sf/f TV development news - 2013

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The space opera equals science fiction mistake doesn't bother me so much; it's the ghosts and vampires equal science fiction mistake that's more troublesome. :rommie:
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    On the other hand, I admit I've grown a bit weary of the constant protests that such-and-such "isn't really science fiction!"

    Can we just stipulate that most articles or threads that talk about "The Best New Science Fiction Movies" or whatever actually mean sf, space opera, superheroes, fantasy, and horror? There's enough overlap that I don't really see the point in trying to keep the genres pure and separate.

    Personally, I don't mind getting chocolate in my peanut butter. It's tastier that way . . . .
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Imagine a series that deals with the immortal centuries long grudgematch feuds between vampires and clans of vampires... A fight starts in the 10th century, and we check in on what's going every few decades, skip a century here and there, as fashion and technology changes towards the present and then into the future... From cave men vampires to vampires in Tin foil on Jupiter. And of course each 40 minute story would have a different primary cast pursuing different adventures that as the series continues of you'd see them glancing in upon one another until a larger plot first unseen develops.

    Liza Weil.

    Why the hell isn't she on a pedestal?
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Seriously.

    It's all skiffy stuff. Damon Knight's definition of science fiction is the only one that's worthwhile.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Dominic Monaghan joins Crackle series Unknown.

    Sounds interesting, but I wonder how they plan to spread awareness. Other than this thread, how many people here have heard of Crackle or have seen any of their existing original series?
     
  6. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Same here. I love mixed genres. But chocolate is still chocolate and peanut butter is still peanut butter. Words should have meanings that actually mean something, otherwise we might as well just say "stuff" and "thing" all the time. :rommie:
     
  7. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I'd only heard of Crackle because they're one of the new apps released on the new Xbox dashboard.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    But what words mean should be a factor of how they're used. If the majority of the population has used a word in a certain way for a generation or more, it doesn't make sense to cling to some old, hyperliteral, prescriptivist definition for it, because most people don't use it that way. Words aren't antiques to be kept up on a shelf gathering dust, they're living entities, everyday tools for communication. So the "correct" use of a word is the one that is most clearly understood by the most people, even if that usage has changed from its origins or literal definition. Countless words we use today have changed in meaning from how they were originally used, and trying to cling to their original definitions would obscure communication, not promote it.

    Of course one shouldn't use nonstandard definitions recklessly, since communication requires clarity. But if a "misuse" has gone on long enough and become widely enough accepted to be the default standard usage, then resisting that change works against clarity, not for it.
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    So, the consensus is that we should just say and write "weird shit." This is good marketing practice, because some readers and viewers are temperamentally unsuited to that kind of willing suspension of disbelief, while others are. Sounds like a good idea, we're all creatures of mass commerce.

    And, to uphold mass commerce against the vile prescriptivists, we should insist scientists stop obscuring communication by misusing the word "theory," which has long meant "personal opinion." And "materialism" would just mean "greed" (but not "avarice.":guffaw:) And so forth.

    Obviously science fiction criticism isn't of great importance (as opposed to possible interest) but also obviously the refusal to even engage the subject is, well, "obscurantist" is the word that comes to mind. But pardon me for lapsing into the old prescriptivist language. I think the official phrase is "blowing smoke."

    The people who like to cite Damon Knight's definition (and those who like Norman Spinrad's, too) are rarely, if ever intested in troubling to point, much less discuss what they point at, or in discussing marketing (advances, maybe) either. The tacit assumption skiffy stuff's in nothing but stupid stuff fit for the slumming mind only has its complacency to recommend it. No, if you intend to criticize, excuse me, "chew over" SF, taxonomy is essential. It's essential to biology, how is literary criticism superior?
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Pilot Buzz Update.

    Kind of a mixed bag of good news/bad news...just like in previous years, this process is always disappointing and frustrating. :D

    ABC
    I like how they're assuming anything but the straight-up soaps are "male." They've got some fantasy/soaps on the genre side that also skew female. Do they really think Beauty & the Beast is for guys? :rommie: Everything ABC does skews female - Last Resort is the only exception on this list, being (arguably) sci fi as well action/military.

    I'm most interested in 666 Park Ave. Zero Hour and the Emmerich show (which is about the antichrist running for President - I thought it had been renamed Dark Horse already) are interchangeable in my mind, along with NBC's Midnight Sun - more Children of Lost - which don't have a great track record in living up to their initial promise.

