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Old 03-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
Trilby
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Sci-Fi Geeks Vs. Lit. Geeks

If it weren't for Cherry and Shawnee and Dana, I would feel like a lonely on a lonley planet (called Cellar Alpha Squad 7 starring Tek Jansen) because fully 2/3 of you are Sci-Fi (or should I say SyFy?) geekazoids who knew what a Triffid was before I had my first beer and I am into the Classics.

I think we should rumble.

First punch: If Sci-Fi is so great, why hasn't any Sci-Fi writer ever won a Nobel, huh?
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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DORIS LESSING
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, is both a classic and sci-fi. Have you read it, Brianna? What did you think?
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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DARN YOU LESSING!
And to think - I read her Golden Notebook!!! I'd forgotten about her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, is both a classic and sci-fi. Have you read it, Brianna? What did you think?
haven't read Frankenstein yet...Mel Brooks kind of ruined it for me.
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In Barrie's play and novel, the roles of fairies are brief: they are allies to the Lost Boys, the source of fairy dust and ...They are portrayed as dangerous, whimsical and extremely clever but quite hedonistic.

"Shall I give you a kiss?" Peter asked and, jerking an acorn button off his coat, solemnly presented it to her.
—James Barrie


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Old 03-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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The bias against science fiction in literary circles is often strong enough that if a book is good enough, people will try their damnednest to justify not calling it science fiction. Ironically (because the opposite is true in SF circles), the less fantasy is mixed into the science fiction, the more some will insist it's not SF.

Not that I mean to denigrate fantasy, that genre is also unfairly maligned. Probably since the Victorian era, fantasy has been considered a children's genre, even though the older a surviving classic is, the more likely it is to be fantasy.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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So, Bri, you're saying that anybody who hasn't won the Nobel for literature isn't worth reading?
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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I'm looking for Steinbeck fanfic. (lord I hope that doesn't exist.)
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:28 PM   #8
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Fraid I am a total sci-fi geek Bri. Attitudes towards sci-fi and fantasy are all tied up with concepts of 'High' and 'Low' culture.

There is a place for the classics, there is also a place for sci-fi. And the truth is we have no idea what will count as a classic in a century or two. In 200 years students may be pretending to read the Belgariad in order to look cultured.

I read anything and everything. Though...I tend not to want to read it if someone tags it as Literature. There are exceptions to that: Dickens, Heller, Hemmingway to name a few.

I find the dividing line between sci-fi / fantasy and everything else, rather an artificial and unsatisfying one. Some of the most beautiful, lyrical, complex and literary works I've read have been in the 'sci-fi' section of the bookshop. Some of the most unengaging, self-indulgent, vapid nonsense has been sold to me as literature.

Read what thrills you. Work out why it thrills you. Thats what I find fun.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna View Post
haven't read Frankenstein yet...Mel Brooks kind of ruined it for me.
Take it back.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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I didn't know we we dividing sci-fi from classics. Now we have the task of defining both of them to prove that they are mutually exclusive. Wow. Good luck on this tedious, futile task.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
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Science Fiction requires more imagination.

Hemingway and Steinbeck wrote what they knew from what they experienced. Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clark wrote of worlds that didn't exist in anyone's wildest dreams. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and 2001 A Space Odyssey are every bit as visceral and real as The Fisherman and the Sea and The Great Gatsby.

Which pair of books would you imagine was more difficult to write? I'm not taking anything away from the literary giants. Except the presumption that their science fiction brethren don't belong in the same club.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:05 PM   #12
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Absolutely there is a lot of sci-fi/fantasy type literature which is beautifully written. Some of those that fall into the classics realm, I've read. Not because I'm a snob, but because literature as art (meaning in this case that it endures) fascinates me, and I took a lot of lit electives in college.

I've said before I am more into the "slice of life" type of books, looking at the human condition, a study of frailty and strength and emotion. There are plenty of these types of books that fall into the category of not so good, as well. Classics of any genre live on.

I think I should expand my horizons and try some books that have been mentioned previously.

Great writing is great writing.

eta: Beestie, truly those are all great books, but I take issue with the presumption that less imagination is used when doing what Hemingway (I'm assuming you meant The Old Man and the Sea?) and Fitzgerald did when capturing the seemingly simple; so complex.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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But ... but ... I like both.

There is good and bad in both genres.

I would say that writing good SF is harder, because you must first know some good science, know where the cutting edge of science is up to, then stretch your imagination beyond that, being creative yet keeping it at least "possible" given what we know about science so far. And then be able to construct an interesting plot and believable characters, and then be able to write well.

And I know that if you want to look like a real geek you should call it SF not SciFi. Dunno why though. Geeks can be pretty snobby sometimes.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:28 PM   #14
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but what about classic SF?

and Arthur C. Clarke was nominated for a Nobel peace prize.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:22 PM   #15
DanaC
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I just find the distinction so articifial. Like Cloud says, what about Classic SF? The Time Machine...literature or science fiction? It's a silly choice it makes no sense. Science Fiction is a genre. Literature is not a genre. Science Fiction exists within and without Literature as a category.
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