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Thread: The definition of Science Fiction

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefinga View Post
    I am with you on this.
    Yeah, yourself and the distinguished JE are both wrong. Science and tech are a red herring. Consider just a few examples:

    The Dispossessed,
    The Handmaids tale,
    Slaughterhouse 5,
    The Drowned world,
    Ada, or Ardor,
    The Master and Margarita,
    A Clockwork Orange,

    Science and tech play little or no role in these books but they are generally considered to be SF.

    Id like to expand the suggestion I made earlier:

    SF is about 'anything that could happen in the future that differs in some way from current or past human experience'.

  2. #32
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    Where do aliens fit into this?

    Alien (Ridley Scott) is sci-fi because it's set on a spaceship and has an alien in it. Standard.

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind is sci-fi cos it's mainly about human interaction with aliens and spaceships. (And is set in the present, so ner de ner ner).

    ET though? Not really sci-fi?

  3. #33
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    'differs in some way from current or past human experience'
    Is the relevant bit here I think.

  4. #34
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    Also I disagree with Droid about A Clockwork Orange for two reasons.

    Firstly it is stacked to the gills with technology - its whole schtick is based on style and fashion in the future, which has to be a product of technological innovation.

    Secondly I don't think people regard it as science fiction. Dystopian perhaps. No aliens or spaceships though innit.

  5. #35
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    SF is about 'anything that could happen in the future that differs in some way from current or past human experience'.


    What about The Leftovers, then?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Leftovers_(TV_series)

    It is actually set in 2011 but that's largely immaterial. It definitely differs in some way from current or past human experience though.

    Not sci-fi though as there are no aliens or spaceships, sorry.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    SF is about 'anything that could happen in the future that differs in some way from current or past human experience'.

    As stated above, lot's of Sci Fi actually isn't set in the future. Another example would be Jurassic Park.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    SF is about 'anything that could happen in the future that differs in some way from current or past human experience'.


    What about The Leftovers, then?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Leftovers_(TV_series)

    It is actually set in 2011 but that's largely immaterial. It definitely differs in some way from current or past human experience though.

    Not sci-fi though as there are no aliens or spaceships, sorry.
    I know you grew up at a time when young master Wells was making waves with his fantastical stories of space travel & alien invasions, but things have moved on since then.
    Last edited by droid; 06-04-2017 at 11:20 AM.

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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    I know you grew at a time when young master Wells was making waves with his fantastical stories of space travel & alien invasions, but things have moved on since then.
    I am glad to hear it but we can't seriously suggest that a novel set in the year 2018 in which carrots had disappeared from the world (with no involvement of either aliens or spaceships) was science fiction, could we?

    I mean it's cool that you like science fiction and want everything in the future to be it - I just don't think it stacks up.

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    How much Sci Fi is James Bond?

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefinga View Post
    As stated above, lot's of Sci Fi actually isn't set in the future. Another example would be Jurassic Park.
    Hmm... firstly, not really (but I agree there will always be outliers, hence my qualifiers on the suggested definitions). Secondly how do you know? When was Jurassic park set?

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    I am glad to hear it but we can't seriously suggest that a novel set in the year 2018 in which carrots had disappeared from the world (with no involvement of either aliens or spaceships) was science fiction, could we?
    Maybe? Are you considering writing that book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Hmm... firstly, not really (but I agree there will always be outliers, hence my qualifiers on the definitions. Secondly how do you know? When was Jurassic park set?
    Jurassic Park was set in 1993 pretty much. The year it got released, bc it played with the gadgets of the currents, like CD-Roms presented as the hottest shit of the dawning "information age"

  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Hmm... firstly, not really (but I agree there will always be outliers, hence my qualifiers on the definitions. Secondly how do you know? When was Jurassic park set?
    Wait, so if Orwell published 1984 in 1985 (or if he had called in 1947) it wouldn't be science fiction?

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Maybe? Are you considering writing that book?
    Unfortunately it has got bogged down in all sorts of contractual issues (largely about film options) I am unable to get into here.

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  17. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefinga View Post
    Jurassic Park was set in 1993 pretty much. The year it got released, bc it played with the gadgets of the currents, like CD-Roms presented as the hottest shit of the dawning "information age"
    Bullshit. It featured gene splicing technology way ahead of anything we have even now.

    Fact is, AFAIK, there is no mention of timeframe anywhere and would presumably be 'near future'.

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