What is Science Fiction?

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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#21  Postby laklak » Jul 03, 2019 9:00 pm

lpetrich wrote:
Its inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, had even been a science-fiction writer.


I'm suspicious of any "writer" who would end a chapter with something like

"Suddenly the door burst open and there stood a giant Psychlos!!!!!!"
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#22  Postby lpetrich » Jul 05, 2019 12:12 am

laklak wrote:
lpetrich wrote:
Its inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, had even been a science-fiction writer.

I'm suspicious of any "writer" who would end a chapter with something like

"Suddenly the door burst open and there stood a giant Psychlos!!!!!!"

Meaning that he wasn't a very good writer, I presume. He was never very successful as a SF writer.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#23  Postby Evolving » Jul 05, 2019 6:40 am

Thank you for that, lak. I’ve never read anything by L. Ron Hubbard. I don’t think I’ll bother now.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#24  Postby Svartalf » Jul 05, 2019 12:21 pm

laklak wrote:
lpetrich wrote:
Its inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, had even been a science-fiction writer.


I'm suspicious of any "writer" who would end a chapter with something like

"Suddenly the door burst open and there stood a giant Psychlos!!!!!!"

I've read some bad science fiction in my days, but I suspect the l ron hubbard was the worst SF writer ever, even worse than joseph smith and his mormon stuff.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#25  Postby Macdoc » Jul 05, 2019 4:40 pm

have you read it ?
:coffee:
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#26  Postby Svartalf » Jul 05, 2019 4:42 pm

I have, it's pure shit and I can't get how anybody with a pair of linked neurones can believe in that balderdash.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#27  Postby laklak » Jul 05, 2019 5:13 pm

The only worse writing I've encountered was the half page of 50 Shades of Grey I read.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#28  Postby Svartalf » Jul 05, 2019 5:41 pm

can't tell, I've not tried that one, but a close runner up was dan brown.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#29  Postby Macdoc » Jul 06, 2019 2:45 am

are you confusing his scifi with scientology?? Hyperion is rather far on the edge.
No one's created a cult around it ....
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#30  Postby laklak » Jul 06, 2019 4:21 am

Hyperion is fucking brilliant.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#31  Postby Macdoc » Jul 06, 2019 5:57 am

Yup
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#32  Postby laklak » Jul 06, 2019 2:08 pm

Did you read Illium/Olympus?
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#33  Postby Macdoc » Jul 06, 2019 2:41 pm

Rings a bell...are those the sequels?
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#34  Postby laklak » Jul 07, 2019 3:31 am

Same author but different series. Godlike former humans are reliving the siege of Troy on Mars, sentient cybernetic spaceship lifeforms live in the asteroid belt, a few hundred people live on Earth sort of enslaved by an orbital web of ancient AI satellites, Ulysses comes to Earth to help out the humans. It's some strange shit.

I may have to reread it now that I'm thinking of it, if you liked Hyperion you'll like this.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#35  Postby Macdoc » Jul 07, 2019 5:07 am

thnx
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#36  Postby Matt_B » Jul 07, 2019 7:30 am

I'll semi stick up for Hubbard as a sci fi writer. However, it's only his early work prior to Dianetics that's any good. Try Typewriter in the Sky, Fear or Final Blackout if you want something by an engaging, if somewhat pulpy writer.

Once he had established his cult and could self-publish any old crap (e.g. Battlefield Earth) the only thing that carries over is the pulpishness.

Dan Simmons is awesome though. I can't see him ever starting his own religion.
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Re: What is Science Fiction?

#37  Postby Eyedunno » Jul 25, 2019 6:59 am

lpetrich wrote:
  • John W. Campbell, Jr.. 1947. "To be science fiction, not fantasy, an honest effort at prophetic extrapolation from the known must be made."
  • Theodore Sturgeon. 1952. "A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
  • Frederik Pohl. 1968. "Someone once said that a good science-fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam. We agree".
  • Isaac Asimov. 1975. "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology."

Wow, all of those are terrible, and would exclude a lot of legendary stuff that is uncontroversially classified as science fiction: Tiptree's "Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death" comes to mind, as does Ted Chiang's "Exhalation", and a whole lot of Greg Egan stuff, including a lot of the far-future stuff that he is probably best known for, but especially a lot of his more recent work (Orthogonal trilogy, Dichronauts, Phoresis, none of which have any characters that are remotely human or descended from humans--hell, the former two examples involve characters who inhabit universes with different geometries of spacetime from ours!).

And as much as I love Theodore Sturgeon (he's probably in my top ten), he's the most wrong here. :P
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