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Old 07-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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Why is it we have a lot of these sparkly vampire type of paranormal romance being labeled fantasy when it's clearly romance?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #17
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Don't forget the actively increasing anti-science bias and all the precious little pressure groups that hate science and fight against any further progress... the literature of ideas is anathema to these "people."
+1. i'm afraid we're seeing a return to the dark ages in many ways, from the citizenry themselves to government cutting the already pathetic pittance that the science community receives. america is in danger of losing one of the last undersea research facilities due to a cutting of their 3 million dollar budget. 3 million dollars, we spend more than that on one missile. its pathetic.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:42 AM   #18
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It's true that Fantasy is more popular than Science Fiction, so by sheer numbers, there will be more good Fantasy than Science Fiction (and the opposite is true as well due to Sturgeon's Law).

It will also depend on your taste in SF. For me, a lot of old SF was crap.

Right now, there's lots of interesting science fiction for me, from writers like Kij Johnson, Ted Chiang, Ken Liu, Greg Egan, Geoff Ryman, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cat Valente, etc.

We're even getting translations from Japan c/o Haikasoru and Vertical.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Why is it we have a lot of these sparkly vampire type of paranormal romance being labeled fantasy when it's clearly romance?
Because just like "horror", romance can apply to any genre (historical, Westerns, etc.).

Just because it's "romance" does not mean it's not fantasy. (If it doesn't have fantastical elements, then fine, it shouldn't be shelved under the fantasy shelf, but otherwise, sheer presence of a supernatural creature is paranormal enough for me.)
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:59 AM   #20
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As a guy who writes science fiction, I have often pondered the question of why fantasy sells so much better than SF. My own daughters gravitated more toward fantasy, though one of them definitely still enjoys SF. I tend to agree with those who say that too much SF nowadays is dystopian -- and I've put down my fair share of novels and stories that were well written, but too depressing for me to want to spend time in their world.

I think it's true that good SF demands more of the reader than does fantasy. (And that's not a criticism of fantasy; I enjoy good fantasy as much as anyone.) But even SF that's basically escapist entertainment does require a reader to internalize a world different from our own, and (if it's good) perhaps to question our assumptions on some level.

Writers like Lois Bujold continue to write SF that entertains, makes us love (and sometimes hate) the characters, and encourages us to think. Bujold is popular. Sawyer and Stross are popular. But there are other terrific writers like Ann Tonsor Zeddies and Rosemary Kirstein who have never achieved the same popularity, in spite of the quality of their work. I know, unfortunately, too many good SF writers who have grown discouraged over years of poor sales, and who aren't writing as much anymore.

Side note: I teach writing workshops from time to time, and by far the majority of students who take the workshops are more interested in writing fantasy than SF.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:56 AM   #21
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Is it time for a new "science fiction is dead/dying (and why is what's out there all so negative?)" thread already? My how time flies.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 07-30-2012 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Why is it we have a lot of these sparkly vampire type of paranormal romance being labeled fantasy when it's clearly romance?
I hate when I see those Twilight books next to Stephen King (under the assumption that vampires = horror). And just one shelf over from Tolkien (true story - saw this in a local bookstore).

I don't want to be seen buying books from the same shelf where a sparkly vampire is lurking...
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:22 AM   #23
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Seems a lot of SF has moved to more independent, ebook self published authors these days. Ranges from truly bad to excellent.
Historically, SF has always kept a foot outside the world of corporate publishing; it is well-nigh the last refuge of the (print media) short story, for one.
Magazines have endured for decades after the rest of the pulps vanished and even fanzines have endured.
And, traditionally, the best SF has come from the smaller houses.

The biggest surprise (for me) of the last decade was the failure of BAEN's UNIVERSE. Alas, they were two years ahead of the times.
I wish they would try again.

As to SF readership always being relatively small (and cheap; let's own up to that one, too. ) consider the initial hardcover print runs for classics like the Lensmen and Foundation series. They topped out at the (very) low 4 figures.

SF simply isn't as accessible as the other genres.
It's the nature of the beast.

And the reason why retread and watered-down SF tropes get grafted onto other genres or exploited in the video and gaming worlds is that that is how the ideas born in SF filter into the broader society.

SF is fine, folks.
Situation nominal; all systems are (still) go.

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Old 07-30-2012, 08:51 AM   #24
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Because just like "horror", romance can apply to any genre (historical, Westerns, etc.).

Just because it's "romance" does not mean it's not fantasy. (If it doesn't have fantastical elements, then fine, it shouldn't be shelved under the fantasy shelf, but otherwise, sheer presence of a supernatural creature is paranormal enough for me.)
Romance IS the genre. Historical, Western, paranormal--those are just the setting.

I'd say horror is a genre too, though the parameters are somewhat less clearly defined than those for romance.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:47 AM   #25
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SF is fine, folks.
Situation nominal; all systems are (still) go.
Agreed: SF has always been the chihuahua of literature, which occasionally grows to the size of a Jack Russell before shrinking back to chihuahua size (which is where we are right now).

It's possible, though, that the shakeup being caused by tightening budgets and the impact the Internet is having on access and marketing may change the dynamic enough to allow SF to grow more than it ever has before. If SF figures out how to crack the marketing code, we may see it grow to... oh, maybe terrier-size in the future.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #26
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Science Fiction isn't going anywhere. If people don't respect science fiction, I just nod and smile, and go back to my book. I do think there's a glut of dystopias out there. I'm not against reading dystopia, but I think it can be overdone.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:06 PM   #27
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As a guy who writes science fiction, I have often pondered the question of why fantasy sells so much better than SF.
My guess is it has something to do with a return to childhood, a revisiting of the fairy tales we grew up.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:12 PM   #28
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My guess is it has something to do with a return to childhood, a revisiting of the fairy tales we grew up.
My childhood was filled with Flash Gordon, Major Matt Mason, Star Trek and alien astronauts. That would explain my continued interest in SF.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:08 PM   #29
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My childhood was filled with Flash Gordon, Major Matt Mason, Star Trek and alien astronauts. That would explain my continued interest in SF.
Space Angel.
Adam Strange.
Brick Bradford.
Rip Hunter.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #30
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It's no surprise that people who grew up with science fiction continue to read or watch science fiction as an adult. It's not reverting back to childhood, it's not nostalgia. That would imply leaving it and coming back to somehow relive childhood. It's simply liking something before, and still liking it now.
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