Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-14-2010, 08:10 PM   #46
HamsterRage
Evangelist
HamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notes
 
HamsterRage's Avatar
 
Posts: 435
Karma: 24326
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: Kobo
The original Star Trek series was definitely social commentary about the 60s.
HamsterRage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 09:06 PM   #47
Roger Parkinson
Zealot
Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.Roger Parkinson lived happily ever after.
 
Roger Parkinson's Avatar
 
Posts: 143
Karma: 108036
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Device: Samsung Galaxy S
Long ago a teacher told me science fiction was always a story of the future and that was all there was to it. When I read more of it I found stories where aliens landed in the distant past, and then there are time travel stories that start in the future and go to the past and sometimes come back etc.

Assuming, for a moment, that the movie Apollo 13 was not about a real mission but a fictitious one would it have been science fiction and why (not)? Clearly it took place in the past and with now outdated technology but it was about space travel so surely it counts. What about a similar story but set in Antarctica? Just about all the space travel motifs get replicated in that environment (isolation, hostile atmosphere etc).

So when I search for a better term to describe 'hard science fiction' I prefer 'technology fiction', where the story is made possibly by technology that we are unfamiliar with. But I'm assuming the technology is credible. The other end of the genre, the space opera, makes little attempt to make the technology credible and is more interesting it creating an exciting yarn (a worthy aim, but a different one).

While I completely agree about the social commentary I don't know where to put it in my scheme of things.
Roger Parkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 07-14-2010, 10:40 PM   #48
DixieGal
Hi There!
DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DixieGal's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,473
Karma: 2930523
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ft Lauderdale
Device: iPad
I always liked older scifi where the computer is integrated into people's brains. Then they can access anything at any time.

BTW, at least half of the books I have purchased since going ebbok have been collected short stories from the early days. And the 70's. In the former, they drink martinis at lunch and smoke cigarettes, and in the latter, they smoke weed and eat processed futuristic pellet space food.

I blame Mrs. Eddings for my shameful scifi addiction. It was the 1st grade in 1970, and we watched a film of the moon landing. I've been hooked on hard scifi ever since.
DixieGal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #49
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722355
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
Your English teacher told you that SF was social commentary because English teachers, at least the kind with degrees in literature, think everything is social commentary.

I'm reminded of the story about the man who went to see a psychiatrist. The shrink showed him various inkblots, and in every one, the man found some sort of sexual image. "Well, Mr. Smith, you seem to be obsessed with sex." The patient looked at him in disbelief. "Me obsessed? Doc, you're the one showing me all the dirty pictures!"

It's hard to define science fiction because it is such a broad field. A rough definition would be stories in which speculative or predicted science or technology forms a significant element of the story. That misses a lot, though. For example, it excludes post-apocalyptic future stories. It misses classics like "Shambleau" in which the science and technology are just tools for getting the main character to where he has to be. It doesn't cover steampunk very well. In a burst of weirdness, I'm writing what you might call a "retro Tom Swift" story -- an "Edisonade" in which the main character is an inventor and adventurer much like Tom and his ilk, with the requisite super-scientific inventions, but all of the inventions are scientifically possible ... with the science of our era, not his. I consider it science fiction, but I can't jam it into that definition. Then we get the alternate-history subgenre, which is its own whole can of worms.

That's one of the reasons people came up with the term "speculative fiction" -- it better describes stories about things that aren't consistent with what we know of reality. But that has its own scope issues. Do we include fantasy? There is fantasy which is more rigorous (and, I dare say, more plausible) in the "technology" of its magic than some science fiction is in its science. Where do we put that? How about supernatural and horror stories. "Frankenstein" is SF; is "Dracula"?

It's hard to discuss a field when just defining it is like nailing jelly to a tree!
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 12:23 AM   #50
Solitaire1
Off-Kilter Scientist
Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Solitaire1 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Solitaire1's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,584
Karma: 11326192
Join Date: Nov 2009
Device: NookHD+ & Kobo Touch eReader
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I always liked older scifi where the computer is integrated into people's brains. Then they can access anything at any time.

BTW, at least half of the books I have purchased since going ebbok have been collected short stories from the early days. And the 70's. In the former, they drink martinis at lunch and smoke cigarettes, and in the latter, they smoke weed and eat processed futuristic pellet space food.

