The Great Sci Fi Debate
17th May 2006 at 12:36 am #40848SadGeezerKeymaster
SadCAST #3 ideas:
What is sci fi?
Is it Star Trek, Star wars, House MD, Alias, Lord of the Rings? What is your view? What do you think is the definition of Sci Fi?
Your views will be considered as part of the debate on SadCAST #3 – so speak up, tell us your feelings.
Also, what is (for you) borderline sci fi? – And Why?17th May 2006 at 5:58 pm #76371
Sci-Fi for me somthing that uses current science theory as a plot point or story idea.
blade runner is a good example of sci-fi using artificle intelligents as a plot point, where as somthing like star wars is more fantasy based as its not relying on anything theoretical more making it up as they go along.
somthing like buffy is pure fantasy as there is no science there what so ever.
i think sci-fi has been a misused word for quite a while. when they hear it people think of star trek or stargate where people time travel all over the shop and travel faster than light just because.
there was a statement by one of the actors of i believe surface last year saying that they were not sci-fi but “speculative fiction” thats a very odd statement to make considering a large chunk of sci-fi is made up of speculative fiction.
so before i wattle on for hours i’ll sum up that sci-fi is usually but not always sci-fi because it atleast attempts a plausable explanation to the plot events. a good example of this is the scene in juarrasic park where they explain dinasaur cloning. that makes it sci-fi where as arthor conan doyles “The Lost World” is fantasy because they just find them.
this has made alot of people question NuBSG which has no real sci-fi elements other than they happen to live on a space ship.17th May 2006 at 6:19 pm #76372HollydaysParticipant
science fiction (American History Dictionary)
A literary or cinematic genre in which fantasy, typically based on speculative scientific discoveries or developments, environmental changes, space travel, or life on other planets, forms part of the plot or background.
A collection of well-known science-fiction novels and magazinesScience fiction is a genre of fiction in which at least part of the narrative depends on science, either real or imagined, to generate settings or events which have not yet occurred in reality (and may never do so). The author Theodore Sturgeon wrote “A good science fiction story is a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, that would not have happened at all without its science content.”17th May 2006 at 6:35 pm #76373HollydaysParticipant
Thus said: BSG not Sci-Fi? Space ships, faster than light travel, A.I.’s….hmm, looks like a duck to me 🙂
Obviously by the two different dictionary descriptions, no one really knows! LOL
I think Science Fiction can loosely be described as anything with a science component and a fiction componet, no matter how soft or subtle the science componet is (most in the camp of “not enough science in it, only complain about shows that don’t pander to engineers by explaining the inner workings of each techno item, I prefer things like Firefly where the science is all there but no one blabs on and on about it ’cause it’s just everyday life for them…do you blabl regualry about how your microwave works> I think not!). Although books and shows with a soft science component often end up as “Science Fantasy” which is the stupidest label of all. I mean , what difference, really, is fiction/fantasy?
I think most people identify anything with a SPACE component or Futuristic setting as Sci-Fi but wouldn’t pick shows like Alias or the bond franchise that contain alot of gadgets and science…..but quite literally would fit into the sci-fi label.
ok…well before I sound really dumb, I’ll shut up! 😛17th May 2006 at 6:52 pm #76374
i think the BSG not sci-fi thing spawns from this idea that “sci-fi = bumpy alien bollocks” to the general public which is only a fraction of sci-fi and isnt true sci-fi18th May 2006 at 6:09 pm #76376
so before i wattle on for hours i’ll sum up that sci-fi is usually but not always sci-fi because it atleast attempts a plausable explanation to the plot events. a good example of this is the scene in juarrasic park where they explain dinasaur cloning.
I would agree with this basic point, but extend it somewhat by including the “application” of science, not simply the explanation alone, at least to make it truly good science fiction. In this way, science is often applied by the logical method and/or through technological means.
So, furthermore, I would also suggest that some “application” of science need not be explained, because it is already understood by the general public, therefore, in some cases, where application occurs and no explanation is necessary, the bridge that technology creates may qualify something as being more science fiction than mere fantasy.18th May 2006 at 10:05 pm #76377AnonymousInactive
I’d like to reiterate some of the points I made in other threads, but am under-the-weather. So, please excuse me if I link to this thread where I went on rather ad nauseum about the subject HERE (click) Far too many words, and too rambling to be sadcast worthy I’m afraid. It’s great to see the debate continuing.
One point I will include in this thread now is that genres overlap, and horror, SF, and fantasy can all usually be described as “the fantastic.”20th May 2006 at 9:02 pm #76403DarkStarParticipant
Short Answer – Star Trek, it had regular characters that people related to and it presented futuristic ideas & technology to a main stream audience.
