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Where has the science fantasy genre gone?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Netardapope, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    I'd say a lot of the Final Fantasy video games would be good examples of science fantasy.
     
  2. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I might be intruding on a conversation...but as an aside, I think my own strict (unfair?) view of science fiction, and thus my assessment of Hollywood's approach (mentioned above) may relate to the level of handwavium utilized.

    For me, the level of handwavium (quantity and quality) determines whether I experience the movie as being a science fiction or a fantasy.

    Now, there are actually probably far more subgenres imaginable.

    For instance, the Aliens movies: science fiction or merely monster horror movies dressed up with a science veneer?

    The movie Gravity: Merely science adventure–because it can be imagined to happen in the here-and-now with present technology and given the fact that we already have people working in space?

    What about all those movies involving time travel, like Primer, which was a very good movie but only has the veneer of science (with the caveat that our current understanding of science suggests that traveling into the past is impossible.) It seems more like a science thriller; or, science fantasy thriller; or, something like a science-conceptual movie. Or?
     
  3. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    It's not really about 99% accuracy, but more like, 99% plausibility. Major difference. I also don't think that argumentum ad populum is terribly convincing–at least not for me. Or maybe I just don't care what the majority thinks so much as I care about what I think and why I think it and am still exploring my own thoughts.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't know how you got all this from my comment. Doesn't really matter what tropes are in it. Whether it has a sword is no dispositive of fantasy. I can write a modern thriller with a sword in it. It's more a question of whether what happens in the story is consistent with what we understand of science or, if inconsistent, provided with a plausible, rational underpinning as to why the inconsistency exists. If it just hand-waves everything, it's more like fantasy (see, again, Star Wars, midichlorians notwithstanding).
     
  5. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Then you've no basis for rejecting stories in general that are mostly sci fi with some fantasy tropes included as not being "science fantasy". Which is what you did.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    No, that's your misreading of my posts. I said science fantasy is fantasy, with the word science thrown in front of it for reasons like "it's in space." If it is science fiction but has a fantasy trope (like swords and armor), then it is science fiction, not science fantasy, and therefore outside of the category of works I was talking about.

    When I said I don't consider "that stuff" science fiction, I was talking about science fantasy. I said science fantasy was just fantasy with the word science. You said it was just as likely to be science fiction with fantasy trope. I don't agree, because I call the latter science fiction even if it has a sword or a castle).

    If it looks like SF but has wizards lobbing fireballs around in the form of spells, with no rationale explanation, it's still fantasy.
     
  7. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I see. Then we just disagree on the definition. As I said, I don't think your definition covers all of the stories that fall under the name of science fantasy. Because it's a marketing tool. It's meant to describe the kind of experience a reader will have if they read the book. A story with a sci fi basis, but including a bunch of fantasy tropes as well, is a different experience than a basic sci fi story. The term is meant to distinguish that.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes, I think that's right. We're using the words differently, and I don't think I'm using them in a way marketers are likely to use them. I have a more narrow definition of science fiction than a lot of people (or, apparently, editors).
     
  9. Netardapope

    Netardapope Sage

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    I dunno, to be honest I was basing all this on the traditional pulpyish type of science fantasy story. You know, the kind in which sword wielding hero man fights aliens/robots/androids. I was looking for literature of that sort but I guess I'm a generation too late. I'd still love to here about some books though. Props to the person who mentioned final fantasy, you reminded me that I need to get back into my jrpgs, namely Tales of Zestiria

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
     
  10. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Are you looking for Sword and Planet? That is the sub-genre I most consider the definition of Science Fantasy. You mentioned the pulpy… so I'm thinking you mean the 1950-60's style like John Carter of Mars? Where the hero is either a time traveller, or a crashed astronaut onto another planet where they are stuck in Babylonian times and have 'some' advanced technology, or form of magic or sorcery? Usually with sacrificial virgins, power hungry sorcerer priests, large alien creatures/monsters, and a magic system that makes no sense?

    That is a pretty old school genre, but I love it. I would love to see it brought back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  11. bgmyhan

    bgmyhan Dreamer

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    It's more than that. The big six all are courteous of each other. (Disney, WB, Fox, ect) and they know disney has so much invested in Star Wars that is going to sell millions without even showing a frame or page. So the others aren't going to distribute sci-fi books, films, really any media in general until they feel they can compete with Disney. It's up to the indie writer to give the audience some variety from the countless star wars spinoffs we're about to encounter
     
  12. Netardapope

    Netardapope Sage

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    Yeah I was looking for a sort of modern version of that. It's a shame we only ever get to see a return to these things only as homages rather than original attempts at making something

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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