I have a paper due about which genre produces better fiction, science fiction or fantasy. Spare me the typical /lit/ commentary on genre fiction. I don't normally read it, so I'm having trouble.
Can anybody link me to some articles promoting or defending the merits of these genres?
It would be a great help, thanks.
for what purpose?
science fiction is more for stimulating thought.
fantasy is for escape.
you can't say that recreation or contemplation is better or worse than the other. although science fiction tends to be written with the intent of conveying an idea and exploring the social, cultural, poopoopeepee influences of technology while at the same time being entertainment.
you may as well ask, which movie is better? speed or minority report?
Science fiction has had a much larger impact on our society. All the predictions and warnings about the future in Star Trek and the like have influenced our general philosophies and politics in ways I don't believe Fantasy has or really can, and SciFi at its best usually provides some sort of grand commentary on our lives when Fantasy doesn't reach these sorts of heights. Although it can provide a much needed escape, but great Science Fiction will instead change the way you see the world. I don't believe Fantasy is actually worthless or bad, but to take the position that Science Fiction is better would definitely make an easier paper to write.
I think Fantasy could be way more than it is right now. One could ultilize the world-building aspect to include allegories. Characters could represent values. Quests could represent human struggles.
But Fantasy, as it is being written right now, is pure mindless storytelling.
the Preface to the first volume of Philip K. Dick's short stories comes to mind.
but here's an excerpt:
Now, to separate science fiction from fantasy. This is impossible to do, and a moment's thought will show why. Take psionics; take mutants such as we find in Ted Sturgeon's wonderful MORE THAN HUMAN. If the reader believes that such mutants could exist, then he will view Sturgeon's novel as science fiction. If, however, he believes that such mutants are, like wizards and dragons, not possible, nor will ever be possible, then he is reading a fantasy novel. Fantasy involves that which general opinion regards as impossible; science fiction involves that which general opinion regards as possible under the right circumstances. This is in essence a judgment-call, since what is possible and what is not possible is not objectively known but is, rather, a subjective belief on the part of the author and of the reader.
Epic Poetry is what fantasy should try to emulate, in this regard. Its authors only seem to want to discuss the anatomy of dragons and the arbitrary cutting effectiveness of their magical swords, however. Science Fiction isn't really doing that much better though, as it appears the only subgenre within with much thought put into it seems just to be Hard Sci fi.
LOTR contained no allegory, absolutely nothing represented anything at all. Tolkein was adamant that Middle Earth was just to be about Middle Earth. It intentionally lacked the sort of substance that anon wanted.
I believe the subjective plausibility of the two genres is a very strong, definite separation point. Science Fiction at least tries to show something that 'could' happen at the very least, and that makes a very big difference when comparing the value of their individual works.
Middle Earths substance is more on an emotional level than intellectual, thats why i particularly said "mythical", since myths were made to appeal to the deeper emotions of humans rather than their minds
I only said it lacked allegorical substance, not that it lacked any at all. LOTR was very good at what Tolkein wanted it to do, and is probably the only novel that ever has.
This is a good post. But has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to do look more like Madara Uchiha? You've got to be kidding me. He's been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that?
it is thought destroying by its very nature. I would like to read a fantasy book that doesnt resort to, "I found a magic wand and now I am invincible." it's like playing with kids and then they cast a spell of invincibility and then the game is fucking pointless because it doesnt matter how creative you get, its all fucking pointless.
> I would like to read a fantasy book that doesnt resort to, "I found a magic wand and now I am invincible."
Lies of Locke Lamora
Lord of the Rings/The hobbit
The Worm Ouroboros
Lord Dunsany's shorts
fucking Game of Thrones, lol
try actually reading fantasy sometime
how did star trek predict or warn against anything?
middle earth is like moby dick in regards to the way that any time ahab talks shit about whales in the most boring way, so did tolkein talk shit about bullshit trying to excuse his deus ex machina bullshit and why we couldnt use magic before but now way over the top magic is fine because he wrote himself into a corner.
I disagree. Stories are basically just vehicles for the emotions and relationship dynamics of the characters within them, so I believe the best stories are the ones which deliver them in the most genuine and relatable way to the reader. The dynamics of Shakespeare's stories can be adapted to mundane situations and still be just as powerful, if not more, as the reader may actually identify with them more strongly, and thus feel the emotions more powerfully. Life and Death are very well suited for drama but I wouldn't say they're the absolute best choice for every form of storytelling, as if any book at all would be improved by forcing such stakes in. Also
>reading for plot
I'm not very knowledgeable on Startrek and I only threw its name out because it was relatively popular and more intellectual than Starwars. I know it provided the inspiration for a some technologies we have today, at least. The mp3 player was directly inspired by a scene in TNG where Data was listening to like three classical pieces at once, if I remember correctly. A lot of its stuff was taken from other science fiction, I think.
