Page 13 of 15 FirstFirst ... 31112131415 LastLast
Results 181 to 195 of 214
  1. #181
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    This ain't nothing new. It is like Liberal Arts people think words are more important than science. Science is the study of how reality works. Reality ain't about WORDS. Words are nothing but symbols. Real science fiction writers were getting into General Semantics in the 40s and 50s. Before C. P. Snow wrote the Two Cultures essay.

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

    Now some people want to create Neuro Linguistic Programming. More words to disguise the original thinking.

    psik
    Guess what? Books are made of words.

  2. #182
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sol III
    Posts
    2,867
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    Guess what? Books are made of words.
    That includes physics books. But reality does not give a damn if we get the words or mathematics wrong. How far out of touch you wnat you so called "science" fiction to be is your business.

    I am simply saying at some point it ceases to be science fiction and becomes fantasy or really dumb trash claiming to be science fiction. Why did the producers of Star Wars say it was Space Fantasy in 1977?

    http://www.nerve.com/movies/five-way...cience-fiction

    psik

  3. #183
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    I'm not sure I'd ever take the makers of Star Wars as authorities on what is or is not science fiction...

  4. #184
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sol III
    Posts
    2,867
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    I'm not sure I'd ever take the makers of Star Wars as authorities on what is or is not science fiction...
    I am not aware of them saying anything was not science fiction besides Star Wars which they made themselves. Shouldn't they be authorities on that?

    psik

  5. #185
    Registered User ian_sales's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    I am not aware of them saying anything was not science fiction besides Star Wars which they made themselves. Shouldn't they be authorities on that?
    In order to know whether Star Wars is science fiction or not, they'd have to know what science fiction is. Obviously.

  6. #186
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sol III
    Posts
    2,867
    Quote Originally Posted by ian_sales View Post
    In order to know whether Star Wars is science fiction or not, they'd have to know what science fiction is. Obviously.
    Maybe just what science is and how light really behaves.

    Where else is there anything like light sabres in any other works that are accused of being "science fiction"? Light beams stopping at a specific distance without hitting an obstruction and impacting each other as though solid?

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; August 24th, 2012 at 01:53 PM. Reason: gram err

  7. #187
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by gainespost View Post
    I recently read "Matter" by Iain Banks. Really enjoyed it. It was the first novel I'd read by him; on the cover it says 'A Culture Book," of which there are many. It's possible that there is a much better book among them with which I should have started, but it seemed stand-alone-ish enough.
    Use of Weapons is the very best of them, I'd say. Very cleverly written, with every other chapter adding up to a half-novel written backwards. But that's just a gimmick; it's the story and the characters that make it a virtuoso space opera, of the very first order.

  8. #188
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    2
    Huh? Canticle for Leibowitz may be science fiction, but it's certainly not Space Opera. Neither is Martian Chronicles or the Mars books of Robinson, any more than were those of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Space Opera has to mean Interstllar romance, as opposed to planetary romance, if it's to mean anything. Sorry if I'm late to this conversation, but please, let's have some definition here.

  9. #189
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    301
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Maybe just what science is and how light really behaves.

    Where else is there anything like light sabres in any other works that are accused of being "science fiction"? Light beams stopping at a specific distance without hitting an obstruction and impacting each other as though solid?

    psik
    Ok guys, enough already! If you really wish to belabor this argument to the Nth degree I respectfully suggest you start a new thread entitled "What is Science Fiction?" where you can merrily bash at each other for the next 10,000 pages to validate your unique points of view. In case you haven't noticed this thread is entitled "Best Space Opera". Everyone has their own opinion about what that is; please forward that viewpoint with examples of books and authors so we can read them and see for ourselves. That in my opinion would be the best argument you can provide to prove any points you feel needed to be made.

    To me it's the stories that matter more than the genres. Reading to me is a favored pastime. If I want to learn about physics I'll pick up a physics book or research it online. If I want to lose myself in the make-believe world of fiction I'll do that as well, regardless of realism or lack of it. Just saying...

  10. #190
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    43
    There is already a thread where we have been hashing out the question of what is science fiction. I won't revisit that, but psikeyhackr posted a very early definition that really applies to space opera. I'll just share this one phrase - "a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision."

