science fiction
Posted: 05 May 2019 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I love a good science fiction movie, but there is a big problem when trying to find true science fiction movies on my TV set. Most of the movies listed under the “science fiction genre” are not sci-fi at all. Most are horror, fantasy, or grind house movies. Here is some good info from a site (don’t remember where I got it) all folks who create their movie listings need to read:

The Definition of Science Fiction:

1. It is fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.

2. It is fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

3. It is stories that feature authentic scientific knowledge and depend upon it for plot development and plot resolution.

4. Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe.

5. Science fiction is the branch of literature that deals with the effects of change on people in the real world as it can be projected into the past, the future, or distant places.

6. Science fiction is the branch of literature that deals with the effects of change on people in the real world as it can be projected into the past, the future, or distant places.

If there’s one thing science fiction fans love, it’s an argument. And if there’s one argument they love more than all others, it’s the attempt to define what science fiction actually is.

(If this was discussed earlier, forgive me for not finding anything on it)

[ Edited: 05 May 2019 01:10 PM by Eyehawk ]
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Posted: 05 May 2019 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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#4 is way too broad. Basically, all good fiction fits this definition.

I’d say that #5/6 are also broad, but not as much as #4. (I’m assuming the repetition is for emphasis, not by error.) These give a nice definition of speculative fiction, a broader category.

I’d say #1-3 are all good definitions of science fiction, with #3 being the best, as it encompasses #1-2. Although I’d change it to read “authentic or plausible.”

Of course, these are all prescriptive definitions.

The OED defines it as:

Fiction in which the setting and story feature hypothetical scientific or technological advances, the existence of alien life, space or time travel, etc., esp. such fiction set in the future, or an imagined alternative universe.

The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms defines it as:

A type of fiction that is grounded in scientific or pseudo-scientific concepts and that, whether set on Earth or in an alternate or parallel world, employs both realistic and fantastic elements in exploring the question “What if?”

I’m not sure I agree with the inclusion of “fantastic elements,” unless one considers hypothetical scientific and technical advances to be fantastic, ala Arthur C. Clarke’s pronouncement that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Penguin’s Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory resists giving a definition, saying it is “not easily classifiable.”

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Posted: 05 May 2019 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I do not disagree with you, Dave. The definition of #4 is broad, but I still like it, and I like a simple answer to a broad question at times. As I get older, it makes more sense. Therefore, I don’t think #4 should be excluded.

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