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(Some Guy)   Lets see if you all can complain about sci-fi movies more than this guy does   (dedoimedo.com) divider line 209
    More: Amusing, science fiction film, particle beams, grenade launcher, airborne lasers, Planet Earth, Chinese immigrants, English, alien races  
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8221 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Aug 2012 at 11:56 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-11 08:42:04 AM  
Hmmm, that's is every complaint I've heard about Sci Fi in the past 40 years all neatly condensed in one place. 10/10 for being succinct, 0/10 for originality.
 
2012-08-11 08:47:29 AM  
Mistake 5: Noise in outer space

This is probably the biggest blunder of them all.


I farking hate this complaint. It's like complaining that an off-screen orchestra follows everyone around playing a musical score constantly or that every time someone speaks a different language words magically appear in front of them spelling out everything they say. The sound effects are for the audience's benefit.

It would be different if the characters could hear sounds in space, like if in Star Trek 2 when the two ships were blind and looking for each other, Kirk tells everyone to be quiet like they're in submarines but that never happens. So you don't have to lord your vast scientific knowledge over us by pointing out that space is a vacuum, we know.
 
2012-08-11 09:12:16 AM  
To me the funniest thing about many sci-fi weapons is that the entire aiming system consists of "just sight along the top."

tng.trekcore.com
 
2012-08-11 09:13:23 AM  
I have to wonder if people like this ever stop and realize how utterly boring and unwatchable sci-fi would be if they got their way.
 
2012-08-11 09:20:40 AM  

Mugato: It would be different if the characters could hear sounds in space, like if in Star Trek 2 when the two ships were blind and looking for each other, Kirk tells everyone to be quiet like they're in submarines but that never happens


Didn't they have a TOS episode like that?
 
2012-08-11 09:37:11 AM  

serial_crusher: Mugato: It would be different if the characters could hear sounds in space, like if in Star Trek 2 when the two ships were blind and looking for each other, Kirk tells everyone to be quiet like they're in submarines but that never happens

Didn't they have a TOS episode like that?


There was an episode where the Enterprise plays cat and mouse with a Romulan ship but I don't think sound ever came into it.
 
2012-08-11 09:38:10 AM  
I love how he can't seem to figure out how a bit of Norse mythology might have made its way to another galaxy, in the Stargate universe. Dude doesn't watch a lot of Stargate, I guess.

And with the "guns are too small" stuff, he totally seems to miss out on a few key concepts:
1) The aliens have good enough power sources that they can fit all those functions in a smaller device.
2) The guns he's referring to are usually just the sidearm of a guy who flies a starship for a living, or an easily concealed weapon used by a spy. The times you actually see large battles, the infantry DO have larger guns.
www.freewebs.com
www.startrek.com
 
2012-08-11 09:45:27 AM  
"work quietly"

They weren't 100% clear whether that button Spock accidentally pressed sent some kind of radio signal or just made a bunch of sound, but the Romulans shushing each other is great.
 
2012-08-11 09:51:54 AM  

Sybarite: To me the funniest thing about many sci-fi weapons is that the entire aiming system consists of "just sight along the top."

[tng.trekcore.com image 694x530]


That's why Aliens was so awesome. They had smart rifles that basically did all the work. All the human had to do was get it to where there were targets and turn the saftey off.
 
2012-08-11 09:54:26 AM  

doglover: That's why Aliens was so awesome. They had smart rifles that basically did all the work. All the human had to do was get it to where there were targets and turn the saftey off.


Yeah and they advertise their ammo count to everyone. :p
 
2012-08-11 10:13:52 AM  
I have to be Captain Obvious and point out that Sci-Fi requires a suspension of disbelief. The props and science aren't as important as the story.
 
2012-08-11 12:03:00 PM  
Reminds me of Phil Plait. "We need more real science in entertainment! Cuz that makes it, y'know... exciting!"

No it doesn't. From what I understand of science, it can be tedious as fark and it generally happens in very small steps. Let the storytellers do their job and you do yours.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-08-11 12:05:07 PM  
Take M16, the staple of modern warfare, a weapon produced in the late 50s. It has a practical range of approx. 500 meters, although it is accurate and effective at about half that, can fire dozens of rounds a second and is used with both arms, firmly gripped and laid against the shoulder.

