What is good science fiction?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Aaron DC, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Jaina

    Jaina Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Callisto
    I agree with you on Interstellar. But I remember how the film inspired me to write a short story about a space station. I don't know why particulary this film, as my story had nothing in common with it, but there was something about the movie scenes that was so sf it awakened my need to write space opera. And everything that inspires me I rate as "good".

    Well, I only watched the new Star Trek films so far. (Don't kill me.) A friend of mine wouldn't stop talking about it, so I decided to take a look and I really loved them. They have everything a good sf movie needs, but as you put it, they are only "good" like a chocolate bar or like a thrilling novel you read and enjoy. But they have not this sf thing about new scientific concepts and possibilities, they're not asking deeper questions.

    Edit: And Moon is on my "To watch"- list. :bigwink:
     
  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    9,457
    Likes Received:
    9,707
    Location:
    England
    I can't say I agree with that. Maybe I'm in the minority, but while I love sci-fi, I can't stomach so much as a single sentence of fantasy.

    A little over-rated in my view. It developed this kind of cult following because it's 'cool', and subdued, and not a lot happens. All elements that appeal to me, normally, but I found it a little irritating.

    I watched THX 1138 last night and while unprepared for its weirdness, I loved it all the same.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    Aaron DC and Sack-a-Doo! like this.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,580
    Likes Received:
    8,173
    Location:
    California, US
    I think that's probably a minority view. I know a couple of people who like SF and not Fantasy, and vice versa, but over the years it sure seems most fans I've met of one genre are also fans of the other, and based on Cons, online communities and the like, there seems to be a lot of overlap in fandom.
     
    jannert likes this.
  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    9,457
    Likes Received:
    9,707
    Location:
    England
    Quite probably. My taste for sci-fi is quite specific, so I admit I'm not your average sci-fi fan. I really only like the dark and gritty stuff; dystopian futures, post apocalypse stuff. I have very little time for interstellar sci-fi or sci-fi where the characters have names like Zoona and everyone walks around in shiny suits.
     
  5. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1,645
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    I'm with you on this.

    I did try, way back when, to like fantasy. I got through the first few Sword of Shanara books before deciding it wasn't for me. I did the same years later when Robert Jordan was writing the Wheel of Time (Wheel of Fortune? Circle of Time?) series, but again, I could only handle a couple of books.

    Then I finally tackled the Holy Grail of fantasy, Lord of the Rings. I suffered through the first half (one and a half books) before giving up. Frankly, I was bored. I was bored with the whole Harry Potter thing, too.

    So, when I go into a bookstore, I'd like it very much if I didn't have to wade through a whole bunch of stuff I don't like to find the few gems I do. As a result, I've pretty much stopped going to bookstores, even though the pull is still there every time I go by one.

    And I'm not much of a Star Trek novelization fan, either. Like you said in another post, Zoonla in a shiny jump suit.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,580
    Likes Received:
    8,173
    Location:
    California, US
    Not exactly good choices :D
     
    jannert and Sack-a-Doo! like this.
  7. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,605
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Yes one wonders if "books I have read" becomes the summation of the genre that is then rejected.

    I salute @Sack-a-Doo! for persevering, regardless.
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  8. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,605
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Appreciate the suggestion.
     
    OurJud likes this.
  9. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1,645
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    LOL. I've tried 'heavier' fantasy where I had to look up words to see if they were a character name, a place name, a plant or magic spell. That really drove me nuts. :)
     
    Aaron DC likes this.
  10. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,605
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Oh god yes. Ok when you're doing research or learning. Very flow interrupty when reading for pleasure.
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  11. Jovon Green

    Jovon Green New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    Currently Reading::
    Book of Enoch all of it.
    GOD! Science be Sciencey! A-Absolutes are stupid sick awesome.
     
  12. Domino355

    Domino355 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    184
    One of my favorite sci-fi writers is Jules Verne (yes I know, nothing orginal here), seeing that his writing actually became science (submarine, helicoter). In my opinion, the greatest accomplishment of science fiction is to inspire real-world inventors, and help shape sceince's next generation.
     
  13. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,674
    Likes Received:
    19,872
    Location:
    Scotland
    I like fantasy to some extent, and love lots of sci fi, but I don't see them as similar.

    I regard fantasy stories the way I used to regard fairy tales. In fact, they are adult fairy tales, aren't they? They sometimes have lots to say about the real world (in parable form) but you know from the outset that these stories aren't about real events or possibilities.

    Sci-fi, on the other hand, are stories about what might be possible. Fantasy entertains me, but sci-fi makes me curious about the things I don't know, or won't live to see.
     
  14. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    17,674
    Likes Received:
    19,872
    Location:
    Scotland
    Seriously. You know for years I wouldn't go near Terry Pratchett's books because I had him mixed up with Terry Brooks, who wrote Sword of Shannara. Lord. That was such an awful book. It came out at a time when lots of people were looking for something as good as Tolkien, and not finding it. That book was marketed to Tolkien fans ...and we were so let down.

    Only a few years ago I realised Terry Pratchett was a different author, and, despite the cartoony illustrations on his book covers, had NOTHING in common with Terry Brooks except his first name. I LOVE Terry Pratchett. I guess I have Terry Brooks to thank for not discovering Terry Pratchett till much later in life, just when I needed a new author to love.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
    tonguetied likes this.
  15. Michaelhall2007

    Michaelhall2007 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Some of the best sci-fi I've read didn't rub my nose in it in any way shape or form.
    Let's look at Steve Kings 11/22/63.
    The only sci-fi that happens is he goes into the pantry and comes out the other side in the 1950's
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice