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Off-World Discussion Forum

Forum for science fiction related material not listed in Movies Galleria or Upcoming Movies ONLY. If you want to chit-chat, please visit the Pilot's Mess.

View Poll Results: What is SF?
A 3 37.50%
B 1 12.50%
C 2 25.00%
D 0 0%
E 1 12.50%
F 2 25.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Nov 13, 2005, 05:51 PM   #1
Seraph
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What makes science fiction...science fiction?

So what do you think? Is it:

A) Fiction involving science

B) A subset of fantasy

C) Fantasy attributed to scientific causes or explained by scientific basis rather than myth/magic

D) Totally seperate from fantasy

E) Must contain advanced (beyond the present) science/civilisations, set in the future or alternative 'realities'.

F) Other (do share)


You can select more than one.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 05:55 PM   #2
Iwata
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Tricky question.

the way I see it, it must include at least some level of future/alternate technological or social elements.

Other than that, everyone seems to have their own definition.
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Old Nov 13, 2005, 06:58 PM   #3
VENOM876
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

I think that technically, sci-fi would be any fiction involving some form of science. That doesn't necessarily mean I'd call it science fiction.

Frankenstein would be science fiction, but I wouldn't label it as such. More of a horror movie with sci-fi parts.

Aliens, on the other hand, would be a scary science fiction movie.
This is just my two cents....


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Old Nov 14, 2005, 08:15 AM   #4
Jove
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Science fiction isn't a genre - such as Horror, Action, Drama, Comedy etc.

Science fiction is the setting - not the genre.

Just by labelling something SF doesn't tell you what the genre is.

SF, by definition, has to have some element of FICTIONAL SCIENCE.

This is generally the setting (other-worldly, futuristic etc) but could be anything where the premise involves fictional science.

So Frankenstein is very much science-fiction.
As is War of the Worlds and 2001.

Frankenstein is a SF horror, WotW is SF action and 2001 is SF drama.

A contemporary setting where someone unearths a bogus scientific problem with the planet (e.g. The Core, Armageddon, Deep Impact etc) is also SF due to the fictional nature of the science (even if, in some cases, it is merely that it hasn't actually happened).

However, compare that to if someone discovers a powerful artefact - e.g. The Mask. This is not SF, IMHO, but fantasy - as there is no attempt to explain the science behind the power.

Spiderman is SF - due to the explanation of the powers, but is overtrodden somewhat by its comic-book nature.
Batman, however, is not SF as all the abilities were justified with existing technology (the car, the materials etc).

So you can see that somethings are obviously SF, some things aren't, and that even a film with elements of SF will be ignored as such due to being more strongly associated with other labels.

But this is all just my opinion.

As for fantasy - the two don't have to be separate - e.g. Star Wars. This is utter fantasy, but also SF. It is SF due to the setting (other-worldly) but fantasy as they make no attempt to explain the science and abilities of things - e.g. magic.

Lord of the Rings, however, is pure fantasy - as while there is the alternate reality / other worldly aspect to it - these elements are also the remit of fantasy - so one must look to other aspects to determine which of the two it is, or whether it is both.

I could probably write an essay about the subject - but work calls!
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 02:24 PM   #5
Sharky
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jove
Science fiction is the setting - not the genre.

Truer (True-er?) words have never been spoken. I always maintain that films like Alien and The Terminator are horror films set in a Scifi-surrounding (and I have a theory that the sequals were successful because they changed the genre but not the setting i.e. horror to action).



In another point, when Empire did their 50 greatest Sci-fi movies ever a while back (which I would quote from if I had it with me), one film that cropped up (which this site has neither a guide nor a forum for) was The Truman Show. Here is a film that totally asks you to redefine your thoughts on a particular aspect of your world. Technology is not beyond what we have now, neither is the situation - a false sense of reality? Invasion Iowa off the top of my head.

Makes you think doesn't it?

As for the poll, I've found it too hard to fit Science Fiction into any of the named categories, so I went for Other.
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 03:58 PM   #6
Nexus
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

It's Fantasy with all the intelligent, technobabble explanations.
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 05:09 PM   #7
Sharky
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Glad you cleared that up.
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 06:20 PM   #8
Nexus
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

It's one of the reasons why I never liked Fantasy. Most of the time the best they can come up with is, "A wizard did it."
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 12:43 PM   #9
Jove
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Quote:
Originally posted by NeXus_6
It's one of the reasons why I never liked Fantasy. Most of the time the best they can come up with is, "A wizard did it."
As opposed to Star Trek's: "The quantum torpedo generated a tachyon pulse wave that fried the Heisenberg Compensators, causing a rift in the space-time continuum through which a Q appeared - who could do anything he wanted" ?
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 11:29 AM   #10
Sharky
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Zzzinggg!!!!
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 11:47 AM   #11
Nexus
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jove
As opposed to Star Trek's: "The quantum torpedo generated a tachyon pulse wave that fried the Heisenberg Compensators, causing a rift in the space-time continuum through which a Q appeared - who could do anything he wanted" ?

Well...it confuses me, so it must be intelligent!

Actually, the reason why I like SF more is because of the fascinating, but realistic, theories. In Fantasy it's all just, "Here's a world I created. Crazy crap happens because I say so." Which might explain why most fantasy novels are as overlong and self-indulgent as they are imaginative.
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 12:20 PM   #12
Sharky
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

What about Masters of the Universe (the film)? Fantasy brought into our world (with more than a dash of SciFi)
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 12:46 PM   #13
Nexus
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Yeah, I've always liked fantasy-in-the-real-world concept more. Masters of the Universe is crap though.
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 12:47 PM   #14
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

*gasp*
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 01:31 PM   #15
Nexus
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Re: What makes science fiction...science fiction?

Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were better. Which were SF. Coincidentally.
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