Author Topic: Episode #600  (Read 3063 times)

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Offline AtheistApotheosis

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2017, 09:42:40 AM »
Funnily, I didn't think of Ripley either. Now I'm too young for Ripley to have been in my childhood. But thinking on it, I'm not sure I would have thought of Ripley as a "sci-fi" heroine. Alien was basically a horror movie and Aliens was an action movie. Thinking on it, I'm not sure I ever considered her a "sci-fi" heroine.

Which now has me spinning off into thoughts of "Where is the line between sci-fi..." and other genres. Like when is a movie a "Science Fiction" movie vs a "Horror Movie set in Space."

An ACTION heroine, especially after Aliens, absolutely. But the Ripley from Alien seemed a lot more similar to your "last girl standing" Horror heroine.
I think the distinction your making is, unnecessary.  Any fictional media can be any combination of genre(mostly)  Alien was sci-fi and horror even if the plot was really just a horror movie, it was more sci-fi than Star Wars which was really just fantasy in space at any-rate.  The alien franchise is clearly sci-fi with installments in various other genres.  I think Ripley is the clearest example of a sci-fi heroine.  Leia in the first Star Wars film was as much a damsel in distress as she was a heroine, "Save me Obi Wan!"  Ripley was clearly a women of action, even if she was in a horror movie.

There's probably an interesting TV show in Sarah Connor's life between 1984 and 1991.  Hanging out on the fringes of society, occasionally running drugs or escaping ATF raids on the compound.  With any luck, it would last like 10 years.
Something like The Sara Connor Chronicals which was set after Terminator II, and covered a period from 1999 to 2007. Though it ran for only two seasons and they time jumped eight years so it was very short. I always thought they should do the same for batman and superman, both start their careers at the age of thirty. The problem with the genre of science fiction is that science isn't really a part of it. We call anything science fiction if it's set in space, in the future, has aliens, involves time travel, advanced technology, robots, astronauts, William Shattner, cyborgs, large astronomical objects colliding with other large astronomical objects, lasers, teleporting, William Shattner, alien planets full of aliens being alien, really big guns with digital counters on the side, space stations and people exploding in the vacuum of space. You really only encounter real science fiction in novels. Anything written by real scientists like Issac Asimov, Arthur C Clark, Robert Heinlein, Carl Sagan is a good place to start.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2017, 03:38:48 PM »
I think soft sci fi gets a bad rap.
I think someone jumping ahead and saying- wouldnt it be great if....
Is a very valuable thing and can inspire real creativity and innovation to bridge the gap.
I understand the joy of a writer dealing with something you know about and 'getting it right' but there is a lot to be said for enjoying indulgent speculation as it can bring story and characters or even just aesthetics to interesting places.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2017, 03:59:10 PM »
I think soft sci fi gets a bad rap.
I think someone jumping ahead and saying- wouldnt it be great if....
Is a very valuable thing and can inspire real creativity and innovation to bridge the gap.
I understand the joy of a writer dealing with something you know about and 'getting it right' but there is a lot to be said for enjoying indulgent speculation as it can bring story and characters or even just aesthetics to interesting places.

But is it really science fiction when the writer says "Wouldn't it be great if we could transport people long distances in an energy beam," or "Wouldn't it be great if we had a hand-held device that could tell us everything about our environment and instantly diagnose any illness."?

That's actually kind of the definition of fantasy. I like fantasy. I don't like it when a writer asks me to believe that magic is science.
Daniel
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2017, 10:25:16 PM »
I think soft sci fi gets a bad rap.
I think someone jumping ahead and saying- wouldnt it be great if....
Is a very valuable thing and can inspire real creativity and innovation to bridge the gap.
I understand the joy of a writer dealing with something you know about and 'getting it right' but there is a lot to be said for enjoying indulgent speculation as it can bring story and characters or even just aesthetics to interesting places.

But is it really science fiction when the writer says "Wouldn't it be great if we could transport people long distances in an energy beam," or "Wouldn't it be great if we had a hand-held device that could tell us everything about our environment and instantly diagnose any illness."?

That's actually kind of the definition of fantasy. I like fantasy. I don't like it when a writer asks me to believe that magic is science.

The setting matters.

If these concepts are implemented in a story with elves and dragons and swords and sorcery then it's fantasy. If these same ideas are implemented in a story with unfettered AIs and aliens and FTL drives it's SF. SF usually uses 'future tech' where F uses 'magic' but the reality is that the labels are more about the setting than the scientificisticalosoty or fantastimagicgoricality of the tale.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2017, 06:13:12 PM »
I think soft sci fi gets a bad rap.
I think someone jumping ahead and saying- wouldnt it be great if....
Is a very valuable thing and can inspire real creativity and innovation to bridge the gap.
I understand the joy of a writer dealing with something you know about and 'getting it right' but there is a lot to be said for enjoying indulgent speculation as it can bring story and characters or even just aesthetics to interesting places.

