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Why is Science Fiction so unappealing?

 
 
Gala
 
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 04:41 pm
I loathe Science Fiction. I just got an offer from a book press to write reviews and synopses of books they publish. Because this is the audition stage they have given me a Sci-Fi book to review. S***. I am lousy at coming up with anything to say about intergalactic space and what-ever-the-hell else takes place in these real or invented worlds.

Anyone else have simliar feeling about the genre? I know there are rabid and avid fans of Sci-Fi, why couldn't that be me? Self-pity is, indeed, quite ugly.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,943 • Replies: 80
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 04:54 pm
I agree with you completely. I HATE Sci-fi. It might even be worse than romance, as a genre. I don't know why. It just sucks.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:12 pm
I dont hate it as a genre. I just find that there is so much BAD sci-fi. Hey kicky-man, sobered up from last night yet?
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:19 pm
Gala, I agree with farmerman, more specifically. There's just so much baaaadddddd stuff out there. I did enjoy the Andromeda Strain, and some others, but most of it is just boring.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:23 pm
I discovered sci-fi while in jr. high school, particularly Heinlein and a few I can't name offhand. It was exciting reading then, but I can now just follow so much of it. To me, looking from adulthood, Heinlein is best suited for kids. His Stranger in a Strange Land was the first one that disappointed me. From then on, I became more selective. Some hold up pretty well from the 40s and 50s, such as Arthur C Clark and Asimov. The ones that are too technical lose me, because I don't have the patience to try to understand them, and space opera gets old quickly. Still, if someone points me to just the right book, I am ready for a new challenge. I don't consider it a bad genre, just overloaded with poor offerings.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:36 pm
I agree that it tends to be a genre best suited to adolescence...a time when our brains are really powering ahead re abstract concepts and information...but we do not yet have the emotional richness and subtlety that comes in our twenties, when we generally want more psychological and emotional richness than sci fi usually provides.


I adored Sci Fi as a kid....read heaps.

That being said, Gala, I suspect you will find enjoyment in there if you DO take on the editing...especially as you begin to develop your taste and knowledge.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:42 pm
farmerman wrote:
I dont hate it as a genre. I just find that there is so much BAD sci-fi.


I am with you, farmerman. My husband LOVES sci-fi. He claims that many of the things that were discussed decades ago in science fiction, have now come to pass. The problem is, like horror movies, there is far more bad sci-fi than good stuff.

It takes a talented author to write good horror movies, and good sci-fi!
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ebrown p
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:42 pm
I must still be an adolescent. I love the stuff. In good science fiction there is an intellectual creativity and playfulnes that I don't see in other genres. It is the perfect genre to tackle certain themes.

I just finished "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. There were themes of genocide, politics, power and guilt. I loved it.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 05:47 pm
I love the genre as well. Even some of the really bad books.
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djjd62
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 06:03 pm
littlek wrote:
I love the genre as well. Even some of the really bad books.


ditto
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 06:06 pm
I will say this. H.G. Wells was one hell of a prognosticator.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 06:10 pm
Well, this has been fun. I'm off to watch the 5th element...........
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ebrown p
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 06:13 pm
Gala,

Just how much can one get paid for reading Science Fiction?...

((Ebrown starts to hate his job a little more))
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 06:14 pm
must see that some time, interestingly enough, i watched 12 monkeys again last night, a good sci-fi flick (and bruce willis vehicle)
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farmerman
 
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Reply Sun 30 Apr, 2006 07:16 pm
e-brown. Chumly and I had this diversion on another thread. Ive always felt that, the technical focused science fiction seems to be following the science fact. The concept of quantum chemistry came before "The Day of the Triffids". The scientific concepts are , IMHO used in sci fi.

When Clarke was given credit for coneptualizing the stationary orbit telecom satellite, it came well after the concept was explored from cosmo phenomena , like the stationary "orbit' of Phobos the Martian Moon.
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Gala
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 06:39 am
I've tried reading the well-written Science Fiction books-- Heinlein, or the chic who wrote "Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" or whatever it's called. I'm with the book in the beginning when everything still seems real. It's once they get into the elevators that move sideways or their little spaceships that I lose patience.

I'm envious of adults who enjoy it. The people I know who read the stuff are extremely intelligent, I just think it's a matter of preference.

With that said, I love the original Star Trek and thought the original Twilight Zone was sometimes scary and creepy, but worth watching.

Just so you know, this is a small press which spruces up vanity books. So for example, let's say I write a novel, and I'm a really awful writer-- if I pay this press a lot of money, they clean the whole thing up and make it into a book, with an isbn number and everything. The novels that come their way will never make it into the main stream.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 06:48 am
When I dd read or see science fiction, it is usually those stories that are more on the "fantasy" side. I like stories that exhibit a lot of imagination. Bug eyed monsters turn me off!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 07:23 am
I agree with those who suggest that sci-fi is a genre which appeals to children. I firts read Heinlein when i was about ten, Children of the Stars, and thought it was marvelous. I got into sci-fi big time after that. By the time i was in my twenties, though, i was reading less of it. In my mid-30s, i re-read Starship Troopers, and thought it was awful. I then re-read Farnham's Freehold, and was appalled to realize what a racist, sexist and elitist creep Heinlein was. Ender's Games was somewhat interesting, but, in the end, predictable--it was a long short story needlessly stretched into a novel. I read the first sequel (don't recall the title) and was even less impressed.

I agree with FM that much of it is based upon bad science. I understand the appeal, but few of the authors of science fiction are really good authors, and much of the appeal is to visions of either Utopias or Dystopias. I don't think it wears well with time. A very few, such as Asimov and Gentry Lee both write on interesting themes, as well as writing well--most of it is crap, though. Anyone who is fascinated by Orson Scott Card might do well to investigate the man--his message is a blend of his Mormon background (his ancestor was a son-in-law of Brigham Young, and founded the first Mormon settlement in Canada), and conservative politics. The Wikipedia article states: A self-described Moynihan, Tony Blair, Zell Miller Democrat, Card is a vocal supporter of George W. Bush, the war on terror, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the USA PATRIOT Act, and U.S. support of Israel. Card is a talented creative writer, although i think he does better outside the sci-fi genre, where he has largely exploited his character Ender. He is also a strong influence for conservatism among young readers. He is also a very effective teacher of creative writing. His views are not to my taste--i find that i despise only Heinlein more than i do Card. Nevertheless, his talent as a writer and as a teacher are not to be doubted--although he has used the former talent in cheap exploitation to enrich himself more than he has produced great writing--but who's to criticize the man making money from his talent. You can visit Card's official website here.
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blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 07:43 am
Well, la-di-friggin' da! I must've come through the wrong door and entered the Inty-leck-ooal Section.

Here's an idea for ya. If you don't like science fiction, don't read it. But please don't try and place yourself on some higher plane, complaining that the genre is for children, thus consigning the readers of such books to that level, simply because it doesn't suit your particular taste. I mean, Heaven forfend that the vast intellects of A2K should be troubled by such a worthless series of tomes or an obviously inferior and adolescent bunch of readers of such tomes. Stereotyping IS such a vastly superior intellectual pursuit, after all.

I'll just genuflect appropriately as I back out the door, apologizing for interrupting the Mighty Brains at their work....
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 May, 2006 07:46 am
How very silly of you. Science fiction is genre writing--90% or more of it is crap. Mystery novels are genre writing--90% or more of it is crap. Romance novels are genre writing--90% or more of it is crap. Too bad you have such a big chip on your shoulder.
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