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Posted on Sep 9, 2012 1:32:31 PM PDT
Back in the late 19th /early 20th centuries science fiction stories were called "scientific romances," until Hugo Gernsback came up with "scientifiction." I wonder what would be considered science fiction in the 23rd century? In Fredric Brown's "What Mad Universe" (1949) space travel was commonplace in an otherwise "normal universe," so what we'd call science fiction magazines were called adventure magazines. Unless somebody does an end run around the laws of physics I'm thinking time travel, warp drives, and parallel universes would still qualify. What do you guys think?

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 4:35:35 PM PDT
Maybe that would then be "speculative fiction," or "alternate reality fiction?" I never understood the difference between those and science fiction, anyway. Some people call Steam Punk SciFi. That's just not right, either, I guess.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 11:03:22 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
There probably won't be any, I don't think much is being published now, since I don't consider time travel, alternate history, apocalyptic stuff post or otherwise, space opera or military SF to be in the genre without special dispensation. Of course, who am I to make such a sweeping judgment? SF is what self identified SF readers read and whatever they're reading in the 23rd century will be SF. On a more serious note, I think the big thing might well be related to SETI--speculating about what we've found or rationalizing the persistent silence.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 11:33:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2012 5:18:56 AM PDT
Irish reader says:
Even up to thirty years ago, the idea that mankind would colonise galaxies (while also having to negotiate with myriad lifeforms) seemed like a real possibility and Sci-Fi explored that possibility. Fantasy looked to the past, SF to the future. Discovering our own limitations and the fact that we live in a universe that seems to be largely uninhabited means that Space Opera now seems just as far-fetched as Sword and Sorcery. SF is only credible (to me) if it deals with the possible. Sure, 'The Matrix' is preposterous but conforms to this criteria more closely than Space Opera, because it reflects what we've learnt in the interim - ie, that virtual worlds are more likely than extraterrestials.

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 5:12:38 PM PDT
No questions? Where are our inquiring minds? Hey, why was Bombay changed to Mumbai, and Peking changed to Beijing? Also, when I was a boy Muslims were called Moslems. Why the change and what's the diff?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 5:48:17 PM PDT
R. Wilde says:
I'm not sure about those, but I do know

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople's still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night

Every gal in Constantinople
Is a Miss-stanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it, I can't say
(People just liked it better that way)

Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks'


In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 9:07:20 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
Does anyone else think that "One-Eyed Jacks" was the first Spaghetti Western? Way to go Marlon Brando!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 1:45:27 AM PDT
Anthony L. says:
Bombay was changed to Mumbai 17 years ago in 1995. The right-wing Hindu nationalist party Shiv Shena renamed it after Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.
Honestly, I though that was common knowledge.

As for Beijing, Peking is the older, Romanized version of Beijing, which is the Chinese name for the city.

The word Moslem was used up until about 1980, but is the incorrect pronunciation. When English people say "Moslem" they pronounce it "Mozz-lemm" which is similar to the word for "oppressor".
Hence the change. They are both the same word.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 3:14:50 PM PDT
Thanks, you've cleared up a few things I've wondered about for years.

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 5:20:17 AM PDT
Anthony L. says:
Now for my question: When did film-makers start calling sequels "Part 2"? There was Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom and A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Then there was Lethal Weapon I, II. Mission Impossible I, II.

When did this fad start?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2012 9:52:06 AM PDT
From TVtropes:
"The first use of a number without "part" was probably Quatermass 2 in 1957, the follow-up to The Quatermass Xperiment."

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 2:22:44 PM PDT
Kelly says:
Godfather Part II predates Star Wars

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 5:34:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2012 6:18:58 PM PDT
Anthony L. says:
Did you know that Star Wars began production as: Adventures of Luke Starkiller: Taken From the Journal of the Whills. Saga I: The Star Wars.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 2:44:33 PM PDT
Kelly says:
..and it should have ended with Return/Revenge of the Jedi.....

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 2:49:58 PM PDT
Yes, and that Lucas considered making Luke a girl because there were no significant women in the original storyline. Would've been interesting to see a kick-ass girl 15 years before Buffy (the movie).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 3:09:52 PM PDT
The first spaghetti western was an opera:

In 1958 an American-British western filmed in Spain, namely The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958), directed by Raoul Walsh, was the first example of a spaghetti western. It was followed in 1961 by Savage Guns, this time a British-Spanish western, again filmed in Spain. This marked the beginning of Spain as a suitable film shooting location for any kind of European western.

It makes sense to film in Spain--not many arid places in Italy.

How about a Japanese western?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 7:45:01 PM PDT
Anthony L. says:
You are significantly overlooking Ellen Ripley - the greatest female ass-kicker of all time.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 7:46:07 PM PDT
Anthony L. says:
So I guess they should be called Paella Westerns, not Spaghetti Westerns.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 3:16:52 AM PDT
Am I the only one mildly unhappy when I see an article starting "One hundred years ago today---" and it's 19--something, not 18--something? 19--something still feels too close to today.

Have you ever stood close to a bathroom mirror and looked down. It amazes me that a mirror can see stuff below its "line of sight."

It's 3:15 am--I get funny thoughts at this time.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2012 9:09:49 AM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
Hi Gilbert, thanks for the info--of course when I was referring to 'Spaghetti Westerns' I was mostly thinking of Sergio Leone and the distinctive, almost Nietzschean, moral attitude in his movies. What's interesting (though I suppose it's not that surprising) about it to me is that you could pretty much recreate that worldview by sitting down and watching "One Eyed Jacks" and "Yojimbo". One reason the Italians were able to do Westerns, is that post WW II Italy was the center of a thriving industry producing replica firearms--I had a Civil War buff friend who worked as a consultant for an Italian company that made copies of weapons from the Civil War and Wild West, and that accounts for the fact that Leone could occasionally indulge in an almost fetishistic fondness for period weapons. The Spanish locations can be pretty good replicas for the American West and there are some Westerns I've seen filmed in Sicily and France that were plausible, but I got a real kick out of "Ravenous", which was filmed in Slovakia and it did somewhat resemble the Rocky mountains way North of where it was supposed to have taken place.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2012 6:16:23 PM PDT
Anthony L. says:
I too, feel a little sad when I realize that 100 years ago the Titanic sank, Scott reached the South Pole, and people were fighting WWI!
Time passes.

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 5:41:28 AM PDT
W.T. says:
I still have a great concern that in the 23rd century, our tech level will actually be less than it is today because we are overdue for a period of cyclical technological contraction after several hundred years of continued expansion.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 1:19:28 PM PDT
Seems unlikely with our current information storage technology, barring a cataclysm.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 1:40:15 PM PDT
Psylocide says:
Well, as long as there is electricity, that argument is somewhat valid.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 5:17:34 PM PDT
R. Wilde says:
"I too, feel a little sad when I realize that 100 years ago ... people were fighting WWI!"

I'd feel sad at that, too. It would mean that I've forgotten the last two years (at least). :)

(sorry, couldn't resist)
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  287
Initial post:  Aug 29, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 19, 2013

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