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  1. #91
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylinar View Post
    The creature had an obviously open mouth and it was exposed to open space. No amount of soft SF handwaving can compensate for this complete lack of knowledge of physics that they displayed.
    I assume they just don't care and that most of the audience either won't notice or won't care either.

    I consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the best of the original three movies but that sequence bugged me and I expect 7th graders to understnad the flaw even if they don't care about it in a movie. But it takes the work out of the "science" fiction category.

    Of course Luke falling down that funnel in the middle of the floating city is nonsense also. It looked really cool though.

    psik

  2. #92
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Star Wars is Science Fantasy, not Science Fiction.

  3. #93
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Star Wars is Science Fantasy, not Science Fiction.
    Techno-fantasy, Lucas called it space fantasy. Science fantasy is an oxymoron.

    The Matrix is a techno fantasy also but it has no space flight.

    psik

  4. #94
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    The Matrix is a techno fantasy also but it has no space flight.
    Only because there was no opportunity to show it in the trilogy. Can't remember if there's anything like it in The Animatrix.

    And Science Fantasy is not an oxymoron. Science fantasy is what we deem scientifically impossible, science fiction is what we deem scientifically possible (with harder sci-fi going into plausibility if not out-right certainty).

  5. #95
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    And Science Fantasy is not an oxymoron.
    The Matrix is an excellent example of techno-fantasy. The central technology involved is computers but because of the scope other areas of science would be necessary to complete the picture.

    This brings up the issue of one's attitude about science. Science is the study of HOW REALITY WORKS. Technology is the application of that knowledge to manipulate reality. One thing SOME science fiction writers do SOME OF THE TIME is extrapolate current technology to envision things which the technology at the time of writing cannot do. Obviously this means they will often get things wrong because the technology will never do it. But how can we know what is coming 1000 or 10,000 years from now? But it also leads to the temptation to throw out the science and do whatever is convenient to the story.

    The Matrix does this with that hilarious excuse of getting energy from human bodies. It would take more energy to feed all of those encapsulated bodies than could be gotten from them so the entire story is a scientific oxymoron. That does not mean a story cannot have many interesting and entertaining things to say even though it is fundamentally flawed on a scientific level. So I think techno-fantasy serves as a more encompassing term. Space ships are just another technology so space fantasy would simply be a subset of techno-fantasy involving space travel.

    I think science fantasy contradicts scientific and semantic rigour.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigour

    psik

  6. #96
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylinar View Post
    While some of your premises here are reasonable for soft SF (and in a book could be explained) Psik was pointing out the one truly major flaw that destroyed the entire scene. The creature had an obviously open mouth and it was exposed to open space. No amount of soft SF handwaving can compensate for this complete lack of knowledge of physics that they displayed. I gave a lot of leeway to Star Wars for the sake of story but things like this can destroy my willing suspension of disbelief.
    Actually, what you are forgetting about this scene is a very solid element of science/physics; gravity. The asteroid is sizable, evidently sizable enough (in the writer's mind) to have enough gravity for the 3 characters to walk around outside the ship (and there are examples of asteroids like this in our own asteroid belt). Also, they are in a moist cavern. Water, exposed to a vacuum, will turn to gas. In a contained area, such as the slug's stomach or esophagus, that water vapor would remain contained and not just dissipate. When you mix gravity, water, and a vacuum in a contained space, you will no longer have a vacuum. Now if it were just a cavern, this would slowly dissipate off into space, but inside a living creature that would continue to produce more liquid and therefor more gas, it would be self renewing. From the nature of the scene the liquid isn't very acidic and the atmosphere isn't breathable or probably even thick enough to breathe. It is thick enough that in the mynocks that were already there can fly in that air/gravity combination.

    So really the biggest problem with that scene is ascribing what looks like fairly normal gravity to a smaller body where that level of gravity shouldn't be possible and that is pretty common occurrence in Hollywood SF (where they are limited to filming in a 1g environment). It also isn't something most writers stop to consider.

  7. #97
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    In a contained area, such as the slug's stomach or esophagus, that water vapor would remain contained and not just dissipate.
    If it was a contained area then how did the ship fly in and out?

    That entire sequence depends on the viewers not thinking.

    psik

  8. #98
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    So really the biggest problem with that scene is ascribing what looks like fairly normal gravity to a smaller body where that level of gravity shouldn't be possible and that is pretty common occurrence in Hollywood SF (where they are limited to filming in a 1g environment). It also isn't something most writers stop to consider.
    Yes, this is always a factor. There are only so many tricks you can play without busting the budget. A man wearing an alien suit is easier to pay for than a digital creation ala Jar Jar Binks. Off hand I can't think of too many movies where they had partial gravity like the moon. Zero G seems easier to do by the effects wizards than that, makes me wonder why. I guess that is why we have the phrase 'willing suspension of disbelief' which naturally is different for each person.