The M16 is not effective at 250 meters either. In conventional warfare the purpose of a handheld gun is to distract the enemy while heavier weapons do their thing. In urban warfare where handheld is all you get, it could hurt somebody at short range.
 
2012-08-11 12:07:05 PM  
It would be like asking your children, assuming you've made a mistake and created some, to rationalize the delusional world they live in.

It figures. I find the most "militant" child-free folks out there to be the most cynical and bitter. Makes them expert nitpickers.

slayer199: I have to be Captain Obvious and point out that Sci-Fi requires a suspension of disbelief. The props and science aren't as important as the story.


Well... there's that..
 
2012-08-11 12:08:25 PM  
I hate these articles.

Of course movies and TV shows are dumbed down for the mouthbreathing audience and the 8-year-olds.

The Mote In God's Eye and the rest of the Pournelle's Empire of Man future history explicitly contradict every single one of these.

The stuff written by Heinlein, Piper, Weber, Flint, Scalzi, Brin, et al do the same.
 
2012-08-11 12:09:44 PM  
The one I always hate he kind of touched on? All planets visited have earth like gravity. Lets see some low gravity people
 
2012-08-11 12:10:11 PM  

Ennuipoet: Hmmm, that's is every complaint I've heard about Sci Fi in the past 40 years all neatly condensed in one place. 10/10 for being succinct, 0/10 for originality.


yep
 
2012-08-11 12:11:55 PM  
I'd like to see a space battle similar to one of the ones in the Honor Harrington universe from David Weber
 
2012-08-11 12:17:19 PM  
Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.
 
2012-08-11 12:19:09 PM  

skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.


Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.
 
2012-08-11 12:22:39 PM  

NeoCortex42: skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.

Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.


I take your point but if you had weapons firing with no muzzle flash, no rays, no nothing, it would look very obviously like a useless prop made of wood.
 
2012-08-11 12:23:00 PM  
Hey article writer, it's called science fiction not science fact for a reason.
 
2012-08-11 12:24:36 PM  
Mistake 7: Ships always meet each other face to face

There's no meaning to actual position, therefore the two ships could always use themselves as a reference.


This has always bugged me a little but it really bugged me in Wrath of Khan. When Spock brings up the idea that Khan "thinks in two dimensions" their solution is to go down vertically and then come back up vertically to fight two dimensionally again. Rather than, you know, go down vertically and then turn the ship along its Z axis to aim back "up" where it just was while their enemy is still looking for them on a 2-dimensional plane. I think I almost face-palmed. It was a great chance to break this trope and they blew it.
 
2012-08-11 12:26:45 PM  
You wanna know what gripes me the most? Well, I'll tell you. IT'S GODDAM NERDS WHO PICK APART EVERY LITTLE THING IN A SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE! HERE'S A HINT, GENIUS: IT'S SCIENCE FICTION!

www.dnatesting.com
 
2012-08-11 12:32:30 PM  
Sybarite: To me the funniest thing about many sci-fi weapons is that the entire aiming system consists of "just sight along the top."

[tng.trekcore.com image 694x530]


To be fair, in the episode you pulled the picture from someone successfully dodges a particle beam from a phaser. Doing that from a gun would be tough enough, as Mythbusters showed.

When it comes down to it, if you're looking for perfect science in your science fiction, you're just an asshole. It's fiction to get you thinking, not a scientific periodical. Likewise science fiction movies and TV, by letter of the medium, can;t go as far as a book book might be able to.
 
2012-08-11 12:36:57 PM  

skodabunny: NeoCortex42: skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.

Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.

I take your point but if you had weapons firing with no muzzle flash, no rays, no nothing, it would look very obviously like a useless prop made of wood.



There's a fun bit in one of Alastair Reynolds' books where the perspective character is approaching a battle raging around a big starship and he notices how many of the beams of energy weapons are visible because they're passing through gasses venting out from hull breaches, unlike the holodramas where they always make the beam weapons invisible for dramatic effect. Reynolds has a wry sense of humor.
 
2012-08-11 12:37:04 PM  

Zombalupagus: This has always bugged me a little but it really bugged me in Wrath of Khan. When Spock brings up the idea that Khan "thinks in two dimensions" their solution is to go down vertically and then come back up vertically to fight two dimensionally again. Rather than, you know, go down vertically and then turn the ship along its Z axis to aim back "up" where it just was while their enemy is still looking for them on a 2-dimensional plane. I think I almost face-palmed. It was a great chance to break this trope and they blew it.


