Amph Science Fiction versus Fantasy

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by droideka27, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

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    May 28, 2002
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    Would you rather live 500 years in the past, or 500 years in the future? past or future? Doesn't even matter the years. Which would you chose?

    For me, the future, absolutely without question. But when i asked two friends this question, both said past, and I was rather shocked. I wasn't excepting that answer. One is an avid fantasy reader.

    If you chose future, do you prefer to read sci-fi over other forms of literature? If you chose past, do you prefer fantasy? If not, why?
  2. Andalite-Bandit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 6
    Definetely the future!

    The past is no fun really. Some neat historical stuff might have happened, but life back then was no good. There is no medicine, there is no good technology, there are ridiculous beliefs in society, lifespan is shorter, almost everybody is poor, disease is all over the place. Ick. No thanks!

    The future is the best. Space travel! Exploring about the solar system, or other star systems! Who knows what kind of crazy technology would be around in 500 years from now?

    Oh also I like Sci Fi better in general, but I have not read much fantasy aside from A Song of Ice and Fire, which is an excellent series but also backs up my point about things in the past being insane.
  3. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

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    Oct 18, 2001
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    The past is already known, but the future is full of unknowns. Therefore, I think I'd pick the future, even though (I suspect) I would be overwhelmed by the technological and societal changes. It would be interesting to see how "modern" society ends up being written in the history books.

    I prefer sci-fi and fantasy over other forms of literature, but the two are pretty equal to me. I don't have a strong preference to sci-fi over fantasy or vice-versa.
  4. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
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    Honestly Sci-Fi and fantasy neither are limited to past or future. Star Wars for example is set in the past, just a futeristic one. As a whole I enjoy fantasy better, and would rather live in the future but enjoy reading about past-esque fantasy more.

    -The Scummy-
  5. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

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    May 28, 2002
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    Well that's why i made the thread, to see if there was a correlation between past and fantasy and future and sci-fi!

    And I would say that even though sw is technically past, it is still futuristic. SO it's largely irrevelevant that it too place a long time ago.
  6. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
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    Neither.

    Most fantasy books are littered with disgusting archetypes and cliches, and sci fi itself is a dying carcass; space opera all but extinct.
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

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    Jan 12, 2000
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    In general, the future. Thats not to say there aren't eras in the past I wouldn't love to experience - I'm a classics major who is primarily interested in Roman history, and there are numerous periods in Greek and Roman history that I'd love to see firsthand.

    That said, I think there is a corellation between wanting to see the future and being interested in sci-fi, considerably more so than between fantasy and the past. The (real) past might actually be closer tied to historical novels than fantasy.

    And I read a fair amount of both science fiction and fantasy, probably in roughly equal portions.
  8. Moleman1138 Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 18, 2004
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    I prefer fantasy. If it's fantasy from the past or past-esque like LOTR. Space may be the final frontier, but in serial fashion you have the same series of plots over and over again. Fantasy relies upon the monomyth if done right, but for some reason I just enjoy it more.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
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    I loooove fantasy, but what I read isn't so much past as taking place in a different world; I read very little fantasy that takes place in alternate universe Earth. I think other world are better because it makes the story seem more realistic than if the author tries to fit it in to actual historical events.

    Technology in general usualy goes over my head, so I don't read much sci-fi.
  10. Raven Administrator Emeritus

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    Oct 5, 1998
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    500 years in the future or past kind of depends on the future or past we're talking about. A Star Trek like future is one that I think that virtually any person would love to live in. A Matrix-like future or Battlestar Galactica-like future, not so much. By the same token, though I greatly enjoy reading about Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire, I'd have to be crazy to want to live there. But, by the same token, I don?t think that I?d greatly mind living on Majipoor.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    I prefer scifi to fantasy and have read far more of the former. I like fanatsy, some of my favorite books and movies are fantasies.
    I would prefer to live in a futuristic technological society rather than a fantasy one, mostly.
  12. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 28, 2002
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    Why, Raven? You sacred you end up as a wench or some fat Manderly building boats? :p
  13. PrincessKenobi New Films Manager of DOOM

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    I think it depends on your defination of Fantasy. To me, it's adventuring, traveling, battling mytihical beings. I think that would be pretty cool. I mean yeah you get that in Sci-Fi. But it just isn't as much fun. Fantasy is more then historical stuff. There are alot of authors that create new worlds and events that just draw the reader in.

    Sci-Fi does the same thing too, but it's all Spacey and the costumes just usually aren't as cool. Plus its never someone used a spell, it's all Look at me with my Laser Gun or my Laser Sword. Not much room for creativity or the mind to go with that stuff. But a Cleric or a Magic User they can do a lot with a staff.

