Is fantasy more popular than science fiction? If so why?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Well, given his approximate age and when the books were published (circa 1970's), I was going to chalk it up to youthful prejudice, incidentally to which he was confessing. I await his clarification.
     
  2. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    At the moment, I would say it's because of the fact that we aren't doing much manned space missions if any thus the interest and curiosity in exploring space or other worlds which inspired people to create science fiction tales to do so in our own imaginations has declined.
     
  3. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yet Avatar is the biggest hit movie of all time. Why does the lack of manned space exploration not impact movies like it does TV or (I guess) novels? Not to mention video games, where sci fi and space-based scenarios are very common and popular.

    The thing that explains this best is gender preference, which maps to both genre and media. Women and girls like fantasy/supernatural and also TV. Men and boys like sci fi and also movies and video games. I don't really follow the book business but I wouldn't be surprised to find that women read more, while the guys are busy with video games. People only have so many entertainment hours during the day.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Conscious Circuits is correct. In the days of my misspent youth, I avoided the books because I thought they were fantasy books, a genre I wasn't fond of. (Mostly because nothing I read in the genre managed to hook me like LOTR) Nothing against fantasy, it's fans or dragons, really. I just didn't care for it back then. These days I'm more than happy to read books about dragons. The last book I read was A Dance With Dragons and before that, the fantasy book The Wind Through the Keyhole. Currently I'm reading Sky Dragons and The Sisterhood of Dune.
     
  5. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you take the YA (Young Adult) market as a sample (which, currently, is my area of expertise), I'd say your assertion is correct. Young women overwhelmingly prefer fantasy-based books over sci-fi; and YA novels are marketed overwhelmingly toward young women, as opposed to young men.

    That's not to say that exceptions do not exist (The Hunger Games, is certainly more sci-fi than fantasy; authors like Beth Revis - Across the Universe / A Million Suns trade in sci-fi; Scott Westerfeld, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Charlie Higson are popular for a more male-centered readership). But at this point, these examples are relatively few and far between.

    All of which is interesting, considering that fantasy used to be targeted almost exclusively toward young males (e.g. The Hobbit & LOTR and their sundry spinoffs).
     
  6. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Bosons naturally occur, or else nothing would be affected by gravity.
     
  7. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Untrue. Ewa is entirely explainable in scientific terms with no recourse to the "supernatural" required.

    In Avatar, Ewa is simply the super-consciousness of the combined Pandoran ecosystem. The technologically unsophisticated Na'vi may worship this super-consciousness, but in terms of reality it is akin to the natives' worship of Vaal in "The Apple", or the Bajoran Prophets. Actual beings that relatively primitive people have elevated to the status of divinity in some fashion.
     
  8. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    The difference, again, is in the definitional means.

    Pern "dragons" = genetically engineered enlarged versions of existing naturally evolved small flying reptiles. The fire breathing is explained as the end result of an enzymatic reaction to certain minerals which they ingest when they need to produce flame.

    All in alignment with science and scientific principles.

    "Between" is a borderline case, BUT it operates by clear rules with regular, predictable results.

    Fantasy "dragons" = creatures of and embued with abilities by supernatural, magical means. Fantasy fire breathing is totally without scientific explanation, simply being a property of "dragon-ness" for want of a better term.
     
  9. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Science ≠ pseudoscience.

    Also multiquote isn't magic. Use it.
     
  10. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    You're so strict. I like it.
     
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    You should see how I use the ruler on students' knuckles.
     
  12. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    That's why it's called science-fiction, Iguana. And science in science-fiction fiction =/= magic, even if they serve similar plot functions. ALL fictions have basic story and plot functions that must be served by one means or another.

    You know, playing Mod is a pretty poor substitute for reason and logic when arguing, don't you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  13. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Planet wide "super-consciousness," falls close enough for me into the range of fantasy and way outside of at least Trek sci-fi where repeatedly they debunk such notions as nonsense.

    Check out Star Trek V the film and why, 'god doesn't need a Starship.';)

    Asking the question in a different way: If I understand you correctly you see no qualitative difference in genre between say the Twilight Series or the Potter books and films and Trek in terms of format, style, narrative etc when it comes to their respective approaches to the notion of 'fantasy,' versus science fiction?

    Or is it simply that any storyline in space [what ever the elements] is both fantasy and science fiction to you?

    Another great example for me is the film Serenity but the difference between say Avatar and Serenity in terms of the 'supernatural parts,' is they explained the Zombies - albeit eventually - by using science rather than supernatural elements.
     
  14. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I dunno... I don't always get regular, predictable results when I use it.

    I'm unfamiliar with your Halloween username. How do you pronounce that?
     
  15. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5IWHt4OoNk[/yt]
     
  16. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Do they? I don't recall Trek ever addressing the topic of an such a planetary superconsciousness.

    Has nothing to do with an integrated neural network trillions upon trillions of times larger than the human brain and what consciousness it may or may not possess.

    NO. That is not what I am saying. I'm saying that all stories have certain plot-mechanical processes in common. Those processes can be met in different ways, but have the same effect.

    Example: My story needs to get the protagonists from Planet A to Planet B.

    Fantasy: The protagonists pray to a god, or a wizard casts a spell to move them from A to B. This invokes an arbitrary, supernatural component with no scientific basis or credibility.

    Science-Fiction: The protagonists board some sort of spaceship which travels from A to B. The trip may either be instantaneous (a space fold of some sort), or one or more FTL drives of varying plausibility may be used.

    Alternately they use a device that creates a stable wormhole through which they can travel from A to B without the use of a ship (a la Stargate).

    In both stories, the effect is the same, and the same plot need serviced:get the protagonists from A to B.

    However, the fantasy story throws out or ignores a mechanism consistent with known or extrapolated scientific principles in favor of one invoking arbitrary supernatural power.

    The science-fiction story on the other hand EMBRACES the known or extrapolated scientific principles.

    That is the critical difference between the two, even though, as I said, they have the same plot effect.

    And Avatar explains Ewa ALSO using science (neurally interconnected ecosystem) rather than supernatural, just like Bajor's prophets, while worshiped by Bajorans, were shown to simply be non-linear life forms.

    ETA: Just remembered that Trek DID address the idea of planetary consciousness in one of the books ("Mutiny on the Enterprise" if memory serves), and far less creditably than Avatar did.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  17. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    What about comic book stuff like the Avengers or the Justice League that combines the scientific (Batman/ Iron Man's tech) with the supernatural (Wonder Woman/Thor)? I still tend to think of them as Sci-Fi since most of the stuff is approached from a more scientific perspective (the Gods originating in other dimensions, and stuff like that).
     
  18. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    GAAAH! :klingon: You beat me to it!

    Yes, that was supposed to be a setup.
     
  19. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    So you know it's not really science. Good. I was worried because of your boson comment.

    If we squint hard enough, ALL fiction looks more or less the same. The point of contention is whether the "science" in science-fiction is really different from the magic in fantasy except on a cosmetic level. I feel I had to restate the issue before it got too fuzzy in the details of specific narrative examples. Avatar's Eywa can be used to argue both for it being a "scientific/physical" concept and a magical/metaphysical one, which only tells me it's a pretty crappy example.

    I can argue pretty well and point out your apparent inability to use simple forum tools. I'm amazing like that.
     

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