Author Topic: Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]  (Read 989 times)

I watched the first Matrix film on TV last night. Granted I fucking loathe science fi, but fuck me that movie is terrible. Grimy, miserable, confusing bollocks as far removed from 'entertainment' as I can imagine. I can't even imagine how the sequels could be worse.

Glebe

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If it weren't for the bloody woke brigade, they could just black up Charlie Brooker.

But he'd prolly end up sticking on a straw boater and singing 'Swanee Ribber' doing jazz hands.

Famous Mortimer

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I fucking loathe science fi
Then why bother?

Then why bother?

To annoy you sweetcheeks.

In reality, i'm just trying to broaden my horizons after a lifelong hatred of all science fi and fantasy. But this was a miserable dogshite movie.

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In reality, i'm just trying to broaden my horizons after a lifelong hatred of all science fi and fantasy. But this was a miserable dogshite movie.

You don't like ANY sci fi? Even stuff like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Or do you just mean space things?

What broke it all for you?

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Joke is, we're currently LIVING in a sci-fi, what with the covids an that! Eh lads, etc

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OCH!


EAT THE RED PILL NEO LAD IT HAS COVIDS IN, HOOTS





edit:  oh yeah, morpheus isn't scottish is he, whoops!

Mister Six

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You don't like ANY sci fi? Even stuff like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Or do you just mean space things?

What broke it all for you?

Aye, it's quite the claim to make.

Some more fantasy/sci-fi suggestions, grouped roughly together:

Wild visions
City of Lost Children, Brazil, Videodrome.

Modern fairytales
Pan's Labyrinth, Kiki's Delivery Service (or maybe Spirited Away).

Fantastical romances
The Adjustment Bureau, The Purple Rose of Cairo, The Shape of Water, A Matter of Life and Death, Her.

Action time!
Alien, Akira, The Edge of Tomorrow, Minority Report.

Arthouse oddities
Being John Malkovich, Under the Skin, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Mulholland Drive, Primer, A Scanner Darkly, Moon.

Apocalypse now
Stalker, Children of Men, 12 Monkeys.

Who's out there?
Interstellar, Arrival, 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Probably a whole thread in this, to be honest.

Aye, it's quite the claim to make.

Some more fantasy/sci-fi suggestions, grouped roughly together:

Wild visions
City of Lost Children, Brazil, Videodrome.

Modern fairytales
Pan's Labyrinth, Kiki's Delivery Service (or maybe Spirited Away).

Fantastical romances
The Adjustment Bureau, The Purple Rose of Cairo, The Shape of Water, A Matter of Life and Death, Her.

Action time!
Alien, Akira, The Edge of Tomorrow, Minority Report.

Arthouse oddities
Being John Malkovich, Under the Skin, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Mulholland Drive, Primer, A Scanner Darkly, Moon.

Apocalypse now
Stalker, Children of Men, 12 Monkeys.

Who's out there?
Interstellar, Arrival, 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Probably a whole thread in this, to be honest.

Some great movies under 'Arthouse Oddities' there.

I'm a 'real life' guy when it comes to movies. My favourite movie of all time is The Breakfast Club and i'm a huge Linklater fan. I like films about people and their lives. Groaning hairy men flying around in space say nothing to me about my life, what am I supposed to take away from the likes of Star Trek Wars or Guardians Of The Galaxy?

Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2021, 11:04:18 AM »
You don't like ANY sci fi? Even stuff like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Or do you just mean space things?

What broke it all for you?

Nothing 'broke it' for me. I hated sci fi when I was a child, as did everyone in my house. I watched a Star War for the first time in 2019 because I figured it wouldn't hurt to open my mind a bit (Star Wars incidently I wasn't a fan of, but I could see why people would be. I'll never understand why anyone would like The Martrix).

Bad Ambassador

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2021, 11:36:31 AM »
Groaning hairy men flying around in space say nothing to me about my life

There we go. Not everything has to be directly related to you and your life. Why can't movies be escapism or adventure or suggesting new ideas or ways of looking at the world. For example:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is about what might happen if an unbelievably advanced alien came to Earth. Could we communicate with it? Would we even be able to comprehend what it might want?
Star Trek II is about a decades-old vendetta between two men and the lengths someone will go to have an ultimately hollow revenge.
Star Trek III is about, in contrast, what people will risk for their friends.

Science-fiction is a way of examining ideas, situations and concepts that go beyond the limits of what might happen in your own house. If you don't want to think about anything outside your front door, that's your business. But you're wrong and you smell of farts.

Blumf

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2021, 12:03:48 PM »
Aye, it's quite the claim to make.

Some more fantasy/sci-fi suggestions, grouped roughly together:
...
Fantastical romances
The Adjustment Bureau, The Purple Rose of Cairo, The Shape of Water, A Matter of Life and Death, Her.

I'd swap out The Adjustment Bureau, which is a little limp, with Source Code (2011), which has a bit more bite, especially as you pull it apart afterwards.


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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2021, 12:11:43 PM »
There we go. Not everything has to be directly related to you and your life. Why can't movies be escapism or adventure or suggesting new ideas or ways of looking at the world. For example:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is about what might happen if an unbelievably advanced alien came to Earth. Could we communicate with it? Would we even be able to comprehend what it might want?
Star Trek II is about a decades-old vendetta between two men and the lengths someone will go to have an ultimately hollow revenge.
Star Trek III is about, in contrast, what people will risk for their friends.

Science-fiction is a way of examining ideas, situations and concepts that go beyond the limits of what might happen in your own house. If you don't want to think about anything outside your front door, that's your business. But you're wrong and you smell of farts.

Star Trek VI.  How to turn your intergalactic space ship into an inexpensive care home for yourself and your increasingly decrepit peers.

Star Trek Generations:  how to pass the baton onto some youngsters (in a “new Pope” sense) who don’t resemble the characterisations they present within a television version of it

QDRPHNC

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2021, 01:14:19 PM »
Aye, it's quite the claim to make.

Great list there, but I'd disagree on a few - Being John Malkovich, Mulholland Drive, Primer maybe. To me those are just weird, fantastical stories, not really sci-fi nor fantasy.

Vonnegut said once he didn't like his stories being classified as sci-fi, and said it happened just because he wrote about technology.

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2021, 01:44:27 PM »
Being John Malkovich is a fantasy, and Mulholland Drive is a surrealist drama that doesn't really have any sci-fi or fantasy elements. Primer, however, is about two men who build a time machine, so it's proper SF, but ought to be skipped because the guy who made it is a scumbag.

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2021, 01:53:20 PM »
Being John Malkovich is a fantasy, and Mulholland Drive is a surrealist drama that doesn't really have any sci-fi or fantasy elements. Primer, however, is about two men who build a time machine, so it's proper SF, but ought to be skipped because the guy who made it is a scumbag.

I didn't like Primer, thought Upstream Color was phenomenal.

But see I would debate whether Primer is sci-fi. It's fiction, and it's about technology, but I don't know if that makes it sci-fi in my book.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 02:10:01 PM by QDRPHNC »

Mister Six

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Sci-fi and fantasy for people who don't like sci-fi and fantasy [split topic]
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2021, 02:20:15 PM »
It's about a bunch of guys who build a time machine and the problems and complications that emerge from its use. It's absolutely hard science fiction along the lines of some Arthur C Clarke short stories.

Vonnegut said once he didn't like his stories being classified as sci-fi, and said it happened just because he wrote about technology.

Well, his objection was that people used "the drawer marked science fiction... as a urinal", wasn't it? But Slaughterhouse Five and Timequake, off the top of my head, are unambiguously sci-fi or fantasy, as are the various books where the author inserts himself directly into the story (not just through stand-ins such as Kilgore Trout), like Breakfast of Champions. They might get passed off as "magic realism", but that's just an invention by cowardly academics trying to rub the serial numbers off before they shoot themselves in the reputation.

Some great movies under 'Arthouse Oddities' there.

So you do like some fantasy and sci-fi, then? With the exception of Mulholland Drive (which is still arguable depending on interpretation), they all certainly fall into that category. Is it specifically that you don't like action movies?

Quote
I'm a 'real life' guy when it comes to movies. My favourite movie of all time is The Breakfast Club and i'm a huge Linklater fan. I like films about people and their lives. Groaning hairy men flying around in space say nothing to me about my life, what am I supposed to take away from the likes of Star Trek Wars or Guardians Of The Galaxy?

The classic Star Trek shows used science fiction as a lens to explore real-life issues such as racism, the madness of war, destruction of the environment and so on. Guardians of the Galaxy is about remorse and redemption, and the final shot is a character at a funeral realising that there is hope for them, but that the change must come from within. Star Wars is more openly escapist, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

But I suppose it's horses for courses. I take nothing from The Breakfast Club, for example, which reflects nothing about my youth or adult life, and seems to me to be populated by caricatures with only the thinnest second dimension of characterisation (and motivated by a skewed sense of morality, too).

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Can't believe there's still snobbery around sci-fi.

Plenty of highbrow material has been produced (even if, like Vonnegut, many try to shy away from the label) that people today should be a bit more aware of the power and complexity of the whole genre. Not to mention some of the more pulpy creators, like PKD, who have been recognised for their insights.

Sure, there's plenty of goofy crap under the sci-fi label, but then you could just as easily point at a soap like Hollyoaks to suggest that all drama is vapid shit.