I blame Mrs. Eddings for my shameful scifi addiction. It was the 1st grade in 1970, and we watched a film of the moon landing. I've been hooked on hard scifi ever since.
This brings to mind the DC Comics event "DC One Million" which was set in the 853rd Century (1,000,000 months from the first DC published comic book). At that time everyone is mentally connected to all available information via a central data system. One of the worst punishments available is to be disconnected from that system, and be limited to the small amount of data contained in a conventional library (with actual books).
Solitaire1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 01:53 PM   #51
mknopp
Member
mknopp will become famous soon enoughmknopp will become famous soon enoughmknopp will become famous soon enoughmknopp will become famous soon enoughmknopp will become famous soon enoughmknopp will become famous soon enough
 
Posts: 20
Karma: 546
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA
Device: iPad
I have been told by older science fiction fans that scifi is a derogatory term, but I have never ran into it used as such in over three decades. I just use it because it flows better. SF is hard to say, and just sounds unnatural. Science fiction is just too long. Scifi is short and rolls off of the tongue. It is just the term that me and my friends have always used.

As for social commentary. Many of Robert A. Heinlein's books are chock full of social commentary. Friday is perhaps one of my favorites in this regard. I still wonder how long it is going to be before a government enacts his California law, where it was determined that people with college degrees receive preferential treatment in the job market so the government decide to just give everyone a degree to make it fair.
mknopp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 06:52 PM   #52
Metal Mick
Addict
Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Metal Mick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 252
Karma: 2383254
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: The Book, PB 302, IQ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
Your English teacher told you that SF was social commentary because English teachers, at least the kind with degrees in literature, think everything is social commentary.
Hi Worldwalker, et al,

hmmnnn... I don't know enough people with degrees in English lit to argue this point, though it does seem rather a broad statement.

Your later comment re defining the term triggered a Google search:

http://www.google.com.au/search?num=...E&ved=0CCEQkAE

- some of the "definitions" are quite interesting. They tend to encompass just about everything that has been said in this thread.

So yes, nailing jelly to a tree might well be an easier task. <smile>

Cheers,

Michael P
Metal Mick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 01:11 PM   #53
kindlekitten
Professional Adventuress
kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
kindlekitten's Avatar
 
Posts: 12,367
Karma: 44413058
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Olympic Peninsula on the OTHER Washington! (the big green clean one on the west coast!)
Device: Kindle, the original! Times Two! and gifting an International Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamsterRage View Post
I'm pretty much in the same boat. Although I've never felt the urge to go hang out at conventions, SF has been the mainstay of my reading for the past 30 years or so and I would consider myself an avid fan. On top of my cabinets in my office here at work I've got a Dalek and a Darth Vader bobblehead proudly displayed for anyone to see (I've also got a stuffed Y2K Bug, and one of those Intel Pentium "Bunny" men up there). So I'm certainly not in the closet.

During all that time I've never even once experienced any condescension from anyone about my choice of reading material. I've never had anyone sneer, "SciFi" at me. As a matter of fact, I doubt anyone that I've ever met in person would even know to use "SciFi" as an insult.
my mother thought I was a complete and total freak for reading scifi. I think she thought there was something rather scurilous about it as well. I kind of had the geek label in high school. I would have been thrown into the lockers if I hadn't have been a jock as well. weird times those

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDaneel54 View Post
I enjoy the old Science Fiction, even with its errors in prediction. Isaac Asimov mentioned how quickly one of his early stories, written when the scientists thought Mercury was tidally locked to the Sun, was overcome by the discovery of Mercury's rotation. Science is built on errors, and so is SF.

But there are a ton of spot on predictions, too. Some actually defining the future themselves. Two Robert Heinlein examples: Waldoes from "Waldo, Inc." and the waterbed from "Stranger in a Strange Land."

I remember the pre-SciFi days, too. I grew up on Heinlein, Asimov, Del Rey, etc. There was a lot of scorn for those who read SF. Pseudo-intellectuals, who never read SF, looked down on anyone who did. I heard the snearing in grade school! It was funny when schools started including Ray Bradbury in their literature books.

I've learned not to cringe (physically) when someone innocently says, "The SciFi books are over here."

Dean
it was my understanding that Heinlein invented the water bed, both figuratively and literally for his wife who was very ill for a time. he (I think) came up with the "vid phone". what would skype be?

I always rely on the classic Heinlein description of "what is science fiction" according to him the following conditions apply; "if you conceive of an egg beater and one does not exist, that is science fiction."

Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
*snip
I have read lots of the ... Aehm ... stuff, from Hard SF (is that correct?), even hard military "Baen-style", through milder stuff to space opera. From Verne, Wells, Heinlein, Asimov to the contemporary authors, including obscure (and wonderful) books by Russian and eastern European authors written in 1960s.