They were effectively blind. So once they had a bead on where the other ship was, it would be much easier to slide down a certain length, wait a while until they thought they had past and then rise back the same length than to turn the ship and look around for the other ship.
 
2012-08-11 12:38:15 PM  

Mugato: There was an episode where the Enterprise plays cat and mouse with a Romulan ship but I don't think sound ever came into it.


Actually it did. They were all whispering and tip toeing around, then Spock accidentally knocked some instrument onto the floor and the Romulans heard it and started shooting at them.
 
2012-08-11 12:42:15 PM  
Also from Star Trek, whenever a ship is badly damaged or disabled they always show it hanging in space with it's front drooping down as if it were a capsized boat.
 
2012-08-11 12:42:21 PM  
Zombalupagus: Mistake 7: Ships always meet each other face to face

There's no meaning to actual position, therefore the two ships could always use themselves as a reference.

This has always bugged me a little but it really bugged me in Wrath of Khan. When Spock brings up the idea that Khan "thinks in two dimensions" their solution is to go down vertically and then come back up vertically to fight two dimensionally again. Rather than, you know, go down vertically and then turn the ship along its Z axis to aim back "up" where it just was while their enemy is still looking for them on a 2-dimensional plane. I think I almost face-palmed. It was a great chance to break this trope and they blew it.


True, but then you don't get that epic cinematography of the enterprise swooping down and into frame like a bird of prey stalking it's doomed meal.

BSG was much better with it's dog fighting, and need to protect it's capital ships. Not much swooping and turning outside of atmospheres, since in space it only wastes energy.

Likewise in Trek, both TV and Movies, they often use the correct distances for high energy weapons battles (100K meters to 10's of kilometers) but the ships are always parked right next to each other visually exchanging volleys. Even in DS9 and VOY when they moved to CGI, they didn't much change distances.

And there's nothing wrong with that. Having to frame distances so large the ships appear smaller than stars is stupid, likewise seeing the ship shoot into nothingness and cutting to the other ship getting hit.
 
2012-08-11 12:44:24 PM  

Hand Banana: Mugato: There was an episode where the Enterprise plays cat and mouse with a Romulan ship but I don't think sound ever came into it.

Actually it did. They were all whispering and tip toeing around, then Spock accidentally knocked some instrument onto the floor and the Romulans heard it and started shooting at them.


Okay then that's one example where sound in space was an actual mistake and it's a pretty bad one. But usually that's not the case.
 
2012-08-11 12:45:14 PM  

Mugato: Mistake 5: Noise in outer space

This is probably the biggest blunder of them all.

I farking hate this complaint. It's like complaining that an off-screen orchestra follows everyone around playing a musical score constantly or that every time someone speaks a different language words magically appear in front of them spelling out everything they say. The sound effects are for the audience's benefit.

It would be different if the characters could hear sounds in space, like if in Star Trek 2 when the two ships were blind and looking for each other, Kirk tells everyone to be quiet like they're in submarines but that never happens. So you don't have to lord your vast scientific knowledge over us by pointing out that space is a vacuum, we know.


There's also a theory I tell myself when I hear sounds in space(in movies of course). It would be natural to deal with for the people, so what if they've designed a detection system that functions like radar and light input but emits audio for the benefit of the ship's crew?

Guns firing? They're going to cause the hull to reverb.

Really, almost all of his points on the list are nit-picking nonesense and can be explained in one way or another.

I stopped taking it seriously at :

Unless you're human and have lived on Earth for the last few thousand years, being able to understand the nuances of what is being said, regardless of the actual words, is nigh impossible.

We've ALL been here less than a hundred years(everyone on fark atleast), and we understand most of the languages we're exposed to, some of us learn languages as adults we've never heard before. Is it so hard to imagine an alien can do the same?

I'll sum up the rest

Weapons: Only valid point is slow moving projectiles/energy beams.(really, the only valid point in the whole article)
We have visible lasers now.
Our guns make noise, so do transformers and relays. Silence sucks, how bad would it be if you're with an army of 100 people and no one's gun made a peep? People would walk into the line of fire constantly, not know where the formation might need support next, etc.
FTA:
To make things worse, alien weapons have no machine guns, snipers or other types of support weapons like mortars and grenade launchers.
But he's got a picture of a Halo weapon(A Plasma Rifle at that...while complaining about pistols), a game in which, eventually, there were alien types of all of those weapons.

