If you read (or watch) science fiction and fantasy - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-06-2011, 12:58 PM
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which genre do you prefer and why?

I define science fiction as any story which contains currently impossible, unlikely or speculative events that, in the context of the story, can be explained rationally (even if the explanation is pseudo science). I define fantasy as any story which contains impossible, unlikely or speculative events that are presented as fundamentally unexplainable or supernatural.

In practice, I've always preferred science fiction even though I've been trying to read more fantasy lately. In theory, fantasy appealed to me more because I thought that it required more imagination since fantasy doesn't need to be explained and the possibilities are limitless. I'm not sure this is true anymore, you could argue that science fiction requires more imagination since science fiction writers have to imagine an explanation for unusual events in addition to the unusual events themselves. I've always loved African and Greek mythology but most modern fantasy is based on medieval European culture and I can't really relate. Plus, the themes are often repetitive. I like more science fiction shows/movies than fantasy ones as well.
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#2 Old 02-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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I guess I prefer science fiction as a genre over fantasy, although of course there are works in each genre that I like and dislike. Science fiction is at its best when it says something about our society today.

I have developed a serious dislike for so-called "science fiction" TV series / movies that doesn't focus enough on the science aspect and the script, and where it's evident that they spent most of their dollars and energy on hiring star actors, making big explosions, special effects and sexy fad aliens. Series that go on and on without much deeper meaning are also on my hate-list.

Give me UFOs, little green men, big tentacle monsters and good scripts / interesting stories, or just don't bother - that's my take on it.

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#3 Old 02-06-2011, 01:39 PM
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I guess I prefer science fiction as a genre over fantasy, although of course there are works in each genre that I like and dislike. Science fiction is at its best when it says something about our society today.

I have developed a serious dislike for so-called "science fiction" TV series / movies that doesn't focus enough on the science aspect
and the script, and where it's evident that they spent most of their dollars and energy on hiring star actors, making big explosions, special effects and sexy fad aliens. Series that go on and on without much deeper meaning are also on my hate-list.

Give me UFOs, little green men, big tentacle monsters and good scripts / interesting stories, or just don't bother - that's my take on it.

When reading a story, it's the social commentary as well as the character interactions, their personal and emotional struggles, what kind of people they are etc. that interest me, not the scientific details.
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#4 Old 02-06-2011, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Huruma View Post

When reading a story, it's the social commentary as well as the character interactions, their personal and emotional struggles, what kind of people they are etc. that interest me, not the scientific details.

This. Hard sci fi is often irritating or boring. I don't care how your quantam coagulator works, I care where it gets you.

I prefer sci fi, because most fantasy tends to be based, as Huruma pointed out, in identikit European/Eurasia cultures where any non-white, non-WASP style character is immediately an outsider. Plus fantasy more than sci fi tends to contain the worst sorts of sexist character archetypes, though obviously a lot of sci fi, especially television sci fi, does this too.
Sci fi wins purely for cyberpunk.

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#5 Old 02-06-2011, 02:22 PM
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When reading a story, it's the social commentary as well as the character interactions, their personal and emotional struggles, what kind of people they are etc. that interest me, not the scientific details.

Agreed.

I haven't read much scifi in the past decade or so, but my favorites are:

from my youth - Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and the sequels

Isaac Asimov

Arthur C. Clark

Zelazney's Amber series

Dickson's Dorsai novels

anything and everything by Ursula K. Le Guin

Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood


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#6 Old 02-06-2011, 02:37 PM
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I am a big fan of the fantasy genre. I like science fiction too but i'm not too 'big' on typical spaceships and aliens (Though I do love The X-files). I guess I like fantasy so much because it always seems to base itself on the natural world, such as centuars and dragons (Horses, lizards). It's like an exageration of the real world, of our beliefs. I'm a big fan of the wilderness. I love forests, mountians and all things pretty. I've been told that I 'have my head in the clouds' but i've always found fantasy magnificent. I love films like Lord of the Rings, I love the adventure fantasy has (though Sci-Fi also contains adventure) and how it helps you forget the real world. My favourite books that I've ever read has to be the Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens.
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#7 Old 02-06-2011, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huruma View Post

When reading a story, it's the social commentary as well as the character interactions, their personal and emotional struggles, what kind of people they are etc. that interest me, not the scientific details.

While of course I think the characters and their interactions are important in the overall work, they are not as important as the ideas, the social commentary and the (fictional) science. (The latter being crucial in order to facilitate the former two.) These are the features that make a work of fiction actual science fiction rather than just another mindless and boring blockbuster / money milking machine.

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#8 Old 02-07-2011, 04:03 AM
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While of course I think the characters and their interactions are important in the overall work, they are not as important as the ideas, the social commentary and the (fictional) science. (The latter being crucial in order to facilitate the former two.) These are the features that make a work of fiction actual science fiction rather than just another mindless and boring blockbuster / money milking machine.

