Monday, August 15, 2016

What Is Your Definition Of Science Fiction?

Robert A. Heinlein, author and critic:

Science fiction is "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" (quoted by Knight in Bishop, Nebula Awards 25, 3).

Theodore Sturgeon, author:

"'A good science-fiction story is a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its science content'" (as quoted in Atheling, More Issues, 12).

George Hay:

"Science fiction is what you find on the shelves in the library marked science fiction."
(Aforementioned quotes were borrowed from Dr. Agatha Taormina's web page): http://www.nvcc.edu/home/ataormina/beyond/


Which of these quotations aligns with your definition of Science Fiction? Please respond thoughtfully using references to class discussion, prior knowledge, science fiction literature, science fiction films, etc... Type using complete sentences. This blog response is due by 2:30p.m. on Friday, August 26th, 2016.

36 comments:

  1. I agree with the Knight in Bishop; within every structure of a science fiction novel/short story there is always the knowledge of time, nature, and science. Usually in the beginning of the story at least one of the three ideals is mentioned or elaborated upon. For example Star Wars, Ender's Game, The 100, and Star Trek all begin with the mention of space so that translates into nature. The old Star Treks gave us the design of flip phones, video chat, and more. But space is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to all "realistic speculation". Science Fiction is the innovation of dreams as well as the creator of unknown objects and ideals.

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  2. I agree with Theodore Sturgeon. Science fiction focuses on futuristic technology and society, but a lot of the time it's very much about the people. In say, a movie like blade runner, even though the main focus of the story is on the replicants, the underlying theme of the movie is ultimately about the humanity which they express. Sci-fi a lot of the time is like this. Exploring humanity through the lens of futuristic technology and society

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  3. Heinlein and Sturgeon both have a great understanding of the idea with Science Fiction. Science fiction is about the human condition and how we respond to a problem presented to us in a different line of thinking. It challenges us to explore different paths of understanding and anaylysis but by going down these non tradtional paths, you're also subjecting yourself to a lesser known path with more problems to encounter. With that though, Science Fiction is still what you find on the shelves of the Science Fiction section, however.

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  4. Robert and George both have a great aspect of the idea of Science Fiction. Science fiction to me is about taking materials from the future and making them a possibility for the present or future events I.E Rolls-Royce Concept car that drives itself. George makes the statement "You find it in your library in the Science Fiction section." Which take past knowledge of what people though could happen possible taken to something real, but still located in something that isn't really there.

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  5. I agree with Theodore and Robert because science fiction is when you take science and put it with like Spiderman. Spiderman can shoot webs from his hands. That's not something that happens in real life. It's impossible. Science fiction is like time travel. It exsists in stories and in movies and tv shows but we haven't been able to really figure out or make time travel possible in the real world. science fiction in some cases or stories could have a scientist with super powers. Science fiction takes something real and not real and puts them together to make something interesting for people to read or watch on their spare time.

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  6. Robert's definition of Sci-fi is most in line with my own. I think Sci-fi is something that could happened through technology. This does not mean it will as an iron man pulling a carriage would be inefficient but definitely possible. As society continues, technology evolves and things that were thought to be impossible become common place.

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  7. I believe that Sturgeon's definition of science fiction rings true with me most. Sturgeon's and Heinlein's definition are very similar but I prefer Sturgeon's because I feel as though his speaks more to the common man than Heinlein's. Science Fiction can be written by anyone, with any background, in any place. To me, science fiction is anyone writing a story about all the "what if's" or "what could be's" in their life. Science fiction is all the questions that people have about their future, wether it be close or distant. In the notes we took on Monday the slideshow stated that many people took comfort in the fact that tomorrow would be very similar to today and I think science fiction, as a genre, arose because many people no longer had that comfort and have no idea what to expect from tomorrow.

