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cleggster

Ok, I ordered this book for my store to add to the Shadowrun collection. Turns out it is a pamphlet. A 60 page pamphlet with some guys thesis on it. That cost $64!

Most of it consists of his theories on the definitions of fantasy and science fiction. Then he ties it in with Shadowrun. This it. It's a flappy $64 pamphlet with a glossy cover. Don't know how I'm going to sell that.

But this is just a heads up for you all.

Later
Ancient History
Yeah, this came up months ago when this thing was first listed. I really wish you'd asked before you ordered it, since I highly doubt you'll be able to sell the damn thing, but g'luck with that.
knasser
Shadowrun - Between Science Fiction and Fantasy (Paperback) by Farkas Gorog. I found this on Amazon. It looks flawed from the outset in supposing that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are mutually exclusive categories. The genres themselves might be incompatible by a lot of definitions, but that does not mean that a single work can't meet both criteria. Ultimately, the genres are just a human categorisation system and if you find things that do not fit in your system, then you don't go into an exhaustive inspection of the thing to find out where it should go, you re-examine your categories because they are inadequate / flawed. How someone managed to get a thesis out of this, I don't know. 68 pages, I assume this must be a Masters thesis, not a doctorate. Do we know if it was accepted?

K.
hobgoblin
if one suppose that sufficiently advanced technology can be used as magic in a story, then yes, sci-fi becomes fantasy...
knasser
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Aug 6 2009, 08:33 AM) *
if one suppose that sufficiently advanced technology can be used as magic in a story, then yes, sci-fi becomes fantasy...


Although I've noticed that if someone sufficiently "literary" writes it, then it is not "sci-fi" or "fantasy". It's just 'experimental' or 'alternative' or whatever other term is used in a desperate attempt to not be mixed in with the popular writers.

Yes, I do have an axe, and yes, I'm grinding it. And yes, it's very sharp by now. wink.gif

K.
Aaron
Huh. Maybe I should write up my "Shadowrun According to Aaron" seminar and sell it. It at least only talks about science fiction as literature, and what makes Shadowrun "good sci-fi." Plus it has geeky networking and metaphysics.
StealthSigma
The third law of prediction...

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

This law is frequently displayed in Stargate SG-1....
Ancient History
Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Niven's Inversion: Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.
Gehm's Corollary: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Foglio's Corollary: Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!
Maelstrome
science and magic are one and the same,but for diverse considerations have diverse names. silly.gif
Aaron
Any sufficiently advanced state of ignorance will perceive everything as magic.
hobgoblin
i am tempted to say something about religion now, but that would probably get this thread scuttled smokin.gif
BlueMax
10-1 says the guy just cut and paste some of the anti-XXX hate from here on DS nyahnyah.gif

BlueMax
Aaron
Don't forget the search-and-replace step.

Has anybody made the point on this thread that fantasy is science fiction?
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Aaron @ Aug 6 2009, 10:46 AM) *
Any sufficiently advanced state of ignorance will perceive everything as magic.

Ooooh! Can I use this one?

"Ingnorance is curable by education, but stupidity? That runs bone deep."


So translated: To the hopelessly uneducated, anything more complex than an internal combustion motor will seem like magic.

I can work with that.

Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE (knasser @ Aug 6 2009, 04:19 AM) *
Shadowrun - Between Science Fiction and Fantasy (Paperback) by Farkas Gorog. I found this on Amazon. It looks flawed from the outset in supposing that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are mutually exclusive categories.


Just take a look at Star Wars. It has both Magic and Sci-fi.
Kerrang
QUOTE (Aaron @ Aug 6 2009, 11:18 AM) *
Has anybody made the point on this thread that fantasy is science fiction?


I would phrase it the other way around, Sci-fi is Fantasy.

There is no shortage of literature that combines what is traditionally considered fantasy with what is traditionally considered Sci-fi. Some of the great authors from both genres have delved into that supposed divide between the two, including Piers Anthony, Fred Saberhagen, and Terry Brooks, just to name a few. To focus on Shadowrun as the sole example of combining these genres seems a bit narrow minded of the author.

If this was someones Masters Thesis, and the author's field of study is anything close to literature, I hope this was solidly rejected for failing to note such precedents.
Doc Byte
QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Aug 6 2009, 06:23 PM) *
Just take a look at Star Wars. It has both Magic and Sci-fi.


