Tags:
  1. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield

    What Happened to Sci-Fi?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by MilesTro, Jun 15, 2013.

    I found more and more stories about vampire, werewolves, and zombies along with dystopian and fantasy on the bestselling, but no science fiction novels that deals with space adventure. It seems like the books that people kept buying are all wannabe Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games. I know writers can write whatever books they want, but what happen to the good old days when sci- fi action adventure books were popular? Screw the science fiction books based on franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Halo, what happen to original science fiction stories?
     
  2. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,807
    Likes Received:
    7,326
    Location:
    Scotland
    Bummer. Totally agree. I had to laugh when Joss Whedon explained why there are no aliens in Firefly : "Because there aren't any now."

    This from a guy who thinks demons live in the basements of high schools...?

    Maybe the genre of sci-fi has taken a dip in the wrong direction recently, but the cool thing is...'outer' space is still out there! Nothing has changed except our belief, our trust, that we will someday be able to travel through it easily. I hope when our current fad for unpleasant nocturnal beings evaporates (as it will), then the human creative mind will return itself to the real mysteries of the universe.
     
  3. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    There are a few people still pushing that stuff, but in popularity fantasy, and young adult in particular, is through the roof at the moment.

    Considering how access to space is rather limited at the moment (space shuttle retired, spaceX not up and running fully yet), humanity may just be giving up on the grand sky above us. That'd be a shame, but it isn't like we haven't seen this coming for a while. Space may stay a final frontier for quite a long, long time.

    (though robots are starting to explore it more. Given how cheap they are, this makes sense)
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I think sci-fi writers may have lost their fascination with space travel. Granted, we haven't conquered space travel yet, but it's certainly not as exciting as it was 50-60 years ago. A lot of sci-fi now seems to be focused on climate change, dystopias, and other such problems we face today. So I think sci-fi is moving in a new direction. It's certainly not a bad thing, but I can see how people who are accustomed to reading the classic space exploration type books might be a little let down.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Think of it as coming in waves. The tide will inevitably shift back again. Zombies, vampires and werewolves will give way to the next generation of Dr Who, Buck Rogers and Hans Solo as soon as the next great story is told.
     
  6. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    I agree, but as Ginger says, the tide will turn. Zombies and vampires are everywhere at the moment, but I have a funny feeling in about a year or so they will completely flop and a new genre will rise again (hopefully sci-fi)! :)
     
  7. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    T.Trian and I write a sci-fi adventure that takes place in outer space. Granted, in our solar system and there are no insect-like aliens, but maybe when we're done revising it and pitched it to a gazillion agents, space sci-fi is cool again :D
     
  8. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Please do.
     
  9. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,895
    Likes Received:
    10,082
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I feel Ginger is correct. The cultural zeitgeist is a fickle thing. When first I joined this forum in 2008, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was putting up their supernatural vampire romance set in a stonking great school for "special" children possessed of (fill in the blank) powers. Oh, and all the titles had the word chronicles in them. ALL of them.

    It was nausea inducing.

    Just wait until Ender's Game hits theaters. It's str8-up space adventure. The books upon which the film is based are nothing new. The first one published in 1985. Given that the MC is young, if the film is a hit, you're going to see a new wave of such books. And though After Earth is not based on any novel it has a similar dynamic. Perhaps it, along with Ender's Game will usher in some fresh titanium slick, Bussard ramjet powered sci-fi. ;)

    BTW, what is the most recently publish bit of sci-fi you have enjoyed. Maybe I can steer you to some good titles you've not read.
     
  10. Karwedsky
    Offline

    Karwedsky Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hope you are right! I would really like to see a resurgence in the popularity of space opera type science fiction. It has always been my favorite genre to read, and to also write in.
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The solution is not to curse the darkness, but rather to light a lamp. :)
     
  12. mbinks89
    Offline

    mbinks89 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Montreal
    I agree with cogito. Get to writing.
     
  13. Cydramech
    Offline

    Cydramech Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Savannah, Georgia
    Every generation has its favorable genres, and every decade its own cycles.

    Science fiction mustn't always be about aliens or outer space. It could be a historical story given a heavily scientific-influenced fictional element, or even an alternate timeline featuring ordinary cavemen founding radical technology.
     
  14. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    I thought After Earth is based on a novel. At Barnes and Noble, I found an After Earth novel about the humans first colonizing the distant alien planet before the period of the movie.

    There's also a new book called the 5th Wave about a girl who travels across a world ruled by human disguise alien life forms, and she meets a strange boy. I think that book is a knock off of The Host, but I am planning to read it when it hits the library.

    I am also writing a space adventure Sci-Fi book, except it is anthropomorphic. I'll post a sample chapter later.
     
  15. Mithrandir
    Offline

    Mithrandir Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    In the general vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean
    Will Smith wrote the script for the movie. Any book will based on the movie, not the other way around.
     