>game of thrones
lel she walks into fire and you thought she wuz gonna die but surprise! magic!
lel her shits all fucked up now, hubby dead, nobody gives a shit, oh wait, suddenly dragons and magic and people give a shit suddenly
lel, epic assasination plot but wait, wild dragon out of nowhere saves the day after disappearing to eating people for years.
>lord of the rings
he resolves every fucking plot with lel magic wand/spell/giant bird could have just carried me to mordor but wont, just appears suddenly to save me from the writers inability to write convincing plots that always end with certain doom but then yay, wizards.
I havn't read conan books, just the movies. and I havnt read much fantasy just because the apparently god tier fantasy is fucking terrible.
desu, I couldnt even bring myself to read LOTR. I tried listening to the audio tapes but all the shit people find absolutely hillarious is just wank to me. pointless filler wank. and then some elfs making passing references to other elves and listing geneology and other worthless shit that doesnt make up for shitty story telling.
>The dynamics of Shakespeare's stories can be adapted to mundane situations and still be just as powerful
Show me one example. Romeo and Juliet literally dosent work if all those passions weren't flying to the extreme.
You can still have a good plot without life or death extremes, slice of life animes are good examples, but its true enough that most of the better ones do take it that far.
I dont even get this "reading for plot" meme because its the characters themselves that decide how a plot will play out. If your characters are weak so will your plot.
Predict is overstating it. But sci-fi is good for extrapolating current issues etc.
Consider the BSG miniseries from 2003. It is clearly stated that BSG doesn't have an integrated computer network, because it will make it vunerable to hacker attacks.
Fast forward to the 2010s where retards are connecting everything to everything with their "smart" home. Including the washing machine...
I dont think it was. I mean, the mp3 player is just a portable radio. that came out before star trek. then it was just a matter of time waiting for storage media to be small enough to fit inside the portable radio. I dont think it inspired anything. I think it was inevitable.
actually, shakespear is a great example of good fantasy. it's just never considered fantasy becuz muh historical literature and the play format.
Violent escapism often surrounding the idea of murder. Often with new friends who help you murder better and more. Protagonists are often inherently special and do not acquire their abilities through any form of virtue accepted by Aristotles.
t. Harry Potter, Eragon or anything commercial and popular.
Plays with worries and prejudices of their own time. Built around thought-provocking possibilities rather than impossibilities.
t. Frankenstein, Medic and the Monster, anything by Asimov or Julio Verne...
I'll definitely go with SciFi. But fantasy has its charms. It is mostly the ramblings of morose teenagers breaching insanity who desperately desire to escape their current situation and become leaders. Often with swords and magic.
It is fun superficiality which can only work through metaphores to make any social commentary.
Or are we going to talk about the elf-dwarf question in Iraq?
With Science Fiction, when it comes to predictions, it's more like a very general "Look at how awesome it could be in the future, on the enterprise, meeting aliens and all that stuff. Do you realy think we'd ever make it there if we don't start adopting Spock's severe disposition towards logic, or Picard's insistence on morality?" There is scifi which tries to make very specific predictions, and they're usually not very interesting.
It was just a matter of time before we had the capability of that kind of storage, yes. But I remember watching a show on this subject where the actual guy who dedicated began the serious amount of time getting it to work, and making digitized music a practical thing, explained he first got the idea to do so from Star Trek. I could very easily be wrong, and it isn't relevant overall to Star Trek's cultural importance, if it really has any.
I can't think of an example, but I don't feel I need one. I was referring to the very abstract building blocks of Shakespeare's plots being adaptable to mundane things, all of which are universal. The disastrous indecision of Hamlet, the gradual but complete corruption of Macbeth, the jealousy of Othello, and the forbidden love of Romeo & Juliet, could all realistically be adapted into a high school drama without any violence at all.
>I can't think of an example, but I don't feel I need one.
You do need one, because all your examples will ultimately just be watered down caricatures of Shakespeare without nearly the same amount of impact.
All I see in the posts I've made in this thread are typos, typos, and grammatical errors, all over the place. I've pulled an all nighter and should just fucking collapse already. Goodnight/morning, anons.
OP, to me everything is superficiality.
