What's wrong with 'Sci-Fi'?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. bzipitidoo

    bzipitidoo Regular Member

    No one has mentioned "syfy" yet. Saw it used to mean a sort of "sci-fi lite", with Independence Day as a major example. Think that was Ellison's criticism.

    Sci-Fi as a term has never bothered me. Is totally interchangeable with SF (ess eff). I am more bothered by the exclusivity of genres. Why can't a work be in both SF and an unrelated genre like romance or horror? An overly simple classification system always seems driven by people not wanting to have to think too much. Oh well, that sort of thing is everywhere in life. Like, the equating of wealth with at the very least the virtues of ability and competence. That kind of worship helps billionaires win elections.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to the forum @bzipitidoo !

    I’m one who perceives genres purely as labels, which try to simplify how people communicate(d) within the Visual Arts, Literature, Music etc
    These artistic manifestations fitted in these “genres” were/are as alive as the artist’s brain who created them in the first place, regardless of the cultural, social conventions of their time. They were not created with a fixed instruction manual to facilitate the future categorisation.They were the product of people’s talent, dreams and visions all nicely shaped (or the opposite, purposely disjointed) by the social-cultural background of their times.

    Something I studied in Literature and Art History is to learn to identify the many overlapping influences and transitional periods within each genre. Let alone the fact that, in each country the same genre will doubtless develop with different characteristics.

    I’m rather new to Science Fiction, and I’m really not bothered at all by the endless categories and subcategories in the SF and Fantasy genre. I use them very broadly to guide me about what should I roughly expect from a book. Hoping it will gladly surprise me once I start reading it…
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  3. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Science fiction vs sci-fi....hmmm.now

    Well I know in some science fiction lit 101 classes they teach that CORE Science fiction is thinking of the world as if you changed one small thing. Maybe this has something to do with it...as in they think of that as science fiction and beyond as scifi.

    My thought on this thinking (as someone who uses the words distinctly) is similar to how I think. To me science fiction is based on science exploring the bounds of how it works. Maybe adding a little flair. As almost a what if.

    Sci-fi, or at least as if comes from the ceefee network (cough, syfy) , is more fantasy with starship and laser guns. Where one you explore the depths of thought and think about what could be, or will be. The other you say "laser guns rule" and delve into every random thought that pops into the authors head.

    Ie. You can rewrite any syfy show or book into something else by dropping the science fiction elements without trouble. ( Aliens 2 is easily a Vietnam film, and Fars cape can easily be a fantasy show if you drop the spaceships. )

    And good science fiction questions more than it answers. It uses reality as the basis of its fiction, it show how things could be. ( Alien, 2001 a space odyssey, star trek one, clockwork orange, foundation, mote in God's eye, man in the high castle, et cetera). Scifi, may mean silence fantasy, instead,( farscape, krull, Aliens, whatever else on syfy, melding real scifi and fantasy. Or action with lasers.)

    Mystery point is give them lasers and a starry backdrop they call it scifi, whether it is or not, call it science fiction, it probably is.
    Boreas likes this.
  4. Gary Burley

    Gary Burley Full Member

    its never been a problem for me. Sci fi is a happy warm fuzzy place for the mind to retreat to
  5. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Full Member

    Sorry for taking this off-course, but how is the political setting of the movie too one-sided and/or incorrect?
    I am asking this question because I only have a very cursory idea about the political situation in Spain in the 1930's.
    Due to my personal history, I have a very detailed and in-depth understanding about the political situation at that time in Germany and Austria, and so far was assuming that the Spanish situation would be similar to that in Germany and Italy - which I understand is more or less what is depicted in the movie. Would you say that view is incorrect?
  6. Tiran

    Tiran Well-Known Member

    To have an objection to a particular label, like 'sci-fi', you must first invent and then promologate a minority definition of the term so you can then object to it.

    I would prefer to not presume that any given cultural term has such a fixed and universally agreed-to single meaning that such a definition could make the term itself totally objectionable. Is this a problem peculiar to the SF world, where folks are often guilty of taking terms like "space opera" or "hard SF", insisting they have only one meaning, and then pouring criticism on anything attached to that term based on their specific meaning?

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