*snip* I was VERY snottily informed by someone here that Baen is soft scifi.
kindlekitten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #54
Vintage Season
Pulps and dime novels...
Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Vintage Season ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Vintage Season's Avatar
 
Posts: 329
Karma: 1400001
Join Date: Jan 2009
Device: nook STR/iPad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by kindlekitten View Post
I always rely on the classic Heinlein description of "what is science fiction" according to him the following conditions apply; "if you conceive of an egg beater and one does not exist, that is science fiction."
Good definition.

As for the term "sci-fi" being derogatory, I write the stuff, and I've occasionally used the term as a description for my own work, without intending any negative connotation. Does my using it from the inside ameliorate the supposed stigma?

- M.
Vintage Season is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 04:51 PM   #55
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722355
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
Here's a question: What if you're writing a story right now which is set at a time in which eggbeaters didn't exist and your character invents an eggbeater -- is that science fiction?
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #56
Jadon
Hermit
Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.Jadon can eat soup with a fork.
 
Posts: 192
Karma: 9425
Join Date: Oct 2006
Device: Kindle Keyboard, Kobo Glo
If your character invents the world's first eggbeater, it could well be science fiction. (Hell, the hero in Pohl and Kornbluth's "Mute, Inglorious Tam" invents nothing, and doesn't even have to words to describe the wonders he daydreams of, and that story's pretty generally seen as SF.) Much depends on how you view the character and the invention, and the tone you use. The story could be straight biography, slapstick comedy, tragic quest, whatever.
Jadon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 06:04 PM   #57
Penforhire
Wizard
Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,067
Karma: 6830420
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern California
Device: Kindle PW, PRS-650, iPhone 4, iPad 4
I think Sci Fi, as a definition, is based on the technology of the readers at the time of the writing. Since we have eggbeaters now, I wouldn't call that Sci Fi (or even SF, lol). Probably fantasy or alternate history.
Penforhire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 07:21 PM   #58
mike_bike_kite
Digitally confused
mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mike_bike_kite ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mike_bike_kite's Avatar
 
Posts: 469
Karma: 1468286
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: London, UK
Device: KPW, K2i, Nexus 7 32gb, Kobo Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
Here's a question: What if you're writing a story right now which is set at a time in which eggbeaters didn't exist and your character invents an eggbeater -- is that science fiction?
As I now understand the terms:
  • If you invent the egg beater in your story then it's SciFi.
  • If you manage to explain how it works using todays science then it's hard SF.
  • If you also invent eggs and chickens in your story then it's SciFi opera.
mike_bike_kite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 07:59 PM   #59
murraypaul
Interested Bystander
murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.murraypaul ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,224
Karma: 10210627
Join Date: Jun 2008
Device: Sony PRS505, Nook Color(CM7), iPad3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
As I now understand the terms:
  • If you invent the egg beater in your story then it's SciFi.
  • If you manage to explain how it works using todays science then it's hard SF.
  • If you also invent eggs and chickens in your story then it's SciFi opera.
  • If you manage to make eggbeaters an integral part of a retelling of classic military fiction, Baen will publish it
murraypaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2010, 08:25 PM   #60
kindlekitten
Professional Adventuress
kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kindlekitten ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
kindlekitten's Avatar
 
Posts: 12,367
Karma: 44413058
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Olympic Peninsula on the OTHER Washington! (the big green clean one on the west coast!)
Device: Kindle, the original! Times Two! and gifting an International Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
Here's a question: What if you're writing a story right now which is set at a time in which eggbeaters didn't exist and your character invents an eggbeater -- is that science fiction?
I think that is magic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
I think Sci Fi, as a definition, is based on the technology of the readers at the time of the writing. Since we have eggbeaters now, I wouldn't call that Sci Fi (or even SF, lol). Probably fantasy or alternate history.
just remember, the egg beater was a for instance. substitute widget if it helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
As I now understand the terms:
  • If you invent the egg beater in your story then it's SciFi.
  • If you manage to explain how it works using todays science then it's hard SF.
  • If you also invent eggs and chickens in your story then it's SciFi opera.
no, I think it is more if you have a different way of chickens and eggs interatcting with humanity (David Brin anyone?), it is scifi opera
kindlekitten is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New SciFi: 2184 MartinParish Self-Promotions by Authors and Publishers 33 12-26-2010 09:59 PM
Do you know this scifi paperback series? motormanjh Reading Recommendations 2 08-08-2009 03:55 PM
New SciFi Ezine Out Gibbo News 18 04-26-2009 10:07 AM
Help me place this SciFi! RWJ Lounge 12 10-22-2008 03:58 AM
SciFi/Fantasy kezza Deals, Freebies, and Resources (No Self-Promotion) 2 04-13-2003 11:52 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:59 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.