    NBC
    Rats, Beautiful People is one of the more interesting premises this year. (However, in the past I've seen shows do a 180 from cold to hot right before upfronts.) Frontier would be a huge risk, but would be very different from the normal broadcast routine, and I'd love to see it.

    JJ Abrams' Revolution is still not being mentioned, but someone in the comments section claims its DOA. No great loss.

    CW
    Because everything on the CW that doesn't include the ever-smouldering Damon Salvatore is doing crappy, all the pilots have a good shot at being picked up. I wanna see Alaric vs. T-Bag (aka Cult) as well as the Hunger Games ripoff.

    CBS and FOX have no genre pilots in contention.

    TNT is also listed - my favorite, LA Noir, is said to be "quiet." TNT would be nuts not to pick of a series with that kind of cast and pedigree!
     
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Does anyone know if there's anyway to legally see the original Beautiful People, (that's the robot show right?)? It seems like when they do this kind of stuff no matter how hard they try they can never quite match the quality of the original.
     
  12. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    You've just explained why people like Stanley Schmidt are right and people like Damon Knight are wrong-- there's a difference between the evolution of terms and mere low standards. It's one thing for something that used to be considered wrong to become accepted because it fills a linguistic need (e.g. "they" as the third person singular of undetermined gender) or because there is no good reason for it to be considered wrong (e.g. splitting infinitives), and it's another thing to just give in to ignorance. Language is about communication, and if a term can mean anything then it means nothing. And it doesn't matter how many people don't understand the definition of irony, Alanis Morrisette is still wrong. :rommie:

    This is exactly it. Mundanes see anything beyond their football games as "weird shit" and science fiction has become the catch-all term for that weird shit. And, as insecurity has grown in genre fandom, the trend has been to go along with those low standards in desperate hope of acceptance. It's like the nerdy kid in junior high school who laughs too loud at the jock's stupid jokes-- it's awkward and embarrassing.

    It boggles my mind that culture is still this chauvinistic. Every day I wake up thinking it's the 21st century, and every day I'm reminded that it's still 1950.
     
  13. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    How is horror science fiction? unless there is a scientific explaination for it? Maybe the devil is a Trekkie. Is wrestling science fiction then. There is a science to it and a fictional outcome and it might be run by alien devils. Cooking too.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Yeah, that's ridiculous and outmoded thinking from whoever wrote that article.


    Ah, so it's a documentary about the Santorum campaign? :D


    I hope you're right -- that's potentially one of the more interesting premises.


    Not surprising for CBS, very surprising for FOX. Historically, of all the broadcast networks, FOX has had the highest percentage of shows in its schedule that were genre-oriented (roughly tied with the now-defunct UPN), while CBS has had the lowest percentage by a wide margin.



    Actually singular "they" is not a recent development. It's been a part of English usage at least as far back as Chaucer, and is also found in Shakespeare and the King James Bible, among plenty of others. Like the so-called "split infinitive," the rule declaring it "wrong" came along only a couple of centuries ago, even though it had been standard usage for many times longer.


    True, but it's occurred to me that maybe the reason so many people use "irony" in that way is because we need a word that actually does mean that (i.e. something that is unexpectedly and poetically appropriate) and don't have one. It's a concept in need of a word, and people use "irony" for lack of a better alternative. And it's probably a losing battle. Once enough people use "irony" that way, the dictionaries will have to adapt.


    If you're talking about mass-media science fiction, you should consider that the earliest entries in the genre were things like the cheesy adventure serials of the '30s and '40s, and Z-grade monster movies and kids' shows like Captain Video in the '50s. The standards started out low and have actually increased over time -- first with writers like Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry bringing more adult storytelling sensibilities, more recently with writers like J. Michael Straczynski and Michael Piller and Joss Whedon raising the literacy and complexity of the material. If you're talking about the lines between strict SF and fantasy, those have always been vague in the mass media (which one does Flash Gordon or The Twilight Zone fall into?), but it's a distinction that has nothing to do with standards of quality. Ray Bradbury's prose fiction is as much fantasy as SF, but few would dispute its very high quality.
     
  15. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    So are standards set by the masses or by people like GR and RS? There's good shit and bad shit after all. 'Singing in the Rain' could be science fiction too. In that sense everything or anything can mean anything, subjective vs objective truth. The quality of good or bad does not make something science fiction.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Okay, I respect that some people are simply concerned with precision of language, and that's fine. But:

    1) There is a matter of practicality and convenience here. Sure, it would be more accurate if every thread, article, blog, film festival, convention, and bookstore shelf was labeled "Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Miscellaenous Weird Shit, and Assorted Combinations and Permutations Thereof," but that's a bit of a mouthful. Sometimes it's just an easier to put up a sign saying "Science Fiction Section." In the immortal words of Saki: "An ounce of inaccuracy saves a ton of explanation."