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  9. Science fiction is what people of today predict for tomorrow, based upon scientific knowledge, in a completely fictional matter. It gives people hope, explains the unexplainable, and sends fear of what is ahead. As we saw in the video yesterday, many of the inventions and predictions have yet to occur.

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  10. Robert Heinlein's definition of science fiction is the definition that is closest to mine. I believe that science fiction is almost a prediction about what could eventually happen in the future. People have questions about their world's future, and science fiction is a great way to answer them.A lot of science fiction is involved in mass destruction, but I think that the world could also thrive under new technology. Sturgeon's definition uses the word "story". To me, that sounds like it is something that will never happen and is just a story. As I said, I believe that some science fiction can become true. Heinlein says the it is "realistic" and a "prediction".

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  11. I think Heinlein's definition of science fiction most closely aligns with my own. A key point of his definition that resonated with me is when he said "realistic speculation". I feel that this is a good description of what science fiction should be, because at the end of the day it's all speculation. Of course, there is no telling for sure what the future holds. However, making the speculation realistic, doesn't mean that it MUST certainly come true, but rather it COULD come true - in other words it's plausible. Also, this possible eventuality of a speculation coming to fruition could happen inside any time frame, whether it be a few years, or several thousand. Also, Heinlein's definition is more adequate than that of Sturgeon because I don't necessarily think science fiction has to be all about human issues. Some of the most famous science fiction in history such as "E.T." and "Star Wars" have humans in them, but also focus on other entities (aliens, robots, etc.) and the problems they face. All I can say about Hay's definition is that he's not wrong, but I believe science fiction is a little more complex than that.

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  12. I think science fiction is the section in the bookstore. But the ideas that define science fiction are more important than a title. The deeper meaning is science fiction to me. The themes and ideas and setting define science fiction as well.

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  14. Robert A. Heinlein's definition of science fiction best matches what I believe science fiction to be. He explains that science fiction is "realistic speculation about possible future events..." which has proven to be very true with a lot of older science fiction movies and stories. For instance, many of the stories I have read have had technology created by someones imagination, but is now a reality like robots, airplanes, and cellphones. Also, with newer dystopian novels, the events that are happening now, could lead us to believe that one of those worlds could actually happen.

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  15. I agree with Theodore Sturgeon's definition of science fiction because I think that science fiction is defined by its ability to stretch the imagination. In the science fiction world anything is possible and by inferring on futuristic problems we can learn how to solve them should they come forward in our time.

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  16. I agree with Theodore's Definition of Science Fiction because It is how far you can go with what you think will happen. or what your imagination can dream up.

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  17. I agree with Robert A. Heinlein within any story line there is usually a connection to a place in time, or an event regardless if it’s past,Present or future. His definition best aligns with mine because science fiction to me is based off of the scientific method and a connection to the real world.

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  18. I agree with Robert A. Heinlein because he said through out a story line there is probably a connection to an event in time regardless the if it's the past present or future. I also liked his definition a lot because I think science fiction should have other things like aliens, but also have realism added to the story as well.

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  19. I agree with George Hay because we all can define science fiction differently than another person. As simple as his definition is I believe that he tells a lot from it because there will never be one universal definition of science fiction because not everyone agrees on things very easily

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  20. I agree with George Hay, because science fiction has so many stories to tell that all have different plot lines and different genres that can be mixed in with the science fiction stories. I also think that every story that is marked as science fiction can have their own sci-fi story in it for example: if you call lord of the rings science fiction vs. the twighlight zone you would be right on both because lord of the rings is some sort of the many science fiction stories.

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  21. A good science-fiction story is a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its science content, is a definition of what i think science fiction is .I think that's what it is because a problem a human has to deal with is what showed people what science was and I agree with that.

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  22. I agree with Theodore Sturgeon because of the way he defines it and how he includes the real human problems. The science fiction genre shows people the other possible problems that could happen to us. Asides from the human problem of the movies the rest is just all the odd, weird, cool "Science stuff" that really makes the genre interesting.