Long Answer – The orginal meaning of the term is fiction based on Science but there’s a lot more to it than that these days. You have the pure intellectual Sci-Fi market of books that represent the orginal principles of Sci-Fi. I don’t read books but HG Wells Time Machine, War of the Worlds and errr, Things to come all seem to be about how technology can take you on a human adventure no matter how alien it becomes. Dilute that to a more comercial visual based and you’ll have more emphasis on the human adventure and beating the bad guys ala Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers.
Move forward to the sixties and the intellectual and commercial markets in Star Trek. Digestible chunks of principles and ideas sugar coated with fist fights and smootches to make them more acceptable to a larger market.
Now we’re in the modern day and Sci-Fi has become a background norm that is just accepted. Short Circuit 2 could be viewed a poiniant film where a robot wrestles with the internal feelings of existance true to pure Sci-Fi or a kids aventure movie where super character saves the day. The Sci-Fi was negligable but this is still counts? Look at Quantum Leap. No traditional factors like a space ship, ray guns and aliens but vingetts of social issues with the background sci-fi element being ‘he travels in time’ is a Sci-Fi classic!!
So I’ll say Sci-Fi can be pure, commercial and background.21st May 2006 at 12:23 am #76404AnonymousGuest
So the series ‘Bones’ is sci fi?21st May 2006 at 3:47 pm #76414DarkStarParticipant
So the series ‘Bones’ is sci fi?
I’ve not watched an episode but from what I’ve seen if it, I’d say if it is then so is the CSI franchise.21st May 2006 at 9:45 pm #76415
bones isnt sci-fi
bloody shite is what bones is !21st May 2006 at 10:05 pm #76417petParticipant
The author Theodore Sturgeon wrote “A good science fiction story is a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, that would not have happened at all without its science content.”
Based on a similar definition to this, I have often attempted to argue that Frankenstein is Sci-Fi– without much success because there aren’t any spaceships in it. 🙄 Sigh…Fie!
I think the main thing that makes the science part “science fiction”, however, is that the science must be largely speculative. For instance, the human stories in doctor shows are completely dependent on science for a diagnosis, but in spite of being fictional stories based on science you wouldn’t call them science fiction.
Time travel, long-term space travel, wormholes, alien life, problem-free cloning, mind control, ultra-violet bullets– they are all areas of science that are theoretical.22nd May 2006 at 11:16 pm #76426
So I’ll say Sci-Fi can be pure, commercial and background.
It’s quite true that sci-fi has been diluted and invariably dispersed in the way so described, but in some cases, there is so little actual science included, that some possibilities would qualify more under the term “fantasy” than actual sci-fi. With Q-leap, for example, many episodes had no science whatsoever, and would therefore more accurately be classified as “fantasy”.
Based on a similar definition to this, I have often attempted to argue that Frankenstein is Sci-Fi– without much success because there aren’t any spaceships in it.
Frankenstein is probably one of the most original and unique “Gothic” science-fiction stories ever concieved. The problem that evolved out of Frankenstein was the element of fright towards the “monster” itself, after this element morphed into the modern-day “horror” movie, which was a mixture of very bad science-fiction and the exploitation of horror as a device for sensationalism.
Producers that saw a veritable gold-mine of profits in horror led too many people to the idea that science-fiction was all about monsters and nothing else. Horror is not science-fiction. Even when it is well-done, horror should not be confused with sci-fi. Buffy for example, is not sci-fi. If I were to give it a label, I’d call it “Gothic”.23rd May 2006 at 12:14 am #76427
theres nothing gothic about buffy… the writings of Poe are gothic… buffy is just Fantasy Horror.
it uses elements of the horror genre thats its selling point but it dosent use them in a traditional sense, so i would classify the rest of it as fantasy. but then buffy very point is that it is not a singular genre!23rd May 2006 at 2:14 am #76428
theres nothing gothic about buffy… the writings of Poe are gothic… buffy is just Fantasy Horror.
Well, I only watched one episode of Buffy and didn’t care for it, so I’m no expert. But the reason why I consider it “Gothic” is due to the vampire element, which has its roots in early Gothic literature.
I realize that the word “Gothic” hasn’t been applied to any modern genre in this way, but that’s the way I see it. The main difference between Gothic and Horror, as I see it, is Horror is just created to scare girls into their boyfriend’s arms, and that is and always has been the popular appeal. Gothic, on the other hand, is more thoughtful and interesting to those who like to speculate about such fantasy elements.23rd May 2006 at 3:53 pm #76429lexxrobotechParticipant
What was the first gothic movie ever?23rd May 2006 at 7:38 pm #76431
im not sure, but it was probabley etched frame by frame into the wall of some german cathedral 😉23rd May 2006 at 10:29 pm #76433
What was the first gothic movie ever?
My best guess would be Nosferatu (1922).
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