    2) A mere concern with precision of language doesn't really explain the endless blustery indignation that tends to erupt online whenever someone (gasp!) lumps Buffy in with Babylon-5. Explicit or implied is an attitude that "real" science fiction is somehow intellectually superior to all that wizards and vampire crap. From where I'm sitting, there almost seems to be a kind of seige mentality on the part of some sf purists, as though they're afraid that acknowledging any kinship to fantasy or horror (or comic books) is going to give them cooties.

    (Oddly, this sort of sf snobbery only seems to flow one way. Maybe I'm just hanging out at the wrong websites, but I seldom see fantasy fans huffily distancing themselves from all those damn robots and aliens.)

    Speaking as someone who grew up on Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, Theodore Sturgeon, Richard Matheson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Wyndham and Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, I'm not sure why some many fans seem determined to man the barricades to protect sf's precious bodily fluids from contamination . . . .
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    A nice quote from Babylon 5.

    "If you don't say what you mean, how can you mean what you say?"
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012


    I think that's a stretch. You could just as easily argue that some fans are still so traumatized by high school that they persist in seeing the "mundanes" and "the masses" as the enemy--and are ever intent on finding new ways to prove that they understand what science fiction is all about better than the jocks and cool kids. 'Cause god forbid we let those people into our exclusive, little fannish club. They might actually confuse robots with golems!

    Better to keep pointing out what "higher" standards we have than those silly people who don't insist on our rarefied, ivory-tower definitions.

    It's funny. Once in a blue moon, I stumble onto a bookstore that tries to keep the sf and fantasy books separate. It's always a mess, with the same authors (and sometimes even the same series) scattered across the store. Where do you shelve Gene Wolfe or Ursula K. Le Guin or Piers Anthony or Marion Zimmer Bradley or Andre Norton or Orson Scott Card or Poul Anderson or Ray Bradbury or whomever? And do we trust some poor clerk to figure out whether "Witch World" is fantasy or science fiction? What about "The Shadow of the Torturer" or "The Anubis Gates" or "Dragon Riders of Pern"?

    Honestly, it's easier just to put them all in the "Science Fiction" section.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  19. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    It comes down to intent but since everything is relativistically connected then there can be no distinction ever to hybrids and the like that teeter on the fence of the best of both worlds but there are touchstones and signposts and things and ideas that make something foremost science fiction and not fantasy. Serling was doing fantasy and dabbled in sci-fi when certain elements were present that indicated the direction, emphasis and thrust of the story towards being futuristic and involving physical technology or aliens, etc. that are the hallmark/landmarks of sci-fi. Lucas' mystical mythical force religion was secondary to the overwhelming amount of futuristic technology that was being presented, so there is a heirarchical order to the distinction of any genre - is that short for Gene R? - that distinguishes the various overlapping genres that may delve into one another and borrow heavily from science fiction but something has to weigh more and take presidence, if not to the author than at least to the audience.
     
  20. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    True enough, but there's still the difference between need and ignorance.

    "Poetic justice?" Anyway, however that particular circumstance works out, surely you agree that all words can't become so homogenized that none of them mean anything.

    I never said that the problem wasn't there from the beginning-- just that it hasn't been fixed yet. Like I said, every day I wake up in the 21st century.... :D

    Flash Gordon is Space Opera and Twilight Zone depends on the episode. Also, there's no reason why one particular concept or story can't fall into multiple categories.

    I never said otherwise. When I talk about high standards, I'm talking about language not the superiority of one genre over another.

    Actually, even in practical terms, I think the longer version would be more eye-catching and welcoming.

    That may be, although I've never seen it. It's certainly not what I'm saying, since I love all that weird shit. To me it's just the equivalent of people calling a dolphin a fish.

    Me neither. If there are such people, I would argue as strenuously with them.

    Well, they might. :rommie: It's misleading to consider the Mundanes or the masses or the common people the enemy-- that makes it too personal. But low standards are definitely the enemy. Let's be honest here, there's something wrong with a culture that favors wrestling over literature. Or do you think that things are perfect now? Do you not wish that the common people were more educated and literate?

    Again, I think that high standards are better than low standards. :shrug:

    The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction solved that problem. They call it fantasy and science fiction. You could also call it creative writing. Or, I suppose, weird shit, but somebody's mother would probably complain. :rommie: