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  1. #1
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    Sci Fi or Fantasy?

    I've always been intrigued by how science fiction tends to foretell what may soon become reality, and at how the power of our imagination can bring about so much that so recently seemed improbable or impossible. Looking at the threads here on the Man of Steel, and a few more, I was asking myself whether that movie for instance, could be classed as Sci Fi? Nope, that falls into the realm of fantasy. Sci Fi is a genre that is driven by existing or imagined scientific principle, based on imaginative extrapolation from existing principle, whereas fantasy is just that: pure imaginative fantasy based on little other than a fertile imagination.

    Does this make it any less relevant? I don't think so, as there is a fine line sometimes between what can be deduced and what is a product of unfettered imagination. It all has its place.

    Sc fi in its truest sense has been around for centuries, altho understandably it is only since the rapid growth of scientific advancement that we have seen its burgeoning popularity. This has spawned countless different iterations of the genre, and some stuff that tends to defy easy classification... where does Hitchhikers Guide fit into this for instance? Much of HG is pure fantasy, but much also can be seen as pure sci fi... the lines are blurred...

    (Really, in a roundabout way, I wanted to turn this into a Hitchhikers thread... I am a big DNA fan!)
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  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    Science Fiction is a pretty wide term, with lots of sub-genres and people who try to go outside the sub-genres too. What you describe would fall very close to "Hard Science Fiction" where known scientific principles have major roles.

    As for Hitchhikers'... the Improbability Drive and the Guide are certainly based on scientific principles. Those principles are just unknown to present knowledge....

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Science Fiction is a pretty wide term, with lots of sub-genres and people who try to go outside the sub-genres too. What you describe would fall very close to "Hard Science Fiction" where known scientific principles have major roles.

    As for Hitchhikers'... the Improbability Drive and the Guide are certainly based on scientific principles. Those principles are just unknown to present knowledge....
    I would say that the Improbabilty Drive is based on increasingly well-known quantum principles. Adams is/was veering between fiction and fantasy all the time, but with quantum mechanics, many of those hard scientifically fictitious lines are very indistinct!
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  4. #4
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    I just finished reading the HG series a month or so ago.
    I don't think it fits comfortably inside the SF genre, as humour seems to be the leading component of the series. I'm currently reading a biography about Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams comes up quite a lot. The author considers them both iconoclasts who blew a lot of the tired old plot devices out of the water.... Adams in Sci-fi and Pratchett in fantasy.

    Have you read any Terry Pratchett?
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  5. #5
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    Sci Fi or Fantasy?

    Like someone else said, sci fi has so many different sub catagorys that it's easy to find something for you. Same with fantasy.

    I love anthology of short stories, since I'm a rereader I can still enjoy these books over and over again.

    Bill

  6. #6
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    I like high tech space sci fi. Aliens, non-stop battles, crazy weapons... If anyone has some good titles they have read lately please post. On a related topic nothing bugs me more than getting a kindle sample which is great and then you buy the book and it goes to mindless introspection, love scenes, etc... My second gripe is reviews which were clearly paid reviews. A lot of that on Amazon.

  7. #7
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    Fallen Dragon, by Peter F Hamilton. One of the best books I've ever read, there's a little bit of unexpected time travel at the end.

  8. #8
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    Anything by Robert Heinlein.

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    For Military Science Fiction, David Weber. I've managed to find most of his "Honor Harrington" and "Safehold" series at the city library.

    ... as well as most of Terry Pratchett's works.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the recommendations - I will check them out!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    For Military Science Fiction, David Weber. I've managed to find most of his "Honor Harrington" and "Safehold" series at the city library.

    ... as well as most of Terry Pratchett's works.

    Love me some Terry Pratchett... you know he's a Knight of the Realm now? SIR Terry Pratchett? I am just reading the Long Earth books, written in collaboration, but still good. Not funny like his usual stuff.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    Love me some Terry Pratchett... you know he's a Knight of the Realm now? SIR Terry Pratchett? I am just reading the Long Earth books, written in collaboration, but still good. Not funny like his usual stuff.
    Co-written with Stephen Baxter, one of my favorite authors. Thanks for the tip that the 2nd book was out-just requested the "on order" copy at my local library!

  13. #13
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    As far as the genre comparison of sci-fi and fantasy, it depends on how "broad" your view is.

    Not wholley un-related to this topic, on some anime boards i frequent, there was a discussion on an anime where a witch was turning back time and doing horrible things. The "hero" was there giving his scientific explanations. To that end, that was what the discussion was about, "what would we use as a scientific explanation" to something that appears to happen by magic.

    It was a long post that I did, but it went into quantum theory, space-time travel, and different dimensions (all of which is possible).. and "psychic" abilities are nothing more than the ability to consciously direct molecules at the sub-atomic level. Again, it's scientifically based, but not necessarily true (at the moment).

    By this arguement, this "fantasy" show would have been "sci-fi".

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike View Post
    As far as the genre comparison of sci-fi and fantasy, it depends on how "broad" your view is.

    Not wholley un-related to this topic, on some anime boards i frequent, there was a discussion on an anime where a witch was turning back time and doing horrible things. The "hero" was there giving his scientific explanations. To that end, that was what the discussion was about, "what would we use as a scientific explanation" to something that appears to happen by magic.

    It was a long post that I did, but it went into quantum theory, space-time travel, and different dimensions (all of which is possible).. and "psychic" abilities are nothing more than the ability to consciously direct molecules at the sub-atomic level. Again, it's scientifically based, but not necessarily true (at the moment).

    By this arguement, this "fantasy" show would have been "sci-fi".
    One man's fantasy...! You are rather agreeing with what I had posted, inasmuch as what you are explaining is that the story can be seen to be based on existing scientific principles, albeit still very much in their infancy. I believe Superman is in the realm of fantasy since that is based on some very tenuous ideas, scientifically speaking. However, with a broad stretch, it could be supposed to be based on some futuristic scientific principles, so that is where lines can be blurred. That is why I like the idea that the answer to the question of the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything being '42' leaves little in the realm of fantasy. It's all right there! Also, the idea of mice being projections of some master race from another dimension into ours, is easily explainable using very basic high school physics...
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  15. #15
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    I like both types of porn.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    I like both types of porn.
    ****ry and Western?
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  17. #17
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    This seems a good place to quote Clarke's 3rd law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

  18. #18
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    Hey, have I ever mentioned what I had etched on my grip clamps in large, friendly letters?

    Sci Fi or Fantasy?-grips_resize.jpg
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjaguar View Post
    Hey, have I ever mentioned what I had etched on my grip clamps in large, friendly letters?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Love it!
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