    The word I would like to stress for Space Opera is "intermingled". Star Wars is Space Opera SF, pure and simple. While Lucas may have used the term space fantasy for Star Wars initially, it has always been categorized as science fiction. He did not refer to any of the classic works of fantasy as he crafted the story. It is based on Japanese samurai cinema, Flash Gordon serials, Asimov's Foundation, Herbert's Dune, and Cambell's book of mythic archetypes. As the movies have progressed, from Episodes IV, V, VI to I, II, III, we have seen enough science and prophetic vision that it clearly can hold its own. Personal opinion can vary on just how much science it takes to constitute science fiction, but space opera requires far less than even regular soft SF. Space opera is about the romance (the older name for a swashbuckling adventure) in a science based setting. The setting takes a back seat to the story and the story takes great liberties, but for the story's sake. Even Herbert and Asimov were pretty light on science when writing Space Opera.

    Space Opera is all about the adventure. And I would disagree that it requires interstellar travel. With our knowledge of the universe, to get the grand scale space opera tends to have it almost always goes for interstellar travel, but a lot of the older stories fit all the other requirements and don't get outside our solar system. I would still count them as Space Opera.

    I think the truest, long term, test for whether something is really science fiction is if it inspires scientists, inventors, or engineers, to develop something new in the real world inspired by something in a fictional world. Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Foundation Series all pass that test just as much as the works of Verne and Wells.

    And psikeyhackr, you seem to like to pick apart Star Wars for how non-scientific it is and you aren't taking any time to look into how such things as light sabers could exist. It obviously isn't a truncated beam of light because two blades can touch. Light never touches. In looking at how the lightsaber was portrayed in the films and the level of technology, it is likely some sort of plasma shaped by some sort of physical apparatus (probably a force field) to give it its blade shape. And if you use some sort of support structure that can withstand the temperatures of plasma and that doesn't retract, it is theoretically possible to construct a plasma sword. Space Opera doesn't delve much into how things work. That is left to those who come later who want to make such things in the real world. We traveled to the moon in a capsule, we traveled under the North Pole in a submarine, we used atomic bombs in war, we have doors that open automatically when you approach, we have portable video phones we can hold in our hands - all things first thought of in science fiction long before they were available in the real world. Often things derided at the time as too fantastic to ever be real.

  11. #191
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    686
    And now I want a plasma sword. But I shouldn't be allowed to have one. I sometimes have a problem with impulse control.

  12. #192
    Registered User Anders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    There is already a thread where we have been hashing out the question of what is science fiction. I won't revisit that, but psikeyhackr posted a very early definition that really applies to space opera. I'll just share this one phrase - "a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision."

    The word I would like to stress for Space Opera is "intermingled". Star Wars is Space Opera SF, pure and simple. While Lucas may have used the term space fantasy for Star Wars initially, it has always been categorized as science fiction. He did not refer to any of the classic works of fantasy as he crafted the story. It is based on Japanese samurai cinema, Flash Gordon serials, Asimov's Foundation, Herbert's Dune, and Cambell's book of mythic archetypes. As the movies have progressed, from Episodes IV, V, VI to I, II, III, we have seen enough science and prophetic vision that it clearly can hold its own. Personal opinion can vary on just how much science it takes to constitute science fiction, but space opera requires far less than even regular soft SF. Space opera is about the romance (the older name for a swashbuckling adventure) in a science based setting. The setting takes a back seat to the story and the story takes great liberties, but for the story's sake. Even Herbert and Asimov were pretty light on science when writing Space Opera.

    Space Opera is all about the adventure. And I would disagree that it requires interstellar travel. With our knowledge of the universe, to get the grand scale space opera tends to have it almost always goes for interstellar travel, but a lot of the older stories fit all the other requirements and don't get outside our solar system. I would still count them as Space Opera.

    I think the truest, long term, test for whether something is really science fiction is if it inspires scientists, inventors, or engineers, to develop something new in the real world inspired by something in a fictional world. Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Foundation Series all pass that test just as much as the works of Verne and Wells.

    And psikeyhackr, you seem to like to pick apart Star Wars for how non-scientific it is and you aren't taking any time to look into how such things as light sabers could exist. It obviously isn't a truncated beam of light because two blades can touch. Light never touches. In looking at how the lightsaber was portrayed in the films and the level of technology, it is likely some sort of plasma shaped by some sort of physical apparatus (probably a force field) to give it its blade shape. And if you use some sort of support structure that can withstand the temperatures of plasma and that doesn't retract, it is theoretically possible to construct a plasma sword. Space Opera doesn't delve much into how things work. That is left to those who come later who want to make such things in the real world. We traveled to the moon in a capsule, we traveled under the North Pole in a submarine, we used atomic bombs in war, we have doors that open automatically when you approach, we have portable video phones we can hold in our hands - all things first thought of in science fiction long before they were available in the real world. Often things derided at the time as too fantastic to ever be real.
    Well said, which is why for me Space Opera is the best kind of SF.