    ~PK~
  14. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 28, 2002
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    Bugger my perpetual typos. That should have read scared. :oops: [face_blush]
  15. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

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    Nov 26, 2002
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    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Arthur C. Clarke. That quote sums it up from me. Why does fantasy have to be a thousand years in the past with lords, ladies, and dragons? Why does science fiction have to be set in the future all the times with laser guns? I like both of them equally because I know there isn't a limit of what the imagination can do for these genres.
  16. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
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    Good question, Sniper Wolf. I read an Erikson interview where he said he wanted a fantasy world that wasn't medieval. As you can see, his world has bombs and feels a bit modern. Stil has swords and shields, but not heavy knights.

    Consequently, there are many SF books that have "low-tech" environments. Indeed, that's what TOTJ comics showed.
  17. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    And (I hate to use this as an example) but Happy Potter, which is fantasy, is set in the modern world.
  18. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

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    May 26, 1999
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    Each genre has its own benefits.

    Fantasy has typically been about the more epic themes, the old Greek themes if you will, whereas Science Fiction tends to explore sociological issues, more contemporary ideas. The Foundation series is all about preseving knowledge and the strength it brings. The Silmarillion is a tragedy of greed and guilt and transcendent love. Fantasy is the emotional side of the coin, sci-fi the logical. Each explores its own set of issues...typically.

    That is not to say you don't have a sci-fi story that delves into the epic themes, but from what I've read, it's a far more modern, more topical field. Fantasy lets us slip into a simpler time, more often than not, with ageless conflicts.

    I read a healthy amount of both, but also keep plent of regular fiction, mysteries, horror, non-fiction essays and travelougues and so much more around to help round my reading experience.

    Were I to choose between two books in front of me, a sci-fi and fantasy, both of equal value, I'd probably choose the fantasy. It has to do with the technical aspects, the world building, that sci-fi often ignores.
  19. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    I am a big history buff, and I am an avid Fantasy fan, but when it comes in time periods to live in I would say the Future.
  20. CyberFaust FanForce CR FF Romania

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    Jun 23, 2005
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    the world is verry small and in my opinion fantasy and SF play a equal role in makind it bigger well at least for me
  21. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

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    Feb 21, 2004
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    One thing that would set it for me living in a fantasy world though is the potentiol for learning magic, I'd take a good wand over a skycar anyday.

    -The Scummy-
  22. Darth_Omega Force Ghost

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    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Future, I want to collect space debris :)
  23. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I'm hungry for science fiction, particularly space opera, which is almost nonexistent over here. Or perhaps I'm not looking right. Would anyone recommend these books?


    Spin State
    By Chris Moriarty, Major Catherine Li is a veteran United Nations Peacekeeper in a future of world-nations. Humanity has spread across interstellar space by "jumping": teleportation enabled by quantum physics and a bizarre crystal found only on Compson's World. The jumps destroy memory, so jumpers back up their memories on computer. Despite this precaution, frequent jumpers still lose some memories, a fact that poses a far greater problem for Catherine Li than it does for other Peacekeepers. For Li has a dangerous, potentially deadly secret: she's an illegal clone.

    When a UN mission goes awry, Li finds herself shipped on solo duty to Compson's World--her home world, to which she'd vowed never to return. Her mission initially seems simple: to determine if the death of brilliant physicist Hannah Sharifi was a crystal-mining accident or cold-blooded murder. Like Li, Sharifi is a clone--in fact, she's Li's genetic twin. Li swiftly finds herself enmeshed in the intertangled politics of the UN, the multiplanetary corporations, the miners, and the human-created Artificial Intelligences, who have enigmatic agendas of their own.


    In Conquest Born
    By C.S. Friedman, Braxi and Azea are two interstellar civilizations fighting an endless war over a long-forgotten cause; two peoples descended from the human species and bred over countless generations to embody opposing ideals, seeking opposite paths to power. The Braxana-dominant tribe of the fierce Braxin Holding-are brilliant, powerful, and aloof from the society they rule. There were bred by their primitive forebears to be aggressive, competitive, and secretive beyond all prior human norms. The mysteries of their internal society are legendary even among the people they rule. Masters of genetic science, the Azeans have redesigned their own race to reflect ancient ideals. Now they seek to unlock the powers of the human mind, using telepathy to penetrate where mere weapons cannot. But each sides' generals have exceeded all genetic expectations of their opposed cultures, and have made this endless war a personal vendetta. Who can say what will happen when these ultimate warriors use every power of mind and body to claim the vengeance of total conquest?
  24. barabel_humour Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    star 4
    Excellence: I've never read either, but be sure to avoid the Deathstalker series it's so incredibly derivative. Also, it just occurred to me that there are no she-wolves in Underworld. I imagine it's because when lycans transform they disrobe and breasts are taboo but pectorals are commonplace. [face_plain]

    On topic, I prefer to read fantasy (barely read any sci-fi except SW) but I'd rather live in the future, and can anyone explain to me what the difference between high and low fantasy is? Apparently Tolkien is the former but the Shannara series by Terry Brooks are the latter. :confused:

  25. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    This is what I was told by a friend, but I'm not sure it's right.

    I think high is when the author creates a whole new world, with history and creatures etc. and low is when magic and other fantasy elements are added to our world, sometimes making it alternate universe.

    Again, not sure if that's totally right.
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