Harry Potter doesn't come back to the Dursley's house and debates the dillema of family x abuse. He leaves to Hogwarts.
That is all you need to know about fantasy.
The people in space meet other races or find robots and discuss distant ethics of synthetic life in 2999.
That is all you need to know about SciFi.
If you have to pick which is less bad, I'd pick SciFi in general terms. You can have family dilemmas in fantasy but there is no fantasy in family dilemmas. Fantasy is the antithesis of reality.
Tell me more about how people writting on reality will go to fantasy.
If anything (metaphores) it just makes it harder to understand and retards the message.
I can understand SciFi for the utopian / dystopian element but that is it.
AHAHA thanks anon. that is the best description of fantasy I have ever heard. its a pretty good summation of DnD nerds and why i hate them as well. its just imagining that they're powerful and relevant. ie. have the capacity for murder, social co-operation and any kind of relevant technical skills. all too often I meet people working night fill stacking shelves at a supermarket or something similar and they're just miserable with no discernible intelligence, ability or initiative. so they turn to identifying as a "geek." when really they're just ugly and boring with a tendency for escapism.
>but who can blame them amirite?
SciFi isn't any glorious gender, though. It is a celebration of literature mixed with some creative sociology and psychology. But mostly it is "safe critique". It is easier to adress moral issues from the year 4050 than making allegories or addressing modern issues directly. But I like it better and I think "Medic and the Monster" has only gotten better and more relevant with the years.
But yeah. Fantasy is a violent illusion of grandeur. I try being compassionate with the children who probably received violence and oppression all their lives and can't think of other ways to solve problems, but it is really not the best genre at all. It is vicious escapism and it is juvenile.
I always feel a bit creeped out when I read descriptions of magic in a book. Something's off.
The only difference between sci fi and fantasy is an aesthetic one. Fantasy relies on religious or mythological aesthetics and sci fi relies on the modern mythology based around scientific presumptions.
Its a question of taste. Do you prefer castles or spaceships, because on any deeper level than that they are essentially the same thing.
I'm of the opinion that books shouldn't be written to fit genres, genres should be made to fit books.
Because other people don't you'll find countless people here claiming there preferred example is part of one genre while the one they don't like is part of the other, when in reality the example is a mixture of the two.
I'd say that Science Fiction has by far had more of a longer lasting, profound effect on literature on the hole.
What's fantasy got? Tolkien and maybe a few other notables, but the vast majority of it tends to be far more formulaic.
I'd say that Science Fiction has more of the old masters like Asimov, Huxley, Herbert, Bradbury, Clarke etc.
Of course, I'm pretty biased here seeing how I prefer science fiction to your average fantasy novel.
Not to forget that both genres have more than their fair share of filler trash.
Also, I find science fiction tends to be far more idealistic and explorative even these days whereas your average fantasy novel tends to stick with the Tolkien archetype of the magical MacGuffin and elves, Elves and Orcs up the ass.
>Whats fantasy got
It depends on whether you think things people would rather group with mythology counts. Because then you've got stuff like the Iliad and the more metaphorical books of the Bible.
Yeah, I suppose mythological texts should count. Most fantasy stories borrow heavily from old fairytale and origin stories.
That even of itself (to me at least) makes science fiction more unique, even if it is just as saturated with tropes nowadays.
>science fiction is more for stimulating thought.
>fantasy is for escape
I would say intellectual vs emotional. With the caveat that the intellectual ideas are always fundamentally flawed and therefore inapplicable to real life.
>What's fantasy got? Tolkien and maybe a few other notables
I think the problem is that the genre is more or less defined by Tolkein, as opposed to being anything with mythical of fantasy elements in general. Instead, its this particular kind of land with orcs and elves and swords.
Sci Fi almost always implies an interpretation of the future, or if how society is doomed to develop, which is a nice turf for authors that want to dip their work in ideological implications
Fantasy seems to reference the past, a time before rationalism, or a world that doesn't follow our rules. I think this propitiates symbolism, and philosophical themes
'Fantasy' exists only as a marketing term sometime post-1920. You can't retroactively claim mythological stories as being fantasy, even besides that fantasy may take them as source or inspiration material.
The correct answer is that there is no correct answer. Talk about how fantasy reflects reality, fantasy creates a hyper realization of real fears and desires. Produces a playground of imaginary rules to build concepts inside. Trial political machines and societal ambitions. The same goes for sci-fi. Now talk about how all that is thrown out the window so some 12 year old can jerk to a shitty power fantasy.