I thought it was commonly agreed that Star Wars is Fantasy. Wizards (aka Jedi) and princesses... there're even dragons. The whole plot's like a fairy tale. Compare this with Heinlein's definition of SiFi:


1. The conditions must be, in some respect, different from here-and-now, although the difference may lie only in an invention made in the course of the story.
2. The new conditions must be an essential part of the story.
3. The problem itself - the ‘plot’ – must be a human problem.
4. the human problem must be one which is created by, or indispensably affected by, the new conditions.
5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e., it you are going to assume that the human race descended from Martians, then you’ve got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well.
BookWyrm
$64!??!! For a fracking pamphlete?!??!!! I'd demand my money back. I'd ask someone who already had this 'production' for a xerox of such a...a...ah smeg, words fail me at my disgust of this.

SR novels fall into the same category as they do in my Borders/Waldenbooks or Barnes & Noble: Science Fiction and Fantasy. The 'genre' is large enough to accomodate. Shadowrun falls into that little grey area of "sci-fi with fantasy elements".

Honestly, I really don't care where it falls under, as long as it's available, priced within my budget and I can order it.
cleggster
Ironically, this topic was a discussion that I was having with a friend last week. Argument, actually. What is the definition of Fantasy. But generally, does having "magic" automatically mean it's Fantasy. And if so, what is "magic"? Usually, magic is seen as something that is unknown or unknowable. While science can always be explained. I found that a better descriptor is magic is worked by the will somehow. While Science is enacted by mechanism. But it is really a moot point. D&D Space combined the two. For example a gun, when fired, would teleport the ammo into orbit where it would pick up speed then teleport back into the barrel. The trigger and kinetic energy involved is all science. But the teleportation was magic. I know some people didn't like this. Personally, I thought it was cool. Hell, this whole discussion is just kinda fun to think about. That's why Shadowrun's fun to play. It's a whole new science. Theoretical magic.

On the up side, looks like I can return the thesis to Ingram. I don't want to devalue someone work, but there is no way any of my customers would buy this.
Kerrang
QUOTE (Doc Byte @ Aug 6 2009, 11:44 AM) *
I thought it was commonly agreed that Star Wars is Fantasy. Wizards (aka Jedi) and princesses... there're even dragons. The whole plot's like a fairy tale. Compare this with Heinlein's definition of SiFi:


1. The conditions must be, in some respect, different from here-and-now, although the difference may lie only in an invention made in the course of the story.
2. The new conditions must be an essential part of the story.
3. The problem itself - the €˜plot€™ €“ must be a human problem.
4. the human problem must be one which is created by, or indispensably affected by, the new conditions.
5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e., it you are going to assume that the human race descended from Martians, then you€™ve got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well.


The above was written by Heinlein in 1964.

Contrast that to what he said just a few years earlier (1959):

"a handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."

Also, the 1964 quote came from what is basically an essay on writing Sci-fi, "On the Writing of Speculative Fiction", and he is there telling his audience how they should write Sci-fi. The earlier quote from 1958 came from "Science Fiction: Its Nature, Faults and Virtues", in which he was being more descriptive of what Sci-Fi actually is.

For my money, the best definition of Sci-Fi comes from Damon Knight: "science fiction is what we point to when we say it."
knasser
QUOTE (Doc Byte @ Aug 6 2009, 05:44 PM) *
Compare this with Heinlein's definition of SiFi:


Heinlein!

QUOTE
1. The conditions must be, in some respect, different from here-and-now, although the difference may lie only in an invention made in the course of the story.


Of course there are those Sci-Fi stories where the events are the same but the explanations are different.

QUOTE
2. The new conditions must be an essential part of the story.


So any story that uses a future setting as a back drop is not sci-fi. Good-bye any deeply focused human-interest. After all, the Starship Troopers film (based on Heinlein's own novel) uses the sci-fi elements as barely more than an allegory. You could tell the same story and make the same point with out any sci-elements. So, er, Starshipt Troopers not Sci Fi, then?
QUOTE
3. The problem itself - the ‘plot’ – must be a human problem.


In what sense a human problem? A problem on the scale of humans, loves lost and jealousies, and all that? Well that's Contact out, then. Or a problem affecting humanity. Well that's a wide-range of sci-fi that deals with small groups or individuals then. Or that it merely must contain "humans"? Well then that rules out some of the more esoteric sci-fi that takes place entirely in an alien setting or one that lacks humans at least (e.g. a machine planet).

QUOTE
4. the human problem must be one which is created by, or indispensably affected by, the new conditions.


See point 2.

QUOTE
5. And lastly, no established fact shall be violated, and furthermore, when the story requires that a theory contrary to present accepted theory be used, the new theory should be rendered reasonably plausible and it must include and explain established facts as satisfactorily as the one the author saw fit to junk. It may be far-fetched, it may seem fantastic, but it must not be at variance with observed facts, i.e., it you are going to assume that the human race descended from Martians, then you’ve got to explain our apparent close relationship to terrestrial anthropoid apes as well.


So any science fiction lacking sufficient explanation of how certain things are possible is not sci-fi? Well that's half of it then. I may not like Star Trek for its lack of scientific rigour (amongst other reasons), but I wouldn't try and claim it wasn't sci-fi.

To summarise: Pah! ; )

K.
Zaranthan
Any sufficiently advanced Science! is indistinguishable from bad science fiction.
Aaron
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Aug 6 2009, 11:18 AM) *
Ooooh! Can I use this one?

I'd be honored. Please attribute it; nobody ever believes me when they quote something and I say it was me. =i)

QUOTE
I would phrase it the other way around, Sci-fi is Fantasy.

Meh. Science fiction as an identifiable genre was around long before fantasy was. It could be argued, but all of my lit and writing classes went with fantasy as a subset of science fiction.
Kerrang
QUOTE (Aaron @ Aug 6 2009, 02:43 PM) *
Meh. Science fiction as an identifiable genre was around long before fantasy was. It could be argued, but all of my lit and writing classes went with fantasy as a subset of science fiction.


That all depends on whether you consider the Epic of Gilgamesh to be sci-fi, or fantasy. Seems to fit the bill of fantasy to me, I would be interested to know how your professors related it to sci-fi.
cleggster

I'm going to go on a limb here and state that Science Fiction as we know it started in the late 19th century with Jules Verne. (gotta love him) But of course there were earlier versions of it. Cyrano De Bergerac has a great scene where he describes various ways to get to the moon. Figuring out different devices to get there. On the flip side though, John Carter goes to mars by sheer willpower. Well, astral projection but you get the idea.

As for early writings, I think you have to look and ancient myths. For my mind, they are fully what we would consider Fantasy. Certainly outside the realms of known science of the time.

knasser
QUOTE (Aaron @ Aug 6 2009, 09:43 PM) *
Meh. Science fiction as an identifiable genre was around long before fantasy was. It could be argued, but all of my lit and writing classes went with fantasy as a subset of science fiction.


If you argue that the genre called Science Fiction became defined earlier than the genre called Fantasy, then maybe that's correct. My knowledge of the history of literature is not sufficient to say for definite. But if your argument is that there are examples of the genre of Science Fiction that predate any examples of the genre of Fantasy then I'd disagree.

Kerrang has already mentioned the Epic of Gilgamesh. Whether mythology should be properly categorised under Fantasy, I'll leave as a debate for other people, but there are certainly good instances of Fantasy that go a long way back that aren't under the category of Mythology. Whilst parts of the 1001 Nights have religious references, others are certainly pure examples of Fantasy. E.g. the Forty Thieves and their magic cave. Aladdin has some vague religious connections in the Djinn exist in the Koran, but essentially it is a Fantasy and it is certainly not a religious tale or mythology - it is a story that was told for purposes of entertainment. There are also more modern examples such as The Castle of Ontranto which was written before Jules Verne was even born.

So if the discussion is about genres becoming defined (and I think that job has yet to be completed with science fiction), then maybe Fantasy took a while to become called that, but it may only be because there was so much of it there wasn't a need to call it anything.

My personal experience of academics writing about Science Fiction and Fantasy is that they couldn't find their Orson Scott Card with both hands. wink.gif

K.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Aug 6 2009, 06:18 PM) *
Ooooh! Can I use this one?

"Ingnorance is curable by education, but stupidity? That runs bone deep."


So translated: To the hopelessly uneducated, anything more complex than an internal combustion motor will seem like magic.

I can work with that.

now now, we all know that those motors run on devilry, with them belching fire and all that smokin.gif

oh, how i love fading suns biggrin.gif
Doc Byte
Once people thought they would die because of the (steam engine) train's high speed.

QUOTE (knasser @ Aug 7 2009, 12:13 PM) *
Whilst parts of the 1001 Nights have religious references, others are certainly pure examples of Fantasy. E.g. the Forty Thieves and their magic cave. Aladdin has some vague religious connections in the Djinn exist in the Koran, but essentially it is a Fantasy and it is certainly not a religious tale or mythology - it is a story that was told for purposes of entertainment.


That's why we call 1001 Nights a fairy tale.

QUOTE (knasser @ Aug 7 2009, 12:13 PM) *
There are also more modern examples such as The Castle of Ontranto which was written before Jules Verne was even born.


Nice example of gothic fiction. But I preferred The Monk.
Aaron
Like I said, meh. I'm not going to waste anybody's time by trying to argue points my professors made years ago. Tell you what: let's just call it all speculative fiction and free ourselves up for discussing the literary value the Shadowrun can offer.
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