But is it really science fiction when the writer says "Wouldn't it be great if we could transport people long distances in an energy beam," or "Wouldn't it be great if we had a hand-held device that could tell us everything about our environment and instantly diagnose any illness."?

That's actually kind of the definition of fantasy. I like fantasy. I don't like it when a writer asks me to believe that magic is science.

The setting matters.

If these concepts are implemented in a story with elves and dragons and swords and sorcery then it's fantasy. If these same ideas are implemented in a story with unfettered AIs and aliens and FTL drives it's SF. SF usually uses 'future tech' where F uses 'magic' but the reality is that the labels are more about the setting than the scientificisticalosoty or fantastimagicgoricality of the tale.

Interesting point. But still, for me, if it violates extremely well-established physical laws, then it's magic, not science, and therefore fantasy.
Daniel
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2017, 11:04:02 PM »
I think soft sci fi gets a bad rap.
I think someone jumping ahead and saying- wouldnt it be great if....
Is a very valuable thing and can inspire real creativity and innovation to bridge the gap.
I understand the joy of a writer dealing with something you know about and 'getting it right' but there is a lot to be said for enjoying indulgent speculation as it can bring story and characters or even just aesthetics to interesting places.

But is it really science fiction when the writer says "Wouldn't it be great if we could transport people long distances in an energy beam," or "Wouldn't it be great if we had a hand-held device that could tell us everything about our environment and instantly diagnose any illness."?

That's actually kind of the definition of fantasy. I like fantasy. I don't like it when a writer asks me to believe that magic is science.

The setting matters.

If these concepts are implemented in a story with elves and dragons and swords and sorcery then it's fantasy. If these same ideas are implemented in a story with unfettered AIs and aliens and FTL drives it's SF. SF usually uses 'future tech' where F uses 'magic' but the reality is that the labels are more about the setting than the scientificisticalosoty or fantastimagicgoricality of the tale.

Interesting point. But still, for me, if it violates extremely well-established physical laws, then it's magic, not science, and therefore fantasy.

By that logic almost all time-travel and FTL stories are fantasies. The Time Machine, Foundation, Ringworld... all magic-based fantasy.

To be clear, I count Doctor Who as an intersection of comedy, horror, scifi, and fantasy; ST:TOS and STARWARS are both Westerns with fantasy elements in a scifi setting; and so on.

Taking an absolute position that "if it's not proven science it's crap" is problematic at best. That approach means that Star Trek style communicators were once fantasy, but then they transitioned to SF as we entered the Information Age, and then they became just plain old reality after we built them. Same deal for streaming music and ST:TNG - and tablet computers from both. And how would the classification of 20000 Leagues Under The Sea shift over time?

I'm not saying you're right or wrong to hold your view - my own views are problematic too. The particular line you've drawn is relative to whatever the current scientific and technological capacities are at a given point in time, is all.
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2017, 12:39:06 AM »
For sci-fi you have to be prepared to concede some bending of the Laws of Physics. Just for the sake of the story.

Sometimes the author has misunderstood something that sounds plausible and gone with it.
i.e in The Three Body Problem series Cixin Liu uses Quantum Entanglement to enable instant communication over many lightyears. Smarter people than me say even knowing the state of one particle, it can't be used to transfer information.
The story needs the communication to occur in real time, so I can live with it. It's still sci-fi. It is even considered Hard Sci-Fi. Which I would dispute for this and other things that happen.

If you get too technical then basically all fiction is fantasy, as it never happened.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2017, 10:22:12 AM »
...
By that logic almost all time-travel and FTL stories are fantasies. The Time Machine, Foundation, Ringworld... all magic-based fantasy.

Yes. (Though it's been too long since I read Foundation, in my teens, to remember if it contained violations of physics, and I don't know Ringworld.) But all FTL and time travel stories are fantasy.

Taking an absolute position that "if it's not proven science it's crap" is problematic at best.

Where have I ever said that?!?!? I've said over and over that I LIKE fantasy. I just want it to be called what it is.

... That approach means that Star Trek style communicators were once fantasy, but then they transitioned to SF as we entered the Information Age, and then they became just plain old reality after we built them.

Again, not at all what I said. In fact, practically the opposite of what I said. Small radios never violated the laws of physics. I've never said that a technology must exist today to be sci-fi. I said that it must not violate well-established laws of physics. FTL travel violates the laws of physics. Small wearable radios do not.
Daniel
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2017, 07:36:49 AM »
Daniel, if your definition of a genre excludes almost all works that are typically included in that genre, perhaps it is not the works but your definition that is the problem. Why can't you be satisfied to say that you dislike softer sci-fi without trying to redefine it as not "real" sci-fi?  It makes no sense.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2017, 07:51:10 AM »
Daniel, if your definition of a genre excludes almost all works that are typically included in that genre, perhaps it is not the works but your definition that is the problem. Why can't you be satisfied to say that you dislike softer sci-fi without trying to redefine it as not "real" sci-fi?  It makes no sense.

