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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.

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?

You could worry about it, but it would be ... pointless.

... I am apparently missing some key point somewhere. Namely, "how is Jurassic Park not science fiction?"

As I understand it, because the words "science fiction" do not appear anywhere on the book cover.

Indeed, you're replying to a man who wrote a Completely Not Science Fiction story for contractual reasons, isn't that right, Charlie?

Not a book: a series. Which is absolutely not science fiction, despite the presence of extradimensional narcoterrorists, paratime machines, secret US government agencies building said paratime machines, and, and, and ...

But! Horses! Nobles! Women in frocks! Ergo, fantasy!

Edited at 2011-02-09 07:01 pm (UTC)

That review quote once more makes me think that what a lot of people really mean when they say science fiction is action adventure stories with robots and ray guns.