Space ship designs: Like our cars are all utilitarian..

Ships meet face to face:
1. Guns have to point in the right direction.
2. Being planet bound creatures, we tend to be less disoriented if we arbitrarily pick an up. It also helps in communication with flight members, as to which way is forward, left, and right, when it's not arbitrary.
3. I play a space shooter mmo (Black Prophecy part plug, come play!), where dogfighting is true 3d space(though not necessarily space realistic, it's a fun game), initial encounters may be off kilter, but by the time someone pops we're pretty much on the same plane.

Aliens are always humanoid:
This needs to be broken down.
1. They're not always humanoid.
2. Many times when they are, there is a direct correlation between their species and ours.
3. Efficiency and matter of course. "Why are suns not square..at least sometimes...this bugs me!!"
4. Necessity. Before computer effects, people had to play the aliens or use bad puppetry. It's not a mistake, it's a creative decision. Each sci-fi universe(for the most part) is it's own story, odds and statistics don't matter much when it's fiction to begin with. Unlikely, sure, does that mean it will never happen? No. Get over it.

Too many LED's:
Has he not seen the insides of modern military or even commercial aircraft?
LED's galore, because you do need to see what you're doing in the dark, and guess how illuminated things are when you're in the almost literal middle of no where...

Culture:
WTF?
Primitive earth cultures do tend to dress the same because that's all there is.
Advanced cultures, each subgroup dresses the same. Military, heirarchy, working class, etc.

anyhow, that's my take on the list, may have missed something, but eh. Article writer is a moron, troll or not.
 
2012-08-11 12:45:35 PM  

Sybarite: skodabunny: NeoCortex42: skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.

Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.

I take your point but if you had weapons firing with no muzzle flash, no rays, no nothing, it would look very obviously like a useless prop made of wood.


There's a fun bit in one of Alastair Reynolds' books where the perspective character is approaching a battle raging around a big starship and he notices how many of the beams of energy weapons are visible because they're passing through gasses venting out from hull breaches, unlike the holodramas where they always make the beam weapons invisible for dramatic effect. Reynolds has a wry sense of humor.


That sounds pretty cool. I've read Revelation Space and Absolution Gap but I found them both to be a bit disappointing - they didn't live up to the promise of their premise (to me, anyway) so I stopped reading him.
 
2012-08-11 12:51:53 PM  

skodabunny: NeoCortex42: skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.

Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.

I take your point but if you had weapons firing with no muzzle flash, no rays, no nothing, it would look very obviously like a useless prop made of wood.


Only time I've ever seen it done:

i291.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-11 12:54:16 PM  

FrancoFile: The Mote In God's Eye and the rest of the Pournelle's Empire of Man future history explicitly contradict every single one of these.


Speaking about the Mote specifically, as I haven't read the rest, I have to disagree with that. Although it does do away with some of the more common sci-fi tropes, the Motie civilization itself was very human, to the point where it was easily possible to communicate concepts between species. Maybe that's just because mediators happen to be extremely adept at communication, but the moties still had human concepts of territory, family and resources, while the more unique concepts of the cycles, extreme population growth, and efficient tool-building/material use is explained by their biology and being a much, much older species, on a evolutionary scale, than humans - even to the extent they deliberately bred new subspecies. You can be sure that if our sexes were dimorphic, and that the result of a lack of offspring is death, humanity would easily fall into the same pattern. About the only thing that doesn't translate (and this only applies to the Moties) is the concept that a leader or decision-maker could be subordinate to another.

I still liked the book, I just didn't think it did as much as I was lead to believe in terms of creating a truly alien species. But, I am not particularly well read so my expectations were unrealistic. To be sure, being able to relate to the aliens is somewhat of a requirement to having a story. An alien you can't communicate with or even understand at some level just becomes a plot device. There have been a few examples in popular sci fi, but they're usually one-offs and aren't explored deeper, precisely because they're too alien.
 
2012-08-11 12:54:28 PM  

Thanks for the Meme-ries: skodabunny: NeoCortex42: skodabunny: Much as I sympathise, can you imagine how rubbish science fiction films would be if alien weapons fired 'invisible' rays like this dumbo wants? It would look ridiculous and very, very wrong.