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  23. I don't agree with any of these quotes specifically, but I also don't want to argue with any of them. Science fiction, as with many genres, can be many things. It really comes down to how the author chooses to define his work. I may read a book that is deemed by the author as science fiction, but as the reader I might consider it to be more of a fantasy novel. Which one of us would/be wrong, me, or the author? Many science fiction works take place on earth, but in the future. Some take place in the present, but with secret technology. Some take place on other planets I our solar system, or on planets that exist only in the mind. Some even take place in different, purely theoretical dimensions. Some heroes are human, many are completely fictional beings-unheard of in the natural world that we have discovered thus far. With such diversity between the movies, short stories, books, and magazines that we call "Science Fiction," I believe it is ridiculous to put a definition around the genre.

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  24. To imagine and create what may come in the future fascinates many of us. Some people have very abstract ideas and others' ideas are a little bit more convievable to the average person but both can be expressed through the genre of science fiction. Science fiction is an outlet to express things that you may imagine to others even though we may not currently be scientifically advanced enough for it to be a reality yet. By using these interesting ideas authors can gain the interest of the readers and get their points across more effectively about life and the possibilities of the future.

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  25. To imagine and create what may come in the future fascinates many of us. Some people have very abstract ideas and others' ideas are a little bit more convievable to the average person but both can be expressed through the genre of science fiction. Science fiction is an outlet to express things that you may imagine to others even though we may not currently be scientifically advanced enough for it to be a reality yet. By using these interesting ideas authors can gain the interest of the readers and get their points across more effectively about life and the possibilities of the future.

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  26. I'm inclined to agree with the first quote, as it relates science and literature. The use of the scientific method to predict where mankind will be, and then transferring these predictions into something with substance that can relate to more human sensibilities. It takes chalk and theory and turns it into something more human, which is essentially what that quote is saying.

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  27. I agree with robert, because when he says there is a connection to an event in history I really agree with that. and like he said it could be in the future or in the past. And I aslo really injoy the when he says that science fiction can be all types of thingslike what he said aliens and things like that. And I really agree that realism can be involved.

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  28. I agree with Robert because most of the writers of sci fi have at least some knowledge of science ans they use that knowledge to write those stories.

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  31. Renen H.

    I think that school honestly hasn't changed much in the last 40 years, and we have no real reason to expect that it will. Sure, things have changed drastically on the surface, we have computers, cell phones, the Internet, all sorts of things to change the way we interact with our eduction. But the core of education has remained essentially identical thought the last century. We are still grouped solely by age, not separated by ability or interests, we still have common core that is useless and simply a waste of time for the majority of students. The real question we should ask isn't what will SCHOOLS be like in the future, but rather what will EDUCATION be like in the future. The schools aren't nearly as important as the education.

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  32. I agree with Theodore Sturgeon. Science fiction is where there is an advancement in technology and the humans go too far by making a mistake and then a problem come on humanity. The humans have to survive then solve the mistake that they had started. I don't know a whole lot about science fiction but this is my best idea of what it is.

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  33. I agree with Robert A. Heinlein because as much as i think sci fi defines as a story with a radical change science fiction always takes from todays life, the use of the scientific method also aids in supporting Roberts definition science can always help us make an educated guess

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  34. I don't know much about science fiction but one thing I do know is that movies like star wars and other things are based of of science and future things that could happen but ther all fictional and I think the people that made those stories and movies made them as predictions and for fun

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  35. Robert A. Heinlein, author and critic:

    Science fiction is "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" (quoted by Knight in Bishop, Nebula Awards 25, 3).
    I think i identify most with this definition because, it is true how authors have "predicted" the future in many ways. Even though some of the ideas within the stories seem a little far fetched, but i don't think that they are going to be too far from the truth in the near future

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  36. I agree with Sturgeon because all of these science fiction stories have robots or inhuman characters that still have to deal with human issues. They may be futuristic, but it still is about the human experience and our fears about things that are different from us.

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