongly influenced by the French decadents (of whom he makes explicit reference to in The Picture of Dorian Grey).

It's true that 'decadence' like a lot of words is kind of flexible in what we mean. There's decadence as derivative and uninspired (which I presume is what you meant) but then there's decadence as - Mr. Wilde would put it - 'all art is immoral.'
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Old November 4 2012, 02:17 AM   #81
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Re: Is SF in a state of exhaustion?

Kegg wrote: View Post
but then there's decadence as - Mr. Wilde would put it - 'all art is immoral.'
It is if you do it right....

I think a lot of this angst is the result of the classic "golden age" syndrome... things used to be better but now they suck, blah blah blah. I often feel that way about movies, but I do it with open eyes lol.
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