    On the writing side of the forum there was a thread about when a written work uses too many commonplace terms when the work is not in a commonplace world and where does this become jarring and kick you out of the story mentally. Not surprising there were just as many opinions on that as we have here with this topic. People, you just can't satisfy them.

  9. #99
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    If it was a contained area then how did the ship fly in and out?

    That entire sequence depends on the viewers not thinking.

    psik
    The slug's body provides containment on the bottom and sides and gravity keeps it from traveling up the slug's throat. That leave it as open as any atmosphere for the ship to fly in and out.

  10. #100
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    The slug's body provides containment on the bottom and sides and gravity keeps it from traveling up the slug's throat. That leave it as open as any atmosphere for the ship to fly in and out.
    Seriously? It is time to drop the analysis of this scene because it is approching mystical gyrations trying to 'prove' this could happen. As physics stand today there is no explanation that can justify this scene. A worm with a gravitational field as strong as a planet? We (I am guilty here) have hijacked the original intent of this thread, which was a good one, into a microscopic study of about 5 minutes of a film scene.

  11. #101
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Agreed. Back to our regularly-scheduled discussion, please.

  12. #102
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Agreed. Back to our regularly-scheduled discussion, please.
    Quote Originally Posted by mylinar View Post
    As physics stand today there is no explanation that can justify this scene. A worm with a gravitational field as strong as a planet? We (I am guilty here) have hijacked the original intent of this thread, which was a good one, into a microscopic study of about 5 minutes of a film scene.
    The issue is not really that scene. That scene is just an example of the problem but it is useful as an example because it is so obvious.

    Trying to analyse whether creatures the size of the worms in Dune could move underground through sand might be much more complicated. But there are cases in science fiction that have been much more real and immediate.

    In A Fall of Moondust Arthur C. Clarke wrote of superfine dust on the Moon that could behave like water in some respects. This was a conceptual possibility that had to be considered on landing. This was 1961 so nobody really knew. Maybe such dust is geologically impossible considering the Moon's evolution. I really don't know. Maybe it actually exists on some other planet with different conditions. But now that we have been there and collected lots more data it is pretty certain that no such dust exists there.

    Does that make the story fantasy or do we just say it is science fiction on the basis of chronological license because of what was not known at the time or do we accept it as science fiction because there is no actual defiance of known physics?

    The problem is that different readers have different attitudes about science. How do we put phasers to their heads and make them all agree? LOL

    psik

  13. #103
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    The issue is not really that scene. That scene is just an example of the problem but it is useful as an example because it is so obvious.

    Trying to analyse whether creatures the size of the worms in Dune could move underground through sand might be much more complicated. But there are cases in science fiction that have been much more real and immediate.

    In A Fall of Moondust Arthur C. Clarke wrote of superfine dust on the Moon that could behave like water in some respects. This was a conceptual possibility that had to be considered on landing. This was 1961 so nobody really knew. Maybe such dust is geologically impossible considering the Moon's evolution. I really don't know. Maybe it actually exists on some other planet with different conditions. But now that we have been there and collected lots more data it is pretty certain that no such dust exists there.

    Does that make the story fantasy or do we just say it is science fiction on the basis of chronological license because of what was not known at the time or do we accept it as science fiction because there is no actual defiance of known physics?

    The problem is that different readers have different attitudes about science. How do we put phasers to their heads and make them all agree? LOL

    psik
    We don't all agree and never will, that is part of the fun. We wouldn't have such lively conversations if we all agreed. I think the status of any given work is what genre was it when it was created and as a minor, but not fatal test, where it fits now. Sometimes genre's change and something old might fit one of the new Genres. Verne and Wells wrote before SF existed, but both are SF by today's standards.

  14. #104
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    We don't all agree and never will, that is part of the fun. We wouldn't have such lively conversations if we all agreed. I think the status of any given work is what genre was it when it was created and as a minor, but not fatal test, where it fits now. Sometimes genre's change and something old might fit one of the new Genres. Verne and Wells wrote before SF existed, but both are SF by today's standards.
    The term "science-fiction" (with a hyphen) was first used in 1851. But it did not get any popular usage until the 1930s and that was because Hugo Gernsback lost control of the term he invented "scientifiction". Verne and Wells were writing science fiction it just was not called that.

    From the first Amazing Stories:

    By ‘scientifiction’ I mean the Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Edgar Alan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision. […] Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are also always instructive. They supply knowledge that we might not otherwise obtain—and they supply it in a very palatable form. For the best of these modern writers of scientifiction have the knack of imparting knowledge and even inspiration without once making us aware that we are being taught (“A New Sort of Magazine,” Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1926, p.3).
    http://pulpmags.wordpress.com/2012/0...g-stories-1-6/

    Somewhere I read that Gernsback lost control of the magazine so the word "scientifiction" went with the 'zine so he used "science fiction" in another publication but it has stood the test of time rather than "scientifiction".

    psik

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