It's getting better all the time... (Destiny)

by Leviathan ⌂, Hotel Zanzibar, Saturday, May 03, 2014, 07:44 (3732 days ago) @ Cody Miller

"It's Mythic Science Fiction. It comes with a very healthy dose of Fantasy, and we believe that is ultimately important..."

I feel like fantasy and science fiction are at odds.

With fantasy, you codify the ignorance of the past, whereas science fiction strives for understanding an knowledge. This is why science fiction is often dealing with interesting philosophical issues, and fantasy rarely so. (Also why science fiction is better).

It's sort of a contradiction if you ask me.

Those are pretty simple, textbook definitions of these styles. I've never viewed fantasy and science fiction as opposing, and in fact, viewed them as two of the most in-bred genres out there.

And "genre" itself is a loose term and both "fantasy" and "science fiction" can contain an infinite number of styles and worlds and stories. "Genres" are only really helpful in organizing a library, and in my opinion, it's not even helpful in that regard. The biggest thing it seems to do is help people stick to the styles they're used to - assisting them in avoiding huge swaths of the library they deem below them.

For example, I lump Kafka and Gogel and other absurdists in with my own vision of "fantasy", as I personally can't tell a difference between fantasy and the stranger literary classics, except that they've ended up on different bookshelves.

Most people's science fiction, from my experience, often turns out to be just fantasy wearing science fiction jackets. Star Wars is the biggest, most known example - it's a classic fantasy set in space. But as I've been watching every episode of every Star Trek in the last year and a half that, though many seem to put the show on a mantle, many episodes, perhaps 30-50%, perhaps even more, tends to be more fantasy than science fiction. These episodes often employ nonsensical technobabble solutions in the last five minutes of the show that measures up to be the same as magic.

Of course, there ARE some great science-fiction episodes, but going in, I thought they'd be a lot more. It's a lot closer to Doctor Who's ratio than I expected...

Anyway, the point is, science fiction can often be escapist nonsense in disguise and by the same token fantasy can delve into deep philosophical issues in ways no other style can, by casting off modern conventions, and potentially have more meaning in your real life than a grounded realistic literary story can. About every time I pick up a Neil Gaiman novel or comic, I tend to look at my own world a little differently. Hell, I can't count the vast number of times that the Lord of the Rings have given me hope and enthusiasm for this life since I first them in middle school. Gaiman and Tolkien both helped me survive that hell called "high school" - not because they took me away to a far off world, but because they showed me new ways of looking at THIS one, and showed me what I can really do in it! :)

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