Amph The dusk of the sci-fi?

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Raja_Io, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. Raja_Io Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    This is an issue I've been thinkig and heard about lately, and these boards seem to confirm it.

    The science-fiction as a sort of literature/movies is giving place to the fantasy. See the latest blockbuster movies, or the best selling books. This the attack of fantasy. Why do you think it is like that?
  2. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    In the mainstream these things go in phases. Fantasy of whatever form has always been around and it comes in go in popularity as everything else does.
  3. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    Yeah i think fantasy is popular now because it's finally being given the REAL money so great films are being made. Harry Potter's success has a lot to do with it, I think.

    I was watching a History channel special on the history of sci-fi and they were commenting about how in the last 5 or 10 years new sci-fi has moved more towards biological ideas instead of space travel and such. A lot of it is like darwin's radio, or with genetic engineering like GATTACA. So in that sense, maybe instead of Fantasy taking over, Sci-Fi is just becoming more subtle. Sci-fi is no longer people riding rockets to the magical lands of Vensus.

    And anyways, sci-fi has never been all that popular with big films anyways.
  4. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6

    That's debatable.

    Star Wars
    E.T.
    Jurassic Park
    Independance Day
    The Matrix

    Yeah, none of those were popular. :p
  5. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    Well, i susppose, but some of those are only a small part sci-fi. Narnia, Harry Potter, LOTR, those are pretty hard core fantasy.

    At any rate i guess what i was trying to say is that i don't think sci-fi has suffered anything at all from this rise in popularily of fantasy movies. If anything, i think it helps.
  6. RolandofGilead Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 7
    Why must everything be labled and filed away individually? To quote the gunslinger: "does no one eat stew?"
  7. raisedbywolves Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    star 2
    Well, to get all "I'm-taking-a-class-on-modern-architecture" on you,

    For quite a while after the Industrial Revolution got underway, people *really* believed that technology could save the world. They had a utopian vision of what machines and modern thinking could do for people. A lot of sci-fi, especially the early stuff of the 50's and 60's, is a reflection of that thought.

    At some point, though, humanity started to realize that the modern age had also given us pollution, the near-dissolution of many social structures, the atomic bomb, and a passel of monolithic Le Corbusier housing blocks that nobody wanted to live in. That is when the postmodern age started, and people began to think back to all of the old-timey stuff they were missing.

    Just my .02 cents on a bigger reason why we might be more into hobbit huts than shiny spaceships these days.
  8. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Given how dystopias seem to be dominating the fantasy literary scene, I?m not sure I?d agree.

    Perdido Street Station, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Prince of Nothing, The Sandman, Heroes Die, etc: they?re not presenting worlds that are in any way idyllic. On the contrary, they?re nastier than our own western society, and much nastier than the idealized notions of medieval society that fantasy is stereotypically associated with. Honestly, the most optimistic fantasy series in recent years that I can think of are the Wheel of Time and Harry Potter. Although, in all fairness, they?re also the most popular.
  9. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Based on my domestic and internat opinion, science fiction is very dead right now.

    Were it not for the outstanding Dark Nest Trilogy, I haven't any new sci fi because they all suck worse than Rodian snouts. It's all cyber and weird sorts of SF I'm seeing. I'm starving my darth for space opera, and there's none to be had.

    I'll address that. Hell no I'm letting cliche dragons and brave red-head women overZerg the entire shelves.
  10. Dark_Lady_Jada Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2004
    star 5
    I do have to say that 95% of the sci-fi I've read is SW.

    I am more inclined to read Fantasy.

    I never thought of this! Good topic Raja! :D
  11. raisedbywolves Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    star 2
    Raven: I don't think that the recent spate of fantasy dystopias is irreconcilable with the idea that the popularity of fantasy is part of the postmodern age. People are always going to be telling the same stories - I mean, a lot of sci-fi has deep connections to hero tales, etc. It's just that nowadays people are not choosing to tell the same old human stories (including the dark and dystopian ones) in a supermodern package, as they did when modernity seemed to hold so much promise.

