Not Sci-Fi...

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A_Kalisandra_M
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Not Sci-Fi...

Postby A_Kalisandra_M » 27 Mar 2008 01:13

I think this is why I just cannot except the 'new' Dune stories. I have Never considered Dune to be science fiction. Never. To me they were always novels about the exploration of religion, power, martyrs, and the interaction between them all. I could not really understand the 'sci-fi' label.

Maybe that's pretentious? LOL

... To my point: So when a person tries to tell me, "These new novels are just modern sci-fi," all I want to do is laugh!

Since when was Dune sci-fi?

All in good humour my friends!
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Freakzilla
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Postby Freakzilla » 27 Mar 2008 10:15

The only thing sci-fi about Dune is the setting. Replace spice with oil and it could be fiction.

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Postby SandChigger » 27 Mar 2008 10:42

:shock:

Freak? Freak! [smack smack] Snap out of it! It's still fiction either way!

:lol:

Could be mainstream fiction?

Which is probably why it's been so successful and remained popular all these years...it works as a story.

The new stuff doesn't even work well as pulp scifi. May look successful now, but let's see how long it lasts.
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Postby Freakzilla » 27 Mar 2008 11:47

You know what I mean, not Science-Fiction, just Fiction.

:roll: :P

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A_Kalisandra_M
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Postby A_Kalisandra_M » 27 Mar 2008 18:17

SandChigger wrote::shock:

Freak? Freak! [smack smack] Snap out of it! It's still fiction either way!

:lol:

Could be mainstream fiction?

Which is probably why it's been so successful and remained popular all these years...it works as a story.

The new stuff doesn't even work well as pulp scifi. May look successful now, but let's see how long it lasts.


... Mainstream fiction? yes, I like that! 8)
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And with strange aeons, even death may die..."



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Postby Omphalos » 27 Mar 2008 19:34

Dune is and always be science/fantasy. Lets let mainstream fiction aspire to be it.

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Postby GamePlayer » 27 Mar 2008 20:38

I agree. Dune is solidly part of the science fiction genre. It is true that Dune is largely a work of seminal fiction and the accomplished writing combines in such a way that Dune transcends its own genre. It it not just great science fiction, but also great literature. However, none of that can take away from the fact that Dune is science fiction any more than J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings can be removed from fantasy or Alan Moore's Watchmen can be removed from super heroes.

IMO, works like Dune should be celebrated for their genre not derided for it or be given exemption like some beloved but pitied retard. Perhaps if more sci-fi writers strive to create great works of science fiction rather than producing written trash (authors of such, you know who you are), the genre would be better respected.

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Postby A_Kalisandra_M » 28 Mar 2008 22:27

GamePlayer wrote:I agree. Dune is solidly part of the science fiction genre. It is true that Dune is largely a work of seminal fiction and the accomplished writing combines in such a way that Dune transcends its own genre. It it not just great science fiction, but also great literature. However, none of that can take away from the fact that Dune is science fiction any more than J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings can be removed from fantasy or Alan Moore's Watchmen can be removed from super heroes.

IMO, works like Dune should be celebrated for their genre not derided for it or be given exemption like some beloved but pitied retard. Perhaps if more sci-fi writers strive to create great works of science fiction rather than producing written trash (authors of such, you know who you are), the genre would be better respected.
I can agree with that. Modern sci-fi is for morons! Yet, I'll never wish to see Dune lumped in with most of the trash out there, as is most often the case.

I do see your point: Dune = Work to aspire to in the genre.

Alas it seems that most *insert comment about the twin hacks here* don't even begin to strive for anything close to the Dune Chronicles.

One question: When did sci-fi come to mean: Robots, blowing 'sh*t' up in space, aliens, deranged phallic symbols ... So and so forth?

Whenever I start to say, "I read sci-fi..." People invariably ask, "I didn't know you were 'into robots'." Or, "You like aliens?"

At times they even make some comment refering to the latest trash of a movie where something in space explodes. On those occasions, I merely mutter, "That's action, not scifi."

Sad that it's such a common mistake.
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And with strange aeons, even death may die..."



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Postby Omphalos » 28 Mar 2008 22:49

I can agree with that. Modern sci-fi is for morons!


I completely disagree with this statement. Modern SF is flailing a bit because for the first time since before 1926 there is no big literary movement at the time for authors to congeal around, but there are many authors out there who are forging new ground and doing it in an intelligent, literary and exciting manner. A few are even managing to do it without reference to the past.