QDRPHNC

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Well, his objection was that people used "the drawer marked science fiction... as a urinal", wasn't it? But Slaughterhouse Five and Timequake, off the top of my head, are unambiguously sci-fi or fantasy, as are the various books where the author inserts himself directly into the story (not just through stand-ins such as Kilgore Trout), like Breakfast of Champions. They might get passed off as "magic realism", but that's just an invention by cowardly academics trying to rub the serial numbers off before they shoot themselves in the reputation.

Slaughterhouse 5, maybe. It's got aliens and time travel, but even then it's a stretch in my opinion. But Timequake is just a story where something fantastical happens to ordinary people, I wouldn't consider it science fiction.

In my head I have a line between stories which are science-fiction in intent, and stories which are fairly grounded, mostly character-driven, but contain fantastical elements.

More generally, I wouldn't consider myself a sci-fi fan, although I have seen and enjoyed many of the movies on your original list, so it's not anti-genre snobbery at all... maybe I just have a limited view of it.

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My favourite movie of all time is The Breakfast Club

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I would debate whether Primer is sci-fi. It's fiction, and it's about technology, but I don't know if that makes it sci-fi in my book.
You'd lose that debate before it even began. Which is quite appropriate for a time travel film.

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Quite a lot of Vonnegut is unambiguously sci-fi - at least the novels Player Piano, Cat's Cradle, The Sirens of Titan, Slapstick, Galapagos, and loads of short stories including probably his most famous, Harrison Bergeron. He was a sci-fi writer.

You are Hadley Freeman and I claim my five pounds.

I don't know who that is!

I love the Back To The Future films too. There's always exceptions.

Great, she's a terf. Get to fuck.

QDRPHNC

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You'd lose that debate before it even began. Which is quite appropriate for a time travel film.

Carruth should have bunged a spaceship in there or something. Even just subtle, in the back.

Mister Six

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Slaughterhouse 5, maybe. It's got aliens and time travel, but even then it's a stretch in my opinion. But Timequake is just a story where something fantastical happens to ordinary people, I wouldn't consider it science fiction.

Aye, that's the fantasy book.

Quote
In my head I have a line between stories which are science-fiction in intent, and stories which are fairly grounded, mostly character-driven, but contain fantastical elements.

I tend to have a broad umbrella definition of sci-fi, as I don't think there's a great deal of value in trying to exclude anything in particular. So Star Wars, whch is arguably just a fantasy film in sci-fi drag, is as much sci-fi as some rigourously physically accurate story by Arthur C Clarke, or some weird mind-bending philosophical work by Philip K Dick, or something grounded by mathematically precise plotting like Primer (look up the noodly timelines that Dan's have drawn!).

Likewise, Timequake is fantasy as much as Lord of the Rings, or The Shape of Water, or a Discworld book.

I'm quite happy to acknowledge sub-genres, of course - high fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, hard sci-fi, science-fantasy, horror, dark fantasy etc - because ultimately, genre is just a marketing tool. Useful for indicating the tone and content of a work, and helping people find something that might chime with them, but in no way indicative of its quality.

(It amused me when Kazuo Ishiguro got all awkward about being described as a sci-fi and fantasy author on Adam Buxton's podcast, given that half his novels are now in either camp, being about giants, clones or advanced AI.)

Really its more a setting than it is a genre.

To uniformly dislike it seems more akin to disliking stories set in Yorkshire.

QDRPHNC

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I appreciate your post, but I can't go with you here:

Likewise, Timequake is fantasy as much as Lord of the Rings, or The Shape of Water, or a Discworld book.

I haven't read it in a number of years, but if memory serves it's a shaggy dog story about ordinary (such as they are in Vonnegut books) people living in a world where something has happened. Like a natural disaster, except a natural disaster that doesn't exist in reality.

So while the thing that happens is a fantastical element, that's not enough to put Timequake in the genre of fantasy for me, in the same way that Lord of the Rings is.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be disruptive to the thread, I will admit that my knowledge of both sci-fi and fantasy is pretty limited.

Mister Six

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The way I view it (and how it was described in uni), fantasy is anything that isn't possible in our world. Sci-fi is a subgenre of fantasy focused on technological issues.

The timequake itself is a fantastical event - it doesn't matter whether it was caused by a wizard's spell or just some strange, inexplicable quirk of the universe. It's the subject of a fantasy book.

(But all of this is just a load of made up gubbins, really, as is any literary division.)

Really its more a setting than it is a genre.

To uniformly dislike it seems more akin to disliking stories set in Yorkshire.

Although "sci-fi" doesn't even really give you that much information about a setting. The X-Files was frequently sci-fi, as are Star Trek, Brazil and Doctor Who.

I suppose the analogy is that something can be set in Yorkshire, but take place in a farm, a council estate, a stately home, a financier's office in present-day Leeds, down t'pit in 1957 etc.

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