Think about current guns. You usually don't see the bullet (unless there's some super slo-mo). You just see the muzzle flash and resulting hit. Nothing wrong with having ray guns work the same way.

I take your point but if you had weapons firing with no muzzle flash, no rays, no nothing, it would look very obviously like a useless prop made of wood.

Only time I've ever seen it done:

[i291.photobucket.com image 500x339]


Yeah, note the muzzle flash though.

Absolutely love that film. Always good to see Jenny in the nip.
 
2012-08-11 12:55:02 PM  
11. Worshiping every throwaway idea and ridiculous concept as 100% true and possible engineering, and that therefore we will colonize the universe. With apes that last a few decades.

/Whar my General Products hull with hyperdrive??
//Whar!!???
 
2012-08-11 12:55:46 PM  

Jaws_Victim: The one I always hate he kind of touched on? All planets visited have earth like gravity. Lets see some low gravity people


DS9, with the chick with the chip on her shoulder (understandably), who was going to be the first of her people to be a member of Starfleet. Bashir falls in love with her (and the antigrav sex) but then can't understand why she would choose to be herself, instead of having stronger, heavier bone density and crap so she can move in heavier grav without being crushed, when given the choice.
 
2012-08-11 01:00:21 PM  
This is why I prefer to read science fiction versus watch it. Freed of the constraints of a visual medium, the story and the science can be good. Movies pretty much ruined science fiction.
 
2012-08-11 01:03:44 PM  

Niveras: FrancoFile: The Mote In God's Eye and the rest of the Pournelle's Empire of Man future history explicitly contradict every single one of these.

Speaking about the Mote specifically, as I haven't read the rest, I have to disagree with that. Although it does do away with some of the more common sci-fi tropes, the Motie civilization itself was very human, to the point where it was easily possible to communicate concepts between species. Maybe that's just because mediators happen to be extremely adept at communication, but the moties still had human concepts of territory, family and resources, while the more unique concepts of the cycles, extreme population growth, and efficient tool-building/material use is explained by their biology and being a much, much older species, on a evolutionary scale, than humans - even to the extent they deliberately bred new subspecies. You can be sure that if our sexes were dimorphic, and that the result of a lack of offspring is death, humanity would easily fall into the same pattern. About the only thing that doesn't translate (and this only applies to the Moties) is the concept that a leader or decision-maker could be subordinate to another.

I still liked the book, I just didn't think it did as much as I was lead to believe in terms of creating a truly alien species. But, I am not particularly well read so my expectations were unrealistic. To be sure, being able to relate to the aliens is somewhat of a requirement to having a story. An alien you can't communicate with or even understand at some level just becomes a plot device. There have been a few examples in popular sci fi, but they're usually one-offs and aren't explored deeper, precisely because they're too alien.


Like the plant people of Stargate (I liked them, everyone else found them boring. I just thought that would be like what a true attempt to communicate with a species who looks humanoid but isn't would actually be more like, instead of the universal translator stuff. Who else... the flame being/elemental on that Sliders episode. That was a great concept, damaged by network interference and budget constraints. So, how do you communicate with something that is completely different from anything in our universe even though it looks like something from this universe?)....
 
2012-08-11 01:03:57 PM  
Needs more girlfriend.
 
2012-08-11 01:06:34 PM  

ExperianScaresCthulhu: I just thought that would be like what a true attempt to communicate with a species who looks humanoid but isn't would actually be more like, instead of the universal translator stuff.


My favorite aliens, which are definitely not humanoid, were in Blindsight by Peter Watts. Every character, including the humans, is really alien and bizarre, but the actual aliens they encounter are even more-so- an alien species that is not intelligent but still builds technology.
 
2012-08-11 01:09:26 PM  

zenobia: Needs more girlfriend.


A whole lot of this.
 
2012-08-11 01:11:00 PM  
Reality is unrealistic
 
2012-08-11 01:14:50 PM  
At its heart, science fiction is entertainment and it has viewers. The producers make the shows with viewers in mind. Science is not a viewer, therefore it doesn't get as much attention. These are not, as the author calls them, blunders. They are allowances made in the interest of human viewership, budget constraints, creativity, efforts to curb boredom or other realistic considerations. In several cases, the author simply takes a sliver of the massive genre and acts as if it represents the whole thing, when it doesn't.