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Postby Omphalos » 29 Mar 2008 00:45

bryanvdk wrote:agreed Omph,

read some Orson Scott Card and you'll find great modern sci-fi. The original Ender series is a little bit older (not sure what you're considering modern) but his homecoming series was written in the 90s and is great. OSC is the only sci-fi writer i've read that comes even REMOTELY close to the depth of Frank Herbert. I think of OSC as the author son that FH never had.
to paraphrase a comment I saw a while back about OSC "Frank Herbert's successor has been crowned"


Actually, I was talking about stuff that has come out since the late 90's or so. Ender's Game came out in 1985, when the genre was having absolutely no trouble at all because of the popular, literary and critical success of the cyberpunk movement. But your point is well taken anyway, no matter what I meant. There are other good things out there, and the genre certainly is NOT a wasteland of crud, even today. Pick up something by Ted Chiang, or David Marusek, or Scott Westerfeld, or Iain Banks, or many others. People are producing works now that I am sure will one day be regarded as masterpieces of the genre.

Also I think that comparing other SF to Dune is just kind of silly. Dune is considered a masterwork for very good reasons. Now, there are works out there that are complex, entertaining and well written, but Dune, like other books, just kind of sits in its own category and while it may be assailable, it will probably never be usurped.

Never say never though.

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Postby orald » 29 Mar 2008 07:25

AKM, I think you, and your critics, are refering to pulp sci-fi, which has always been about just that.

I'm sure there are "hardcore" sci-fi books out there that at first glance fall into that category, but are well written, well reasoned out etc.

I'll give an example from a neighbooring field- fantasy.
While you have your typical D&D type of pulp fiction, you can get books that at first glance seem the same.

For example, GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire.
At first glance it's just a medieval fantasy world with warring kings, "undead" coming again to invade the world etc, but right from the start you see it's:

A. Well written. No drivel like P&B have, or, to give an example directly from fantasy- unlike Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth* books(geez, I'm sorry Terry Brooks, your name popped up first and I had to check Wiki' to see you're not responsible for that trash). No repetative history summeries, no shallow characters. Even those that at first glance are small, unimportant characters can get the spotlight, and can change alot.

B. Surprising. There are plans within plans within plans, and while I may not be the most Sherlock-like of readers, bugger me with a hot poker if anyone can see all the twists and turns. This has at least as much plotting asthe Duniverse IMO.

C. Gritty, realistic world. This ain't no high-fantasy, here you won't find Gimlies and Leglasses killing 40+ foes each with nothing more than a scratch. GRRM LOVES killing off or maiming characters, even major ones.
And while there seem to be a few more well protected characters out there that many readers think are the main heroes/heroines, nothing really is certain.
You think Paul getting blinded was rough? Try some ASoIaF then.

So that's about it- what you've complained about is pulp fiction, the bane of any literary genre(except love stories- that's a whole pulp genre in itself).

P.S Chig, this above post is for your eyes too...go read it already! :P

*A little confession here- I've read like 5-6 books of the Sword of Shit, err, Truth series. I was bored. REALLY bored. It was somewhat fun at the begining and went downhill fast.
I laughed my ass off reading the "horrible" torture scenes in the first book though, so I can't say I hadn't enjoyed it. :P
*Seriously, you gotta read those torture scenes, 'tis hilarious!*
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Postby GamePlayer » 29 Mar 2008 10:02

A_Kalisandra_M wrote:Modern sci-fi is for morons! Yet, I'll never wish to see Dune lumped in with most of the trash out there, as is most often the case.

One question: When did sci-fi come to mean: Robots, blowing 'sh*t' up in space, aliens, deranged phallic symbols ... So and so forth?


I wouldn't say that. One of my favorite modern authors writes sci-fi (Iain M Banks) and his books are not just fearlessly creative science fiction but also very well written and structured.

In general, science fiction has always had a bad reputation, even before, during and after all the giants of sci-fi were writing. It's also considered a predominantly male genre (no offense to those few female readers and writers). Mention the words "science fiction" and most women are sent screaming (much like most men will never be caught dead reading a romance novel). You'll also find much of the modern media tend to remove or exempt critically acclaimed science fiction works from the genre. Even major authors like Stephen King or Margaret Atwood have written sci-fi but these books are almost never acknowledged as such. Thus much of the good sci-fi literature is removed by proxy from it's own genre, thus helping to perpetuate the myth of sci-fi's low-brow status.

