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zompist bboard • View topic - Fantasy and Conworlding Part II

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:48 pm 
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< Cev> My people we use cars. I come from a very proud car culture-- every part of the car is used, nothing goes to waste. When my people first saw the car, generations ago, we called it šuŋka wakaŋ-- meaning "automated mobile".


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:22 am 
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Sharp division between scifi and fantasy is a silly illusion. All works of fiction that can even partially be said to belong to one genre, also partially belong to the other in at least some regards.

Though I dont' remember the counterexamples from the last thread, another that hasn't been mentioned yet here is Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series. Set in the distant past, with characters ruled by their belief in the spirit world, and the main character doing and accomplishing far more than conceivably plausible for any single human of the age (not to mention being a walking heroic embodiment of Pure Good), and with characters receiving visions of the future that turn out to be true... it is nevertheless also a thoroughly scientific work. The author has researched human anthropology in the relevent regions so thoroughly for her books that she has become, herself, an eminent scholar on the topic (the last installment required six years of research incl. digs at archeological sites). And aside from the visions, everything the characters do and see is based on hard real-world science.

Sci-fi? Fantasy? Both!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:23 am 
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I think TheGoatMan's advise is the most rightheadedest: sure, it's a common meme to say that in order to be a good writer you must read, but I'm gonna believe Aristoteles on this one and guess that practice makes perfect.

and yeah, the distinction isn't clear-cut.

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< Cev> My people we use cars. I come from a very proud car culture-- every part of the car is used, nothing goes to waste. When my people first saw the car, generations ago, we called it šuŋka wakaŋ-- meaning "automated mobile".


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:24 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Regardless of whether the two can be precisely defined, Eddy, you seem to be going about this backwards. Genre labels such as 'fantasy' or 'science fiction' are descriptive, whereas you seem to be trying to use them to define the substance of whatever you intend to write. It feels a little trite to invoke linguistic terms, but if seems fitting to say that you're being awfully prescriptivist.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:15 pm 
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it is not hyperbolic if what i said is exactly true


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:41 pm 
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YES IT CAN BE you can exaggerate about true statements, you can!, are you listening? it most certainly can be, it so can be, it's like the most true thing in the entire universe. so DO NOT SAY THAT IT CANNOT BE, BECAUSE IT CAN BE, can too, can too, can too!!

NOTE: Your initial answer, 'read a fucking book', clearly implies that he hasn't read any books ever when taken in a completely literal fashion, although it's understood to mean that he should read more books that he has. that's called an hyperbole

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That wasn't an answer. I agree with Salmoneus that this thread is useless if you're looking for *those*. It was part of the continuing campaign to get eddy to actually read books. I am pleased to announce that this week he decided to. It is a victory, precious like the first snowdrop of the spring.


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So ultimately, we cannot develop objective criteria for distinguishing science fiction and fantasy because writers can always come up with new works that defy existing classifications.

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< Cev> My people we use cars. I come from a very proud car culture-- every part of the car is used, nothing goes to waste. When my people first saw the car, generations ago, we called it šuŋka wakaŋ-- meaning "automated mobile".


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Last edited by Delthayre on Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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