  16. captain kate
    Offline

    captain kate Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cruising through space.
    Science fiction adventure still exists, you just have to look on Barnes and Nobel's website to find it. There are plenty of people buying it, the genre just gets lost in the shuffle due to HP, TWLight and HG. Bear in mind, the combination of Hollywood and the media are also what drives things. They haven't had much success with science fiction other than Star Trek, etc etc (and it's their own damn fault in my opinion. Quit retreading everything..aka Total Recall...and make original movies that are worth a damn) so they're not putting much weight behind it. As for media? They always have their own agenda (my first bachelor's has a good chunk of mass comm classes as a part of it. They do have their own agenda...all covered up by the term 'we're the gatekeepers as to what's newsworthy.') and that'll influence what's bought as the general population grows dumber and less informed.
    However, there is a ray of sunshine to it all. Write a great space adventure and you'll find readership. And that readership doesn't always have to come from the Big Six either. So, hang in there. It will change.
     
  17. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    I guess Will Smith thought of the movie as an excuse to star with his son.

    I will only read books that sound interesting to me. And I do believe sci fi books will become popular again soon. People will get sick of Twilight and other wannabe follow ups. Hollywood only makes what they think is popular. They don't make movies for everybody, just a target audience, which I think is one of their flaws. They need to branch out from adaptions and start wondering what else is new that can attract everyone. Superhero and supernatural stuff have been done to death.
     
  18. Dante Dases
    Offline

    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,446
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, England
    Wrey, you've made exactly the point I was going to make. If Ender's Game is a hit, we'll see a fresh wave of YA SF with a space opera tilt.

    As it is, there are plenty of brilliant writers currently writing excellent space opera. Sadly, the best of the lot - and in my view the best space opera writer of all time - recently passed away. Iain M. Banks' Culture novels in particular were truly spectacular SF. Other writers to keep an eye out for are Alastair Reynolds, Charles Stross, Dan Simmons and John Scalzi. Peter F. Hamilton is still very active as well, although I never took to The Dreaming Void, for some reason (I'll be going back and having another look at it in a few months). Have a look at them, MilesTro - you'll find something there that you really enjoy.

    Alternatively, have a look at the SF magazines. You'll find all kinds of writers who might not be mainstream, but who certainly have talent and who might just have a book out. It's how I discovered Jason Sanford, for instance.
     
  19. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Not only that, the concept changed considerably as it was developed. It started out as a comedy The only thing that was a constant was that it was to be a father-son movie.
     
  20. Ian J.
    Offline

    Ian J. Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    London, England
    It's a bit of an old news story, but according to The Register website and a reader poll they did, Iain M. Banks' Use of Weapons is 'the best sci-fi film never made':

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/11/sci_fi_poll/
     
  21. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,895
    Likes Received:
    10,082
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    There are a number of similar polls that come up with different "#1s", but I think it's the opposite that often squelches sci-fi in general. Not the film that never got made, but the film that should never have been made. Sci-Fi has more than its share of "pulp films" and more than a few classic, revered titles that have been mangled, molested, road hard and put up wet on the screen. Both versions of Dune were suicide inducing. The first had the right tone and feel but the story had been raped. The second (the SyFy Channel version) had the right story, but all the actors had taken quaaludes on set. This is a book that should have translated into an epic on par with the film version of LotR, that should have spawned a wave of sci-fi classics-become-film, which would have set sci-fi publishers ablaze with new incoming material, but no. It didn't happen because the book had been deeply disrespected.
     
  22. IronPalm
    Offline

    IronPalm Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    21
    I don't believe the science fiction genre is in the awful state many here think it is. Too many posts concentrate on which books move the most copies or are most commonly aped in the young adult genre, and not on the actual quality of contemporary science fiction.

    No, science fiction does not sell the best. But the most successful authors in the world right now are Rowling, Meyer, Patterson, Grisham, Coelho, and Steele, who range from "mediocre" to "utter shit" in my opinion. Welcome to the book industry in 2013.

    I go back and forth on this. Was it really that easy to adopt Dune, particularly in the 80s? I have only seen the Lynch film, and while the story (never the director's strong point!) was lousy, it was visually impressive, particularly with the strange-looking creatures and environment, perfect for the aura of Dune.

    As far as science fiction books that were deeply disrespected, nothing beats Paul Verhoeven's treatment of Starship Troopers (1997). Verhoeven hadn't actually read the book, but was told it was right-wing and conservative (nevermind that Heinlein wrote it during his liberal/socialist period), and thus decided to take a piss all over it. One of my favorite science fiction books was turned into an intentionally idiotic kindergarten action flick.
     
  23. MilesTro
    Offline

    MilesTro Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Springfield
    I think Hollywood is corrupt. Most directors think they can change a story into their own liking as long as they get the copyrights to do whatever the hell they want. And the reason why the crappy authors, except Rowling, gets paid a lot because the publishers want to sell a product that can compete against another. Hollywood is also doing the same thing. Wannabe stories are so ignoring.
     

Share This Page