The situation is really a catch-22. Other genres of literature are just as guilty of producing trash as science fiction. The term "trash novel" was about long before sci-fi ever gained distinction. Sci-fi has suffered this negative image since it's birth and has never shaken it. The only solace most of us find is the fact that many of the great writers and filmmakers of our time consider science fiction as legitimate as any other genre, even if the established critical community did not. With that, I'm content. If Frank Herbert and Stanley Kubrick respected science fiction, that's good enough for me :)

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Postby Freakzilla » 29 Mar 2008 10:08

This is why any book I read has to be recommended to me a few people who's opinion I value.
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Postby inhuien » 29 Mar 2008 11:10

Sorry for the wee OT drift, GamePlayer have you read Matter yet? is it any good?

Ta.
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Postby GamePlayer » 29 Mar 2008 11:36

Freak Z
Not a bad policy. I remember when it was all the rage, everyone recommended I read "The Da Vinci Code." Gawd, was that ever a mistake. The textbook definition of trash novel :)

inhuien
No. The damn book stores here are not carrying it. They have all of Bank's other Culture novels, but for some reason they are not stocking the new one. I may have to order it from the UK. Grrrr :evil:

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Postby Freakzilla » 29 Mar 2008 11:40

GamePlayer wrote:Freak Z
Not a bad policy. I remember when it was all the rage, everyone recommended I read "The Da Vinci Code." Gawd, was that ever a mistake. The textbook definition of trash novel :)


Were those recommendations from people who's opinions you value? If so, I hope you value them less now.
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Postby Mandy » 29 Mar 2008 12:41

Anyone who thinks great Sci Fi is dead should read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. You can read a review here http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/russell.html

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Postby Omphalos » 29 Mar 2008 13:04

My parents told me to read The Davinci Code. That alone should have warned me. That thing was bad. Not as bad as another one of his I read called Deception Point or something. Truly awful.

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Postby inhuien » 29 Mar 2008 13:08

That's crapo GP, mayhaps their waiting for the paperback to come out.
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Postby GamePlayer » 29 Mar 2008 13:43

Freak Z
Well, most of my friends didn't think much of the book and most didn't recommend it, but I don't hold it against someone for liking the occasional piece of junk. Just as long as junk isn't habitually digested. But a piece of interesting trivia: one of my ex-girlfriends thought it was great (but we met after I had already read it) :)

Ompf
Yeah, parents are usually a bad judge of quality. Not because of the fact they are parents in as much as they are like most other people: they don't take reading seriously so they don't know how to properly judge books. I remember the last time my mom and dad recommended a movie to me; it was bloody awful. But that's part of love, you endure the good and the bad :)

inhuien
It sure is. Your theory is quite possible. I don't believe I've ever seen a Banks hardcover on sale in a Canadian bookstore. I can't wait any longer though. I'm going to order it soon. I'm dying to read it.

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Postby Mandy » 29 Mar 2008 19:28

My aunt gave me The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons for Christmas or something.. I thought Da Vince Code was crap and Angels and Demons was just OK for a quick read. I don't understand why the Da Vince Code got so much attention, it wasn't very well written and there are tons of controversial books out there.

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Postby Omphalos » 29 Mar 2008 20:09

Mandy wrote:My aunt gave me The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons for Christmas or something.. I thought Da Vince Code was crap and Angels and Demons was just OK for a quick read. I don't understand why the Da Vince Code got so much attention, it wasn't very well written and there are tons of controversial books out there.


Because it was written with fifth grade words, so any old moron would understand it.

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Da Vinci Code...

Postby SandChigger » 29 Mar 2008 20:32

Which book is the one where the Tom Hanks professor character (I've forgotten his name already...and I just watched the last half of the movie for the first time about a week or two ago :shock: ) fights with someone in an airplane over Rome and then has to jump out with a mattress and lands in the Tiber?

One of the parttimers at work was telling me about it. Sounds utterly riveting. :roll:

Right before the movie hit the theatres over here I (finally) started reading the deluxe pictorial edition of The Code I'd bought on Amazon about a year or two earlier. I think I made it about half-way through before giving up. Didn't bother trying to see the movie, either.

Brown is probably a worse writer than even Kevin. Product is about as stupid. Oh well, somebody has to squirt out the pablum that keeps the masses off the streets at night. :twisted:
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Postby orald » 29 Mar 2008 20:47

Mandy wrote:I don't understand why the Da Vince Code got so much attention, it wasn't very well written and there are tons of controversial books out there.

Same reason as Mein Campf, my dear, it gives you someone to blame for w/e is wrong.
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Postby Mandy » 29 Mar 2008 20:51

The History Channel is still milking the whole "Code" thing.

Beyond the Da Vince Code

Da Vince and the Code

Unlocking the Da Vince Code

The Da Vince Code: The Total Story

*insert puking smiley*