Metropolis doesn't have any hard sci fi elements, just a tacit nod to 'science!' and it's still regarded as one of the greatest science fiction stories ever. As for an example where characters and their interactions take precedent, there are plenty, the recent Moon springing to... well view... and the science in Akira isn't explained much, but it's still fantastic...

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#9 Old 02-07-2011, 05:38 AM
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I prefer sci-fi since it's sciency. Heh.

I don't get into fantasy stuff that much.

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#10 Old 02-07-2011, 06:58 AM
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Sci-fi, fantasy just doesn't interest me. I seem to enjoy futuristic/cyberpunk themes the most but I'm also into space exploration. Farscape's probably my favorite sci-fi series and I also enjoy the Treks.

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#11 Old 02-08-2011, 11:29 AM
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I wonder if atheists/agnostics and materialists are more likely to prefer science fiction or if people who believe in the paranormal or supernatural are more likely to prefer fantasy. Either way, some fantasy stories are much better than some science fiction stories and vice versa.
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#12 Old 02-08-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Huruma View Post

I wonder if atheists/agnostics and materialists are more likely to prefer science fiction or if people who believe in the paranormal or supernatural are more likely to prefer fantasy. Either way, some fantasy stories are much better than some science fiction stories and vice versa.

Well I'm aetheist and love sci fi. I guess it's because it seems plausible and not centred on a leap for the sake of leaping, whereas fantasy is 'so there's a dragon,' sci fi is like 'scientists cloned dinosaurs.' Doesn't have to be a good explanation, but fantasy seems to lack any sort of basis and that ruins its narrative for me.

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#13 Old 02-08-2011, 06:17 PM
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I wonder if atheists/agnostics and materialists are more likely to prefer science fiction or if people who believe in the paranormal or supernatural are more likely to prefer fantasy. Either way, some fantasy stories are much better than some science fiction stories and vice versa.

I've been an agnostic since long before I reached adulthood, and there was a time when I was younger when I enjoyed fantasy. I think which one one prefers probably is mostly a function of one's personality and the stage of one's life, etc. My sister has never been a believer, and yet she has always much preferred fantasy over sci fi.
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#14 Old 02-08-2011, 06:19 PM
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I've been an agnostic since long before I reached adulthood, and there was a time when I was younger when I enjoyed fantasy. I think which one one prefers probably is mostly a function of one's personality and the stage of one's life, etc. My sister has never been a believer, and yet she has always much preferred fantasy over sci fi.

What kind of personalities do you think are drawn to science fiction or fantasy?
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#15 Old 02-08-2011, 06:26 PM
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Well I'm a big Tolkien and Pratchett fan so I'm firmly in the fantasy camp. I don't do science fiction...
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#16 Old 02-08-2011, 06:33 PM
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What kind of personalities do you think are drawn to science fiction or fantasy?

I don't have a particular personality type in mind - I guess it's more a case of personality types who are most assuredly not drawn to fantasy. And as I said, it's also a function of one's circumstances.

There were decades where I was workin 60 to 80+ hour weeks, and I didn't feel like reading a lot of *heavy* or emotionally challenging stuff. Now, I have less tolerance for *light* reading.

Fantasy is the ultimate in escapism, I think, and I suspect that the percentage of agnostics/atheists for whom escapism has appeal is probably the same as the percentage in the general population.
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#17 Old 02-08-2011, 09:45 PM
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I don't read much, but I prefer fantasy TV series, art, and video games.

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#18 Old 02-08-2011, 11:31 PM
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i like both genres but i've read more fantasy than science fiction, so if i had to pick one over the other...fantasy it is.

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#19 Old 02-09-2011, 04:25 AM
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Well I'm a big Tolkien and Pratchett fan so I'm firmly in the fantasy camp. I don't do science fiction...

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#20 Old 02-15-2011, 03:20 PM
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I generally prefer sci-fi. I think it strikes me as more believable as opposed to fantasy. But I like fantasy too sometimes, such as "Harry Potter" (which really appears to deal primarily with issues of friendship or good-vs-evil, with the fantastic elements almost being less important to the story and characters). Or Tolkien.

Too often, sci-fi tends to involve a lot of violence (although fantasy does too). That was one reason I preferred "Star Trek" to "Star Wars"- there were at least occasional episodes where nobody died.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#21 Old 02-15-2011, 04:56 PM
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Too often, sci-fi tends to involve a lot of violence (although fantasy does too). That was one reason I preferred "Star Trek" to "Star Wars"- there were at least occasional episodes where nobody died.

This is actually another reason I prefer sci fi. It's realistic. Other than shows like Star Trek, there are no pointless ressurections, and heroes tend more often to be less overpowered, whereas in fantasy they have the shield of Blarkagjrw, the sword of ghsitrrish and the helm of Uertwfbn, all of which lead them to the crystals of aefnwsrbrskv which make them invincible, and that's not fun.

Also fun fact; the original vision of Return of the Sith (or 'Return of the Jedi' as known now) was to have Han Solo die a pointless, tragic death midway through.

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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