I am also very pigheaded on what I consider music, and what I consider art. I dispute a lot of what is typically included in those categories also. When I was younger I was widely regarded as unreasonable. But now that I'm an old fart my friends see me as merely a curmudgeon
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2017, 11:33:41 AM »
...
By that logic almost all time-travel and FTL stories are fantasies. The Time Machine, Foundation, Ringworld... all magic-based fantasy.

Yes. (Though it's been too long since I read Foundation, in my teens, to remember if it contained violations of physics, and I don't know Ringworld.) But all FTL and time travel stories are fantasy.

Taking an absolute position that "if it's not proven science it's crap" is problematic at best.

Where have I ever said that?!?!? I've said over and over that I LIKE fantasy. I just want it to be called what it is.

... That approach means that Star Trek style communicators were once fantasy, but then they transitioned to SF as we entered the Information Age, and then they became just plain old reality after we built them.

Again, not at all what I said. In fact, practically the opposite of what I said. Small radios never violated the laws of physics. I've never said that a technology must exist today to be sci-fi. I said that it must not violate well-established laws of physics. FTL travel violates the laws of physics. Small wearable radios do not.

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, or imply that you don't like fantasy. I was attempting a joke based on 'if it's not Scottish it's crap' is all. Please read the statement as 'if it is not proven science it is fantasy' instead.

"Small radios never violated the laws of physics."

They certainly did. To someone in 1802 a hand held device for long distance communication was fantasy powered by magic. There was no scientific foundation for radio. Heck, electricity was barely a thing. One might have imagined a magic mirror that could contact other magic mirrors, but this was outside known physical law.

But by the 1820s experiments exploring the relationship between electricity and magnetism began. Could that magic mirror be science fiction at that point? Or after 1873 when Maxwell's work triggered research into radio communication? Maybe the magic mirror became scifi  in the early 1900s when radio was demonstrated to made practical?

I'm not saying your approach is wrong. I'm just pointing out that it has problems, because the established body of scientific knowledge changes over time. I suspect this is the inspiration for Clarke's "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Right now physics has some interesting gaps, and a spotty understanding of spacetime. FTL is ruled out by GR, but we know GR is not perfect, because it does not integrate with quantum theory. Which is also not perfect because it does not integrate with GR. I doubt that a grand unified theory of everything Will give any indication faster than light travel is possible, but I'm not going to that possibility out completely. Maybe one day FTL will be conclusively ruled out. At that point pretty much all of science fiction will be retrospectively incorrect. I might still think of it as SF that was incorrect as opposed to fantasy, however.
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Offline Dan I

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2017, 12:05:35 PM »

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2017, 12:06:44 PM »
I split the difference between Daniel and most folks I think.   I prefer science fiction to be fiction that doesn't break any but a few known laws of physics.  I give a pass for FTL, time travel, and humanish aliens because they all open up story telling possibilities that wouldn't exist without them.   I give a pass to anything that was clearly down to the limits of budgets or technologically feasible special effects.  This means, I give TV and Film more leeway than books. 

I agree that starwars, was not Sci Fi mostly because it made no attempt at plausibility.  Humans in a galaxy far far away and time long long ago, that's fantasy in space.  Star Trek had human aliens because it was cheap and allowed actors to act and they had transporters because it was cheaper than landing on a planet, so that's sci fi on a budget.  The new versions get a pass on those because, they're grandfathered in. 

Daniels hostility towards the less realistic Sci Fi really seems mostly due to his imagined Star Trek effect, he seems to believe that the only reason people think mars/space colonization is possible is because of Sci Fi and that this dream is somehow preventing us from solving our problems right here on earth.  Given the investments in we've made in space travel, there's a better argument that sports movies have given us all a fantasy of being the big sports hero, resulting in us ignoring our real problems. 




Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2017, 06:19:42 PM »
...
"Small radios never violated the laws of physics."

They certainly did. To someone in 1802 a hand held device for long distance communication was fantasy powered by magic. There was no scientific foundation for radio.

There was no scientific foundation for it, but there were also no established laws of physics that said it was impossible, the way relativity clearly states that nothing, not even information, can travel faster than light.
Daniel
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Episode #600
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2017, 06:43:00 PM »
the way relativity clearly states that nothing, not even information, can travel faster than light.
Is that true? I thought relativity stated that nothing can accelerate to become faster than light but that faster than light itself is not mathematically impossible.
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