    ...though to be fair, I may just be spouting off.
  12. emilsson Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    I tend to agree with the idea that modernity disenchanted the world (to speak in Weberian terms). People no longer think gnomes live in the forest. Instead space became the place where authors could set fantastic stories about the marvels of science.

    I would say that the popularity of LOTR and to a larger extent Harry Potter and Narnia reflects a wish to reenchant the world. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is the perfect example of this as a lot of things he uses as a basis for the weird and supernatural events and things occuring exists in London.

    So in that sense, the rise of fantasy may reflect a deeper trend in the West.

    EDIT:
    Mieville, Bakker and (from what I've read on the back of Hero's Die) Stover could be said to criticise modernity. If so, they actually fit with the idea of fantasy reflecting a larger process.

    EDIT 2: The only science fiction I regularly read are the books by CS Friedman. Space opera..mmmm...
  13. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Let me discuss this from the perspective of a hard-core sf nut. Yes, I like good space-opera (or I wouldn't be here) and good fantasy, but at heart I'm a sucker for science fiction in the strictest sense.

    There is a recognized golden age of science fiction-- it happened around the fifties or earlier, if I remember correctly. This was pulpy stuff, cheap magazines, b-list movies, comic books. But where would the genre be without Asimov and Heinlein, Buck Rogers, Superman? Hardly anywhere. I have some modern favorites-- yes, you have cyberpunk, New Wave sf, etc, etc-- but I'm amazed at times how much of the real base of the genre is built on the 40's/50's stuff. Call me old-fashioned for reading Asimov, but I still love it. And it holds up-- well, most of it does, if you have an open mind.

    Now, this could have something to do with the fact that maybe I'm just not familiar with all the good modern sf. Probably true to an extent. I'm very picky, I go for tried and true stuff much of the time. However, the publishing industry has also increased enormously since those days...

    Well. I'll await the sf revival with starry eyes. ;)

  14. Queen_Pixie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 4
    Like Jada, I don't read a lot of sci-fi that doesn't have something to do with TV/movies. I'm definitely more of a fantasy reader. So, as long as good fantasy books keep coming out, I'm good to go.
  15. Dark_Lady_Jada Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2004
    star 5
    But what about the comic book readers? Are there Sci-fi comic books that are more appealing to people than Sci-fi books?

    I'm not much for comics myself. I think I'd rather read a graphic novel . . . maybe.
  16. Queen_Pixie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 4
    Xmen graphic novels aren't bad, however, they can be hard to find if you don't have a comic book shop near you. Just gotta keep in mind all the different Xmen story lines out there.

    The only other sci-fi/fantasy comics I've read are SW ones.
  17. Raja_Io Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    ShrunkenJedi, I happen to like Asimov, and generally the "old style" sf too (I must be very picky too... My Strugatsky thread got stuck after about 5 posts). In general, I prefer the older books, and for the new sf, the only one I really liked was The Martian Trilogy by K.S. Robinson.

    The point of the fictional literature was always the same: to escape the real world. But the sf was generally connected to the future, while the fantasy was more of the past. So one could think that people are afraid of the future now. Or, on the contrary, too confident about it. Either they are trying to avoid the threats that the modern world is full of (in great deal due to the technology, which usually was worshipped by the sf), or they are so sure about the computers and all electronics that they are bored of them, and prefer dragons and sorcery...
  18. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    Actually most major book stores like Borders or Barnes & Nobles carry X-Men trade paperbacks. Along with most other major books out there. Although it's really hit or miss on what you can find there. Amazon also sells trades but normally doesn't get new releases until the book has been out for like a month or two, good for finding old stuff.
  19. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I prefer fantasy, since I've always been more interested in magic than technology. I have seen a rise in fantasy, but I'm not sure that I've really seen a decline in sci-fi. What I've always been interesetd in is why the two are always grouped together. They seem very different to me.
  20. ComicDiva Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2004
    star 4
    I'm still waiting for someone to make a movie about elves and battle droids. :) A new genre shall be born! Science Fantasy!
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