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I need an eye-rolling icon
james_nicoll
SF: our FTL drives, time machines and zero point energy generators are ever so more realistic than anything stupid fantasy books offer.

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Reading science fiction practically makes you a real live scientist!

I can feel my psionic powers growing! Maybe I am evolving into a higher life form.

OF COURSE I jumped in with both feet. Among other things I offered up my theory that the increase in attention that fantasy has been receiving of late is one of the signs that the collapse of western civilization is not too far off. (People would rather not deal with reality….)

A lot of silliness followed.

I think all those time machines have confused his sense of the flow of time and left him living backwards. Like Merlin!


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our wormholes might just as well be the mystical anuses of space-borne genies

This image is going to make my ST:DS9 rewatch immensely more entertaining.

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Ooh, is that a new icon?

A scientific approach would be to study science fiction fans and fantasy fans to find what intellectual differences there are between them (if any) rather than arguing from first principles like an ancient Greek philosopher.

But that opens the possibility of evidence that DOESN'T support his argument! {clutches pearls}

Well, FTL/ZPG is actually fantasy. The only true SF is the realistic sort that realistically portrays or grim meathooky future of DOOOOMED!!!! AMERICA and Eurabia.

It IS so possible to write science fiction that is ever so realistic and doesn't play with six dozen impossibilities before breakfast!

Except if you do so, you get reviews that denounce it for not being real science fiction at all, but a second-rate thriller like Michael Crichton:
This tension between quality and lack of critical success has, on the other hand, led to a tradition in SF that tried to make the genre palatable, relatable, clean, acceptable, slowly draining the genre of everything that made it as powerful as it was. Charles Stross’ 2007 novel Halting State represents a kind of end point for this development. It would be silly and facetious to compare it to accomplished works of science fiction. In fact, the author it most resembles is not strictly speaking a SF writer, it’s Michael Crichton.

Draining the genre of power by eschewing zero-point energy and FTL!

Edited at 2011-02-08 11:35 am (UTC)

In other words, you don't have to worry about power drain if you're using zero point energy?

This all rather leads aside the unexamined claim that "realism" is the prime literary value. And if it is...


Raymond Carver for SFWA Grandmaster?

He was experimenting with a technique where the science fictional element is present and never mentioned. Many people mistake that for there being no science fictional element just because it's not present in the text.

But really, all of his stories have a shared universe background where the aliens have dominated the earth for almost a century and forced humanity into a 1970s-1980s simulation environment. Just because the aliens or time frame are never mentioned, people assume they're not there.

'Cause even in black-and-white, robots with human-scale (or maybe better) intelligence and the ability to cause all electrical devices on a planet to cease functioning without permanently wrecking them are real, and magic isn't.

P.S. In 1951, when Gort appeared on the screen, lasers weren't real, either.

(Candor forces me to admit that this may not be a valid argument.)

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
This reminds me of the time when a man at Origins told me that he just didn't get fantasy, with a level of condescension on the word "fantasy" that implied he felt it was beneath him to even consider trying.

He was wearing a Marvel t-shirt.

I've heard it argued that superhero stories are really a third genre of fantastic fiction, apart from both SF and fantasy (though they borrow trappings of both, combined with those of crime fiction).

I remember a discussion on rasfw, some years ago, started by (I think) Rebecca Rice, in which she observed that many fans of hard SF seemed to act like fantasy had cooties, and worked hard to keep their stories free of cooties.

If memory serves, the thread, full of posts dedicated to proving her wrong, then developed into a proof that the original post was correct.

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