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  1. #21
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Imma claim the notions of causality are different. In scifi, in theory, you could get to the bottom of any causal chain in the story and find only impersonal physics. In fantasy, the important causal chains likely end up requiring some person to intervene and do magics.

    And I personally wish to classify steampunk as fantasy. (a) because I find steampunk irritating, and (b) because an author has to intervene in the chain of impersonal events to get a steampunk story to happen.

    /not scientific
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  2. #22
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    I asked you if The Lord of the Rings was sci-fi, you said "no it's obviously fantasy", and...


  3. #23
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What do you, dear reader, consider the difference between Sci-Fi and Fantasy as genres, and what purpose do you think this distinction serves?
    Sci-Fi has Fi which makes it better from the getgo. I haven´t thought much about why they are distinguished thus.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #24
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    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?
    Fantasy, unless somehow you wrote it in such a way that the story is meant to highlight some sort of political, social, or technological parallel in the real world. Then I'd give it a Sci-Fi label, or just shove it into the middle somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What would some of those reasons be?
    Simple, some people like Science Fiction and they kind of know what to expect, and some people like Fantasy and kind of know what to expect.

  5. #25
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I asked you if The Lord of the Rings was sci-fi, you said "no it's obviously fantasy", and...

    Those were not my exact words. You see, I know they're different only because they are at far ends of a convention I've been raised on. But what is the value of that convention? Let me give you an example.

    I said I would know Lord of the Rings would be Fantasy right away because of clothes, weapons, and buildings. That is clearly not the basis for genres consistently. What if it were? If it were, then I could write three books, all of which are historically realistic pieces set in the 1000 A.D., but with one in Britain, one in Iran, and one in Japan. Because all three would involve different kinds of clothes, weapons, and buildings, they would all be a different genre by such a criteria. Of course, we do not immediately call those different genres because we were not raised on a arbitrary convention for that. We were for Fantasy and Sci-Fi. And whether or not those things are even the heart of the difference between Fantasy and Sci-Fi (and most people here are saying they aren't) it's still a means by which people can immediately recognize the two thanks to cultural conditioning.
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  6. #26
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Fantasy, unless somehow you wrote it in such a way that the story is meant to highlight some sort of political, social, or technological parallel in the real world. Then I'd give it a Sci-Fi label, or just shove it into the middle somewhere.
    Would that be the true key then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Simple, some people like Science Fiction and they kind of know what to expect, and some people like Fantasy and kind of know what to expect.
    Does that not separate countless things that are not generally thought of as genres? And could it not separate infinite more, and perhaps some day cease to separate Fantasy and Sci-Fi? This would all come back to the question; why Fantasy and Sci-Fi?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #27
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I like the distinction because I like having a general idea what to expect. Is it going to be space ships and aliens and advanced genetic manipulation or wizards and fairies and mythical creatures? Both are great, but sometimes I'm more in the mood for one than another. I prefer even more specific genre divisions, when I can get them.

    I think it's a matter of personal taste.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #28
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Would that be the true key then?
    Yes, but, once again there is grey area.. more on that below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Does that not separate countless things that are not generally thought of as genres? And could it not separate infinite more, and perhaps some day cease to separate Fantasy and Sci-Fi? This would all come back to the question; why Fantasy and Sci-Fi?
    The truth is, what I highlighted is a philosophical kernel of difference used to differentiate Science Fiction and Fantasy, because they both came from different *traditions*. One is from fairy tales and one is from the idea of technology driving societal change. What they ended up being and how they are marketed have a lot to do with how the general population receives, consumes, pays for them.

    People who just like aliens and whiz bang lasers also tend to like magic wands and elves. For them, it doesn't matter as long as the story is exciting. The difference is much more grey, besides the set pieces, in the area of Movies were there is very little real science fiction to the point that a lot of Science Fiction readers like to call movies with aliens and lasers and no exploration of the idea of change as Sci-Fi and not Science Fiction.

    Basically, the categories are because the world is a messy place, and we need to know to a reasonable degree what we're paying for. /Te

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Those were not my exact words.
    No, but that was the gist.

    You see, I know they're different only because they are at far ends of a convention I've been raised on. But what is the value of that convention? Let me give you an example.

    I said I would know Lord of the Rings would be Fantasy right away because of clothes, weapons, and buildings. That is clearly not the basis for genres consistently. What if it were? If it were, then I could write three books, all of which are historically realistic pieces set in the 1000 A.D., but with one in Britain, one in Iran, and one in Japan. Because all three would involve different kinds of clothes, weapons, and buildings, they would all be a different genre by such a criteria. Of course, we do not immediately call those different genres because we were not raised on a arbitrary convention for that. We were for Fantasy and Sci-Fi. And whether or not those things are even the heart of the difference between Fantasy and Sci-Fi (and most people here are saying they aren't) it's still a means by which people can immediately recognize the two thanks to cultural conditioning.
    This all goes back to that thing I said about "needlessly complicating".

  10. #30
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superunknown View Post
    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.
    Star Wars is an interesting one. It comes across as Sci-fi but it's actually fantasy. It even sign-posts it at the start:

    "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..."

    Fantasy seeks to connect with Fairy Tales and the past (even if it's set in the present or future). It often has a romantic/idealistic element, about honour, justice and morality etc. In many ways it's escapism to a place/time when things were simpler and problems could be solved with a sword or a pure heart. It is a world were things are easily (or intuitively) understandable and is about maintaining or bringing back balance to the world - even with magical elements, there are clear limitations and prices to pay.

    Sci-fi, however, is typically a commentary on the present. It reflects, challenges and warns about contemporary society, politics, morals, thoughts, attitudes etc through more oblique, and perhaps more extreme, depictions of them. Technology and futuristic scientific advances are often part of it, but this is merely a device to demonstrate what the present world could/would be like if uninhibited by technical restrictions.
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