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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

suspension of disbelief and wish fulfillment

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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 2, 2013, 10:03:11 PM PST
It seems like modern science fiction fans want more realistic science fiction and do not wish to take a greater effort of suspension of disbelief, but aren't these standards leading us away from the wish fulfillment we want from science fiction?

Posted on Mar 2, 2013, 10:59:58 PM PST
Or, perhaps this is a way of satisfying the the desire for wishes which might actually be fulfilled.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013, 2:44:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2013, 2:45:01 AM PST
I'm not sure I agree with you. There are a number of sub-genres in science fiction. So-called "hard science fiction" has always insisted that the science and technology it presents at least be plausible. This was just as true of the Golden Age sci-fi of the 40's-60's, perhaps more so, as it is today.

Readers of adventure sci-fi, space opera, military sci-fi, etc., have different sets of expectations and even though the various sub-genres all fall within the broad definition of science fiction, the science may be less important to the story in some sub-genres than others.

All sci-fi involves some degree of willing suspension of disbelief. If readers can't accept the basic underlying premises of the story, whether scientific or sociological, the story probably won't meet their expectations.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2013, 8:42:43 AM PST
Tom Rogers says:
part of what's going on is that SF used to have a fairly vibrant strand of coming of age stories where the protagonist finds a way to fit in and thrive in a future society, now the focus is on misfits who are unhappy because it's society's fault, which is the basic notion behind the whole dystopian genre (where apparently any form of social organization that humanity has ever had is dystopian).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2013, 11:55:20 AM PST
Captain says:
I disagree based on the current plethora of fantasy/sci-fi combos.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013, 1:40:30 PM PST
I myself find that I can enjoy a great variety, but I seem to be strict about 'da rulz.' I enjoy the hollow Earth stuff written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and there isn't much "hard" about that. I liked Star Wars, and I'm a Trekker from way back before anybody had even heard of Picard and Worf, and Star Trek is a bit harder than Burroughs, but not so hard as Have Space Suit, Will Travel or The Fountains of Paradise.

I've enjoyed Conan and Tolkien, and I don't think you can call either of those SF at all, with their sorcery and Elves and such.

But if something presents itself as hard SF, dadgummit I want it to be high up there on the ol' Mohs scale.

Posted on Mar 3, 2013, 5:56:42 PM PST
Fullme7al says:
I see two parts to this. I for one will gladly read anything sci fi if it has a good backbone. I really don't mind suspension of disbelief in the sense of technology and concepts, but I do draw the line at suspension of disbelief when it comes to characters. I can't stand the characters who hear a sound in the dark and decide to grab a banana to go investigate instead of a gun or something like that.

I was just rereading Halo: The Thursday War by Karen Traviss Spoiler alert: Humans gave an alien(an elite for those who don't know the universe) a free pass to roam the planet world (dysonsphere I believe it's called, where the land is inside th planet not outside) that they are currently researching and haven't figured out much about it. Anyways, They gave him a pass to roam with another alien that is good at fixing things, and of course he ends up making the alien activate a portal so they can escape the planet and humans grasp. This alien knows vital information and for those of you who hav eplayed halo 4, he is the leader of the coveneant who attack the master chiefs ship.

Stuff like that pisses me off.

By the way, The walking dead series on AMC is one of the worse offenders characterwise, but I can't stop myself from watching it. I heard at a panel the writers said they know how annoying Andrea and some of the other characters are. Where I was reading someone brought up that the writers can't write past the alpha male, villian, and to be alpha male. When I read that things seemed much clearer, I understand there isn't much screen time of everyone, but it certainly explains a lot.

Sorry OP if I got off topic.

Posted on Mar 5, 2013, 5:16:03 PM PST
Jed Fisher says:
Whether something is acceptable or not, readers decide and that is okay.
It's tough, letting science get mauled to support a premise or plot device.
I suppose that's why biological science fiction that deals with blood-borne diseases that re-wire physiology and psychology are pushed away and declared `horror' or `paranormal romance.'
Vampires and werewolves and zombies, for example.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013, 6:21:33 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
there are a few examples of vampires and zombies living on main street SF, I haven't seen any werewolves but I have seen shapeshifting of various kinds that's pretty close to the trope.

Posted on Mar 6, 2013, 2:13:05 AM PST
I want realism in that I don't want to be presented with "miracle solutions" time and time again, the protagonist just pulling a gadget out of the pockets of his pocketless spandex jumpsuit that saves the day at the critical moment of every chapter.

If you're going to present a style and level of technology, stick with it and mould your story and universe to fit, don't have magical escapes that just happen to be revealed at the critical moment.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013, 4:55:00 AM PST
In other words don't pull a Battlestar Galactica.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013, 7:13:32 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
I was thinking more of Star Trek. ;)

Posted on Mar 6, 2013, 10:33:50 AM PST
In ST, they have to nerf their tech to KEEP FROM having instant miracles. Look at all the ways they manage to NOT simply be beamed up out of danger, and all the phasor-resistant villains, androids, energy-beings, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013, 6:14:11 PM PST
I still think Galactica pretty much wins the prize for eternity. It was a literal deus ex machina. The god from the machine. The god of the Cylons. And when Galactica is trapped with no possibly way out what happens? God steps in and saves the day.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013, 11:15:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2013, 11:15:21 AM PDT
W.T. Keeton says:
But from the very beginning, BSG foreshadowed that it would happen. The first Cylon shown (Six) mentions god in her first bits of dialogue, and that theme is carried throughout the series. So while it was literally a "deus ex machina" it was not literarily one.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Mar 2, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 14, 2013

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