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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I disagree with this. Is a man unleashing fire something that will never happen? We have flamethrowers now. Do you protest that a flamethrower does not work the same way as a magic spell? Well, the technologies we have that emulate those previously described in Sci-Fi works never work the same way either.

    It depends on how you want to go about writing it. Do you give explanation for the powers? Are they realistically grounded in some tangible existence, apart from, "I just can" like some wizard in Harry Potter?


    If you're trying to ground the fantastical elements of your story out it's science fiction. If you leave it up to the reader to suspend disbelief of assorted facets it is fantasy. I think it's a pretty basic, easy to grasp, acceptable dichotomy, myself.


    (and has been stated, both genres are often crosses of each other - hence genres like "hard science fiction" and "soft science fiction". The Sprawl trilogy is a good example of hard science fiction that introduced many fantastical elements while still remaining one hundred percent grounded in scientific schools of thought.)

  2. #12
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post



    Feel free to needlessly complicate it all you like.
    Would not demolishing the division between the two genres actually be a simplification?

    And isn't Sci-Fi in and of itself often about needlessly complicating things?

    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    It depends on how you want to go about writing it. Do you give explanation for the powers? Are they realistically grounded in some tangible existence, apart from, "I just can" like some wizard in Harry Potter?


    If you're trying to ground the fantastical elements of your story out it's science fiction. If you leave it up to the reader to suspend disbelief of assorted facets it is fantasy. I think it's a pretty basic, easy to grasp, acceptable dichotomy, myself.
    But then the question is, what are the limits of plausibility and what explanation is good enough? If I have people doing things often typical of magical incantations, but bother to extensively explain how they do it through processes not unlike extreme versions of the feats accomplished by some monks, is my story Fantasy or Sci-Fi?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Would not demolishing the division between the two genres actually be a simplification?

    And isn't Sci-Fi in and of itself often about needlessly complicating things?
    As long as there is a difference between people who want to read Lord of the Rings and find reading Greg Bear distasteful, we need to draw some sort of delineation between the two genres. If you want to simplify to that degree, may as well label things as non-fiction and fiction and never categorize beyond that.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    As long as there is a difference between people who want to read Lord of the Rings and find reading Greg Bear distasteful, we need to draw some sort of delineation between the two genres. If you want to simplify to that degree, may as well label things as non-fiction and fiction and never categorize beyond that.
    You can lump everything together. You can also infinitely divide everything and call every single piece of work its own genre. This means that distinguishing Sci-Fi and Fantasy is a special distinction that people go out of their way to make as oppose to infinite other possible distinctions. There is presumably some justification for this. But if it's based on the usefulness of such a distinction, I have doubts about it actually being useful enough.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #15
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    Fantasy usually makes me think of things like magic. Usually the things that are very unlikely (or zero chance) to happen.

    Sci-Fi usually makes me think of things that might be possible in some distant future or may of been possible.

    One note is like comparing alchemy to super advanced technology in rearranging molecules to form other compounds.

    Change shit to gold using Alchemy... change shit to gold using super advanced technology. Ok, both of them sound the same. After all, it can be said that Alchemy is like a proto-science. The difference is that we know that we can't rearrange things with Alchemy by creating a transmutation circle, but we know it MIGHT be possible to rearrange molecules with advanced technology/biology. Even today, we are able to form compounds just by mixing the right elements.

    Fantasy is the imagination.

    Sci-Fi is the imagination trying to make things into reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Here's an interesting question though. Steampunk, sci-fi or fantasy? I can never make up my mind on that one. :P
    Steampunk usually makes me think of an alternate Industrial Era. I guess you can say an Industrial era that never went away from steam power. In ways, it is like Western. Doesn't mean it wouldn't have Fantasy or sci-fi elements to it though

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    But then the question is, what are the limits of plausibility and what explanation is good enough? If I have people doing things often typical of magical incantations, but bother to extensively explain how they do it through processes not unlike extreme versions of the feats accomplished by some monks, is my story Fantasy or Sci-Fi?

    I'm not sure - what makes black metal different from symphonic metal, or grunge from post grunge, or jazz from swing?


    I had Star Wars in mind. The Force is obviously a fantastical element to the universe, according to the original trilogy. But the prequel trilogy paints it in a different light - anyone with a fondness of microorganisms and quantum mechanics can start to view the universe in a whole new, dare I say scientific, manner. It's all on who's critiquing, I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    But then the question is, what are the limits of plausibility and what explanation is good enough? If I have people doing things often typical of magical incantations, but bother to extensively explain how they do it through processes not unlike extreme versions of the feats accomplished by some monks, is my story Fantasy or Sci-Fi?
    It's not so much the plausibility of the effect that is the focus of Sci-Fi, but also whether the aim of the story is to explore what would be different if it were true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    You can lump everything together. You can also infinitely divide everything and call every single piece of work its own genre. This means that distinguishing Sci-Fi and Fantasy is a special distinction that people go out of their way to make as oppose to infinite other possible distinctions. There is presumably some justification for this. But if it's based on the usefulness of such a distinction, I have doubts about it actually being useful enough.
    There is a philosophical difference between the intents of the archtypical Science Fiction writers and Fantasy writers. Being in several book clubs and being a reader of both and everything in between, I know there are good reasons to have those catagories. Both of them combined already have a name, Speculative Fiction.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Would not demolishing the division between the two genres actually be a simplification?

    And isn't Sci-Fi in and of itself often about needlessly complicating things?
    There's no need to "demolish the division" and 'simplify' when they are so obviously different, as you so aptly illustrated.

    You've answered your own question. Feel free to needlessly complicate it all you like from here on out, it's your time to spend.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    It's not so much the plausibility of the effect that is the focus of Sci-Fi, but also whether the aim of the story is to explore what would be different if it were true.
    So if I made a story about some time comparable to 1200 A.D, but in a world in which there were magic and a few different races like orcs and elves, but went about exploring the implications that would have for the world in the most logical way I could, would my story be Sci-Fi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    There is a philosophical difference between the intents of the archtypical Science Fiction writers and Fantasy writers. Being in several book clubs and being a reader of both and everything in between, I know there are good reasons to have those catagories. Both of them combined already have a name, Speculative Fiction.
    What would some of those reasons be?

    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    There's no need to "demolish the division" and 'simplify' when they are so obviously different, as you so aptly illustrated.

    You've answered your own question. Feel free to needlessly complicate it all you like from here on out, it's your time to spend.
    When did I illustrate a difference?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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