Sure, there's no sound in space. Eight-year-old girls know that. We want to hear the sounds so we have more clues as to the action--which is also also something eight-year-old girls know. The same goes for languages and so many other thins on this list. The genre is full of things like sniper rifles, support weapons and bullets. That doesn't mean every officer walks around packing an assault-rifle style weapon, or that sidearms can't pack more-than-enough power and be smart enough to do the aiming for them.

Of course, there is definitely good science fiction and lousy science fiction.
 
2012-08-11 01:20:01 PM  
I hate when people whine about this stuff. Of course it's unrealistic. It makes no sense to even raise these objections. This is what the genre is. If you're going to adhere to these rules, have fun writing that riveting story about unmanned space probes experimenting on rocks, because that's what you're left with.

I'm not saying that story couldn't be written. I'm not saying I don't get excited when NASA actually does examine space rocks. I stayed up past 2:30 AM to watch the Curiosity landing even though I had to be at work by 6:00 AM. Just don't conflate people fighting raygun wielding aliens with reality. The concern should be consistency within the work. If you're really more interested in debunking the idea that a translation circuit, translator microbes, or a Babelfish is unrealistic-not recognizing it as a necessary narrative device-maybe Science Fiction isn't for you.
 
2012-08-11 01:27:11 PM  

LDM90: Reminds me of Phil Plait. "We need more real science in entertainment! Cuz that makes it, y'know... exciting!"

No it doesn't. From what I understand of science, it can be tedious as fark and it generally happens in very small steps. Let the storytellers do their job and you do yours.


That's not really his view on sci fi movies. He enjoys Star Wars/Trek, etc...he just wants the science to right where possible, but not necessarily at the expense of a good story.

He just doesn't want any more The Cores, and I'm OK with that.
 
2012-08-11 01:29:14 PM  
How dare these SCIENCE FICTION writers take liberties with facts! This FICTITIOUS writing is the exact reason why tales introduced to us by Rad Bradbury, Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, and Isaac Asimov should be forever stricken from public record. When it comes to literary works, the imagination should be beaten into submission and we should only digest previously proven factoids!

YOU IDIOTS!
 
2012-08-11 01:30:14 PM  
"P.S. Star Trek TNG probably made the fewest and least of these mistakes, mainly because of the series legacy to the 1960s originals with Captain Kirk. You get all sorts of life forms and all sorts of ships, including the perfect cube design by Borg. Dorky haircuts and Thunderbird-style outfits worm by Vulcans and Romuleans is yet another ridiculous leftover from the original series. If you have to watch sci-fi, start with Star Trek TNG. "

You got us there, LolTroll!
 
2012-08-11 01:30:47 PM  

Niveras: FrancoFile: The Mote In God's Eye and the rest of the Pournelle's Empire of Man future history explicitly contradict every single one of these.

Speaking about the Mote specifically, as I haven't read the rest, I have to disagree with that. Although it does do away with some of the more common sci-fi tropes, the Motie civilization itself was very human, to the point where it was easily possible to communicate concepts between species. Maybe that's just because mediators happen to be extremely adept at communication, but the moties still had human concepts of territory, family and resources, while the more unique concepts of the cycles, extreme population growth, and efficient tool-building/material use is explained by their biology and being a much, much older species, on a evolutionary scale, than humans - even to the extent they deliberately bred new subspecies. You can be sure that if our sexes were dimorphic, and that the result of a lack of offspring is death, humanity would easily fall into the same pattern. About the only thing that doesn't translate (and this only applies to the Moties) is the concept that a leader or decision-maker could be subordinate to another.

I still liked the book, I just didn't think it did as much as I was lead to believe in terms of creating a truly alien species. But, I am not particularly well read so my expectations were unrealistic. To be sure, being able to relate to the aliens is somewhat of a requirement to having a story. An alien you can't communicate with or even understand at some level just becomes a plot device. There have been a few examples in popular sci fi, but they're usually one-offs and aren't explored deeper, precisely because they're too alien.


I have to disagree. Read the book again.

Totally different concepts of art. "How about 'mountains are pretty'?"
Totally different perspective on free will vs. determinism/fate. "I am not a man, and there does not have to be a way!"
 
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