  13. #193
    Old Fogey Fan RimWorlder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    523

    history and definitions

    Quote Originally Posted by DDCOrange View Post
    Why is everyone so down on Asimov? He may not be as good or as topical as some writers of today but I'll bet he heavily influenced them, particularly the space opera crowd, with his Foundation Trilogy. I read it when I was just a kid in the late sixties and it certainly influenced me (I became a space opera junkie from that point onwards). Asimov was one of the pioneers of the Space Opera genre at least in the era he was writing in. If his writing doesn't quite stand up to what we have today there is no faulting his imagination and storytelling even if its from a bygone age.
    THe interesting thing about this statement is your assessment of Asimov's impact on writers of today, particularly the space opera crowd.

    the thing is, Asimov was not writing "space opera" at the time. He was writing Hard SF, publishing it in the hard SF magazing of the day - Astounding Science Fiction.

    He took a soft science - psychology - and married it to a semi-hard science - statistical analysis - and treated it as if it were a rigorous hard science like chemistry or physics.

    Space Opera was taking place over at other magazines like Planet or Amazing Storues (where space opera was launched in 1928 with the publication of The Skylark of Space by Doc Smith.

    The authors who Asimove influenced are A. just about everyone and B. more likely harder science guys than space opera guys. But then again, these days, space opera doesn't mean what it used to and the geneological lines within the field are quite blurred.

    ps. Amazing stories is back at www.amazingstoriesmag.com

  14. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    And psikeyhackr, you seem to like to pick apart Star Wars for how non-scientific it is and you aren't taking any time to look into how such things as light sabers could exist. It obviously isn't a truncated beam of light because two blades can touch. Light never touches. In looking at how the lightsaber was portrayed in the films and the level of technology, it is likely some sort of plasma shaped by some sort of physical apparatus (probably a force field) to give it its blade shape. And if you use some sort of support structure that can withstand the temperatures of plasma and that doesn't retract, it is theoretically possible to construct a plasma sword. Space Opera doesn't delve much into how things work. That is left to those who come later who want to make such things in the real world. We traveled to the moon in a capsule, we traveled under the North Pole in a submarine, we used atomic bombs in war, we have doors that open automatically when you approach, we have portable video phones we can hold in our hands - all things first thought of in science fiction long before they were available in the real world. Often things derided at the time as too fantastic to ever be real.
    Well written post, but come-on, your not really defending the light saber as a legitimate/plaussible vision are you? That really made me smile.

    Now some kind of incredibly strong monofiliment blade/whip that can slice a guy's head off with a gesture, I can maybe suspend disbelief on that. But the light-saber is purest fantasy. Fun, but it doesnt remotely pass the straight faced test.

  15. #195
    Old Fogey Fan RimWorlder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    523
    Quote Originally Posted by ArtNJ View Post
    Well written post, but come-on, your not really defending the light saber as a legitimate/plaussible vision are you? That really made me smile.

    Now some kind of incredibly strong monofiliment blade/whip that can slice a guy's head off with a gesture, I can maybe suspend disbelief on that. But the light-saber is purest fantasy. Fun, but it doesnt remotely pass the straight faced test.
    Presuming that such technology actually did exist, there is another issue. To be practical as a weapon (in an age of "blasters" and Death Stars) the wielder must be able to "use the Force" 'or' there must be some kind of (totally wacky) cultural imperative that mitigates for its possession and use ("How do you know he is a King? Cause He asn't got s**t all over him").

    Since "The Force" has now been explained as deriving from midichlorians that are spread throughout the universe (incidentally throwing off the estimated mass of the universe) we end up at a science fictional dead end. Likewise the other explanation as there was no cultural imperative for lightsabers (indeed, the opposite) displayed in the film(s).

    Therefore, Star Wars certainly fails the test for "hard science" fiction, perhaps even for "rigorous science fiction" and maybe even for "stringent science fiction". And it passes the tests for Science Fantasy. Clearly Star Wars belongs to a sub-genre somewhere between the two. Perhaps as others have become fond of doing lately, we should invent a new sub-genre category for this set of properties. Lets see....how about "Commercial Science Fiction"? Nope, that seems to imply stories about business in the future. Hmmmm Fantasy Science? I kind of like that. Turns the ole "SF" around. Would make for a wonderful argument: "I say it's SF! No! It's FS! SF! FS! SF! FS!"
    It's either that or Lucas Fiction. Certainly one or the other is appropriate.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •