Discussion:
Self organising teams / the dispossessed
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m***@sky.com
2020-01-30 20:10:26 UTC
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I have been involved in so-called self-organising teams for some time, as they are currently in vogue in software. I started out cynical about this, and experience has confirmed this in me. Now I see in https://no-kill-switch.ghost.io/the-iron-law-of-oligarchy/ that there is a link to a 1911 social science observation, the Iron Law of Oligarchy.

Has anybody picked this up in Science Fiction and made something out of it? I think "The Dispossessed" was supposed to cover this sort of area but, despite it being by Ursula LeGuin I never really got on with that book. (I _have_ seen various SF books quote "Better Tiberius than a Committee", but since that dates to Tacitus, it doesn't reflect the Iron Law of Oligarchy explicitly).
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-30 23:06:40 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
I have been involved in so-called self-organising teams for some time, as they are currently in vogue in software. I started out cynical about this, and experience has confirmed this in me. Now I see in https://no-kill-switch.ghost.io/the-iron-law-of-oligarchy/ that there is a link to a 1911 social science observation, the Iron Law of Oligarchy.
Has anybody picked this up in Science Fiction and made something out of it? I think "The Dispossessed" was supposed to cover this sort of area but, despite it being by Ursula LeGuin I never really got on with that book. (I _have_ seen various SF books quote "Better Tiberius than a Committee", but since that dates to Tacitus, it doesn't reflect the Iron Law of Oligarchy explicitly).
I suppose that's social-science fiction and C. P. Snow
may have touched on it, but in the context of politics
politics... then again, he also did university politics
and workplace politics, but those tend to be hierarchical
even if officially there's a "first among equals" type
leader <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primus_inter_pares>.
And you're talking about not one "prime minister" (insult?
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_minister#Etymology>)
but a gang.

Of course there's lots of sci-fi "shadow government"
setups.
Titus G
2020-01-31 04:44:11 UTC
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On 31/01/20 12:06 pm, Robert Carnegie wrote in thread:
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-01-31 06:31:12 UTC
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Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._

It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.

For my money, they're both SF.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
D B Davis
2020-01-31 15:18:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-01-31 19:40:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
D B Davis
2020-01-31 20:31:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
J. Clarke
2020-01-31 23:41:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
Don Kuenz
2020-02-01 01:59:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by D B Davis
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by D B Davis
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
Note the standard acronymic syntax that denotes my usage of SciFi as an
acronym for Science Fiction. As a fellow fan of SCIFI (pedantic caps [1]),
the SciFi contrivance controversy carries a reverse psychology vibe that
truly tingles my spidey-sense.
This seems as good a place as any to unfurl, not the full nine
yards, but nonetheless greater yardage, of definition:

Science Fiction

a special genre of fantasy literature that arose at the same
time as modern science, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and
took on its final form in the 20th century.

Like other genres of fantasy literature, science fiction deals
with the "realization of the nonexistent" through fantasy images.
However, unlike other genres of fantasy literature, science
fiction includes the psychological, social, and intellectual
(socio-philosophical, cultural, and moral) consequences of
realizing the potentials of nature and society—potentials that,
because of their specific characteristics (universal and diverse
tendencies and abstract scientific concepts), cannot be conveyed
in traditional art forms.

In conformity with the laws of science, science fiction makes
use of the techniques of extrapolation and model-building. Such
techniques make it possible to examine intellectually the
relationship of the scientifically valid and probable consequences
of such a "realization of the nonexistent." The use of fantasy
images to transform reality into any shape whatever makes it
possible to represent this "model of potential reality" as a
unified world—fantastic with respect to reality and realistic
and typical in its fantastic concreteness.

Thus, the uniqueness of science fiction consists in the
subordination of the literary imagination to the logic of
scientific prediction. However, this scientific prediction is
expressed not in the form of a concept but in the form of an
artistic image. Therefore, science fiction may be defined as
a scientifically organized form of the artistic imagination.

Unlike fantasy, a work of science fiction retains its scientific
validity, at the same time providing a sensory and visual
depiction—not possible in purely scientific literature—of the
potential conflicts between man and his altered natural and
social environment. The specific nature of science fiction—the
reflection of reality in a sharply unfamiliar, estranged
form—helps to reveal the meaning of this altered environment
and, as a result, discloses the underlying mechanism of reality
that is inaccessible to everyday, empirical perception.
Understanding an imaginary world thus becomes a means for
understanding contemporary life.

As a phenomenon of contemporary culture, science fiction
satisfies society’s essential need for a graphic, artistic
assimilation of the "extra-empirical" reality of the
contemporary world. Science fiction counterposes a rational,
scientific understanding of the world to the "myths" of
mass consciousness.

(excerpt) [2]

Note.

[1] https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/scifi
[2] https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/science+fiction

Thank you,
--
Don Kuenz KB7RPU
There was a young lady named Bright Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day In a relative way And returned on the previous night.
Peter Trei
2020-02-01 06:50:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
In my experience,it's a shibboleth used to distinguish trufen from undated who just
like the stuff.

Pt
Peter Trei
2020-02-01 06:53:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by J. Clarke
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
In my experience,it's a shibboleth used to distinguish trufen from undated who just
like the stuff.
Pt
Gah autocorrect.. undated -> mundane.

Pt
Kevrob
2020-02-01 07:06:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Gah autocorrect.. undated -> mundane.
The cliche is that the trufen are undated, while the mundanes
hook up like bunnies!

I know I don't have any kids, unless theirs a bigger
conspiracy than I thought!

Kevin R
Juho Julkunen
2020-02-01 07:16:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by J. Clarke
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
In my experience,it's a shibboleth used to distinguish trufen from undated who just
like the stuff.
In my view it's pointless dickery.

But then, I don't think we make such a distinction in Finnish.

(The proper term in Finnish is "tieteiskirjallisuus", but scifi is
shorter.)

Trash SF is trash SF by any name.
--
Juho Julkunen
Peter Trei
2020-02-01 17:13:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Peter Trei
Post by J. Clarke
"Sci Fi" is to some Fans a term of art referring to, well, dreck that
purports to be science fiction. Others argue that it is simply an
abbreviation for "science fiction". IMO those others just don't "get
it" but nobody cares what I think in the matter.
In my experience,it's a shibboleth used to distinguish trufen from undated who just
like the stuff.
In my view it's pointless dickery.
But then, I don't think we make such a distinction in Finnish.
(The proper term in Finnish is "tieteiskirjallisuus", but scifi is
shorter.)
Trash SF is trash SF by any name.
Its use as a shibboleth has been outdated for decades. Speculative fiction has
been mainstreamed to such an extent that 'traditional' fandom is fading away.

In 1956, Robert Bloch could write "It is a proud and lonely thing to be a fan."
and those who read it could understand and identify.

It's no longer true, at least the 'lonely' part.

pt
D B Davis
2020-01-31 20:49:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?

This definition of Science Fiction works for me:

Science Fiction

a special genre of fantasy literature that arose at the same
time as modern science, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and
took on its final form in the 20th century.

Like other genres of fantasy literature, science fiction deals
with the “realization of the nonexistent” through fantasy images.
However, unlike other genres of fantasy literature, science
fiction includes the psychological, social, and intellectual
(socio-philosophical, cultural, and moral) consequences of
realizing the potentials of nature and society-potentials that,
because of their specific characteristics (universal and diverse
tendencies and abstract scientific concepts), cannot be conveyed
in traditional art forms.

https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Science+fiction



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Kevrob
2020-01-31 21:29:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
This came up in a thread, earlier this month. starting here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0

Message-ID: <r069qp$kh9$***@gioia.aioe.org>

I replied:

[quote]

4SJ coined "sci-fi" as an analogue of "hi-fi" and it became
pejorative when he pushed it in his magazine, "Famous Monsters
of Filmland." It was tailor-made for headline writers who liked
to use VARIETY-style "slanguage." [e.g. STIX NIX HICKS PIX]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famous_Monsters_of_Filmland

See: http://fancyclopedia.org/Skiffy

http://fancyclopedia.org/Sci-Fi

.... {snip}......

Don't forget "stef" for stf, an abbreviation for "scientifiction."

http://fancyclopedia.org/Stf

I used to see that in AMAZING, under Ted White's editorship.

[/quote]

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0/IJGvoDO4EAAJ

Message-ID: <242a566a-802c-4886-a6b2-***@googlegroups.com>

http://al.howardknight.net/?STYPE=msgid&MSGI=%3C242a566a-802c-4886-a6b2-4d72723191a7%40googlegroups.com%3E
Post by D B Davis
Science Fiction
a special genre of fantasy literature that arose at the same
time as modern science, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and
took on its final form in the 20th century.
Like other genres of fantasy literature, science fiction deals
with the “realization of the nonexistent” through fantasy images.
However, unlike other genres of fantasy literature, science
fiction includes the psychological, social, and intellectual
(socio-philosophical, cultural, and moral) consequences of
realizing the potentials of nature and society-potentials that,
because of their specific characteristics (universal and diverse
tendencies and abstract scientific concepts), cannot be conveyed
in traditional art forms.
https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Science+fiction
Kevin R
Don Kuenz
2020-02-01 01:24:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0
[quote]
4SJ coined "sci-fi" as an analogue of "hi-fi" and it became
pejorative when he pushed it in his magazine, "Famous Monsters
of Filmland." It was tailor-made for headline writers who liked
to use VARIETY-style "slanguage." [e.g. STIX NIX HICKS PIX]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famous_Monsters_of_Filmland
See: http://fancyclopedia.org/Skiffy
http://fancyclopedia.org/Sci-Fi
.... {snip}......
Don't forget "stef" for stf, an abbreviation for "scientifiction."
http://fancyclopedia.org/Stf
I used to see that in AMAZING, under Ted White's editorship.
[/quote]
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0/IJGvoDO4EAAJ
http://al.howardknight.net/?STYPE=msgid&MSGI=%3C242a566a-802c-4886-a6b2-4d72723191a7%40googlegroups.com%3E
Post by D B Davis
Science Fiction
a special genre of fantasy literature that arose at the same
time as modern science, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and
took on its final form in the 20th century.
Like other genres of fantasy literature, science fiction deals
with the “realization of the nonexistent” through fantasy images.
However, unlike other genres of fantasy literature, science
fiction includes the psychological, social, and intellectual
(socio-philosophical, cultural, and moral) consequences of
realizing the potentials of nature and society-potentials that,
because of their specific characteristics (universal and diverse
tendencies and abstract scientific concepts), cannot be conveyed
in traditional art forms.
https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Science+fiction
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.

Note.

[1] https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/scifi

Thank you,
--
Don Kuenz KB7RPU
There was a young lady named Bright Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day In a relative way And returned on the previous night.
J. Clarke
2020-02-01 02:26:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Don Kuenz
<snip>
Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi). Speculative Fiction and
Fantasy fall outside the scope of my comments.
Readers can broadly dichotomize SciFi into plot driven and character
driven stories. A subset of the latter category is based on social
sciences. It overlaps a subset of character driven stories that focus on
character development, the dominant dramatist's domain.
Plot driven stories create commutable cardboard cog characters, that
need only drive the plot forward. Gimmicks and gadget fiction, where
devices are more important than characters, arguably fit best as a
subset of plot driven prose, the primary Perryverse province.
Science fact's arguably an apropos adjunct to both partitions. Robin
Cook's formulaic fiction features facts, but so do some of Herbert's
character driven yarns.
Although PKD's not above inventing a weird gizmo, he seems to best
fit into the character driven partition. Naturally, you only need to
look at the many movies made from his stories for confirmation.
RAH seems hard for me to pin down. Does his opus possibly fit into
both partitions?
Well, it's a spectrum. You can't draw a hard line between F and
SF; and if you try to, you'll find that nobody else draws the
line where you do. And I'd be interested in knowing where you,
as an individual, draw the line between SciFi (a pejorative term
to a lot of us), Science Fiction, and Speculative Fiction.
Why is SciFi a pejorative term? What's so bad about it?
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0
[quote]
4SJ coined "sci-fi" as an analogue of "hi-fi" and it became
pejorative when he pushed it in his magazine, "Famous Monsters
of Filmland." It was tailor-made for headline writers who liked
to use VARIETY-style "slanguage." [e.g. STIX NIX HICKS PIX]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famous_Monsters_of_Filmland
See: http://fancyclopedia.org/Skiffy
http://fancyclopedia.org/Sci-Fi
.... {snip}......
Don't forget "stef" for stf, an abbreviation for "scientifiction."
http://fancyclopedia.org/Stf
I used to see that in AMAZING, under Ted White's editorship.
[/quote]
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!original/rec.arts.sf.written/z8dga_E-fC0/IJGvoDO4EAAJ
http://al.howardknight.net/?STYPE=msgid&MSGI=%3C242a566a-802c-4886-a6b2-4d72723191a7%40googlegroups.com%3E
Post by D B Davis
Science Fiction
a special genre of fantasy literature that arose at the same
time as modern science, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and
took on its final form in the 20th century.
Like other genres of fantasy literature, science fiction deals
with the “realization of the nonexistent” through fantasy images.
However, unlike other genres of fantasy literature, science
fiction includes the psychological, social, and intellectual
(socio-philosophical, cultural, and moral) consequences of
realizing the potentials of nature and society-potentials that,
because of their specific characteristics (universal and diverse
tendencies and abstract scientific concepts), cannot be conveyed
in traditional art forms.
https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Science+fiction
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
D B Davis
2020-02-01 02:53:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
J. Clarke
2020-02-01 03:11:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.
But that covers the non-science-fictional b-movies as well. The term
has to denote its science fictional nature and its low quality.
Post by Don Kuenz
?
Thank you,
D B Davis
2020-02-01 03:45:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.
But that covers the non-science-fictional b-movies as well. The term
has to denote its science fictional nature and its low quality.
Sfnal B-movie puts a finer point on it, although neither that term's nor
the Sci-Fi term that you fish for, is used by me in conversation. Movies
are seldom seen by me so B-movie says it all for me.
My OP utilizes SciFi as an acronym applicable to Science Fiction
/literature/. Why are we talking movies? Do movies best fit the Ackerman
archetypal axe to grind?




Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
J. Clarke
2020-02-01 04:24:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.
But that covers the non-science-fictional b-movies as well. The term
has to denote its science fictional nature and its low quality.
Sfnal B-movie puts a finer point on it, although neither that term's nor
the Sci-Fi term that you fish for, is used by me in conversation. Movies
are seldom seen by me so B-movie says it all for me.
My OP utilizes SciFi as an acronym applicable to Science Fiction
/literature/. Why are we talking movies? Do movies best fit the Ackerman
archetypal axe to grind?
Yes, although it could also be used to good advantage to describe much
of L. Ron Hubbard's output.
Post by D B Davis
?
Thank you,
Kevrob
2020-02-01 06:38:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
Post by D B Davis
My followup pertains to Science Fiction (SciFi).
<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Don Kuenz
The first sentence of my followup uses standard syntax to denote my use
of SciFi as an acronym for Science Fiction. As a SCIFI (in pedantical
caps [1]) fan the notion of Sci-Fi, or even SciFi, as a pejorative term
makes me mirthful. And your cinematic side-show supplies supplemental
comic relief. Well done.
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.
But that covers the non-science-fictional b-movies as well. The term
has to denote its science fictional nature and its low quality.
Sfnal B-movie puts a finer point on it, although neither that term's nor
the Sci-Fi term that you fish for, is used by me in conversation. Movies
are seldom seen by me so B-movie says it all for me.
My OP utilizes SciFi as an acronym applicable to Science Fiction
/literature/. Why are we talking movies? Do movies best fit the Ackerman
archetypal axe to grind?
Actually, as giant-monster movies went, "Them!" was pretty good.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047573/

It actually was released a few months before "Gojira/Godzilla,"
so the USA got to "kaiju" first? A year earlier, there was:

"The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms"

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045546/?ref_=tttr_tr_tt

As fun as flicks like this are or were, they usually
gloss over the square-cube law, not to mention the
difficulty of giant insect or arachnid respiration.
Contrary to popular (?) belief, insects _do_ breathe,
if not as efficiently as we animals with lungs do.

https://www.nature.com/articles/news030120-9

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10936707_Tracheal_Respiration_in_Insects_Visualized_with_Synchrotron_X-ray_Imaging

See also:

"Doctor Who: Arachnids In The U.K." 4th ep, series 11 of
the "new Who."

Kevin R
Paul S Person
2020-02-01 18:06:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
<snippo>
Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Sfnal B-movie puts a finer point on it, although neither that term's nor
the Sci-Fi term that you fish for, is used by me in conversation. Movies
are seldom seen by me so B-movie says it all for me.
My OP utilizes SciFi as an acronym applicable to Science Fiction
/literature/. Why are we talking movies? Do movies best fit the Ackerman
archetypal axe to grind?
Actually, as giant-monster movies went, "Them!" was pretty good.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047573/
So good and, more to the point, popular, that it was, IRRC, used in
the trailer for /The Black Scorpion/ to suggest similar quality. Which
was not that much of an exaggeration.
Post by Kevrob
It actually was released a few months before "Gojira/Godzilla,"
"The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms"
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045546/?ref_=tttr_tr_tt
Ahh! Harryhausen and Bradbury! What could be better?

And the trailer! Total nonsense, but how it draws you in!
Post by Kevrob
As fun as flicks like this are or were, they usually
gloss over the square-cube law, not to mention the
difficulty of giant insect or arachnid respiration.
Contrary to popular (?) belief, insects _do_ breathe,
if not as efficiently as we animals with lungs do.
https://www.nature.com/articles/news030120-9
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10936707_Tracheal_Respiration_in_Insects_Visualized_with_Synchrotron_X-ray_Imaging
"Doctor Who: Arachnids In The U.K." 4th ep, series 11 of
the "new Who."
As for large-insect-films, they don't gloss over anything, they just
plain ignore it. The topic never comes up.

These are /not/ films you watch with your brain turned on. These are
films you watch to enjoy them. Even the more ridiculous bits.

And they can have strange uses.

In Chicago, in 1974 or so, the 17-year-cicadas were due and, since
many residents were not around to see them 17 years ago, a local
station showed a film of what happened last time.

What they showed was a clip from a movie featuring an enourmous
grasshopper (or perhaps cricket) climbing the Wrigley building in
downtown Chicago!

That was a lot more exciting that the reality!
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."
Kevrob
2020-02-02 04:20:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Paul S Person
<snippo>
Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Sfnal B-movie puts a finer point on it, although neither that term's nor
the Sci-Fi term that you fish for, is used by me in conversation. Movies
are seldom seen by me so B-movie says it all for me.
My OP utilizes SciFi as an acronym applicable to Science Fiction
/literature/. Why are we talking movies? Do movies best fit the Ackerman
archetypal axe to grind?
Actually, as giant-monster movies went, "Them!" was pretty good.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047573/
So good and, more to the point, popular, that it was, IRRC, used in
the trailer for /The Black Scorpion/ to suggest similar quality. Which
was not that much of an exaggeration.
Post by Kevrob
It actually was released a few months before "Gojira/Godzilla,"
"The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms"
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045546/?ref_=tttr_tr_tt
Ahh! Harryhausen and Bradbury! What could be better?
And the trailer! Total nonsense, but how it draws you in!
Post by Kevrob
As fun as flicks like this are or were, they usually
gloss over the square-cube law, not to mention the
difficulty of giant insect or arachnid respiration.
Contrary to popular (?) belief, insects _do_ breathe,
if not as efficiently as we animals with lungs do.
https://www.nature.com/articles/news030120-9
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10936707_Tracheal_Respiration_in_Insects_Visualized_with_Synchrotron_X-ray_Imaging
"Doctor Who: Arachnids In The U.K." 4th ep, series 11 of
the "new Who."
As for large-insect-films, they don't gloss over anything, they just
plain ignore it. The topic never comes up.
These are /not/ films you watch with your brain turned on. These are
films you watch to enjoy them. Even the more ridiculous bits.
And they can have strange uses.
In Chicago, in 1974 or so, the 17-year-cicadas were due and, since
many residents were not around to see them 17 years ago, a local
station showed a film of what happened last time.
What they showed was a clip from a movie featuring an enourmous
grasshopper (or perhaps cricket) climbing the Wrigley building in
downtown Chicago!
But, did it attack Berwyn?!*

1957's "The Beginning of the End"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_the_End_(film)
Post by Paul S Person
That was a lot more exciting that the reality!
* Svengoolie reference.

Kevin R

Jack Bohn
2020-02-01 17:16:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by D B Davis
Post by J. Clarke
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie that
could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
B-movie.
But that covers the non-science-fictional b-movies as well. The term
has to denote its science fictional nature and its low quality.
Does it? A monster movie, gangster movie, western, comedy, romance (or weeper) might all be written by the same person, or directed by the same person (different same person -- or maybe even the same same person). I wonder how these folks viewed the genres. Jack Arnold has a quote in his IMDb page, his filmography shows his solid work in movies that could be expected to interest us, and those that wouldn't.

(I know western fans have to suffer the proverbial ten-shot-six-shooter, do mystery fans groan every time a police detective breaks into a room to search for incriminating evidence? Do romance fans... is there any improbability that romance fans would bat an eyelash at?)
--
-Jack
Titus G
2020-02-01 03:34:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 1/02/20 3:26 pm, J. Clarke wrote:
snip
Post by J. Clarke
Is there a term that you would use to describe the genre of movie
that could be summarized as "The Ant That Ate Cleveland"?
Coming of Age.
Ant + Cleveland = Giant. A Coming-of-Age story about a lonely ant who
sought contentment through comfort food.

Porn.
Tony was a fine liqueur....

Crime.
Isobel had spilt her last drop of liquid LSD somewhere and Father
Anthony was arriving shortly to try her freshly cooked biscuits from her
state-shaped molds.

Romance.
Tony was a fine liqueur....

Comedy.
Isobel had spilt her last drop of liquid LSD somewhere and Father
Anthony was arriving shortly to try her freshly cooked biscuits from her
state-shaped molds.
m***@sky.com
2020-01-31 19:04:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
I don't wish to belittle the role of technology, hard science, anything that goes bang, and the traditional furniture of SF, Mil/SF and Space Opera (in fact, I usually rejoice in it) but I think there has always been a small amount of attention to social sciences. Asimov's Foundation Series is the obvious example, but Blish built the remarkable Cities In Fight series around Spengler's theories, and you could claim that anybody who ever wrote about a Utopia or Dystopia was saying something about social science. I did have the more specific hope that somebody would have seen a writeup of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and thought "neat! I can write a story on this" - but so far apparently not.
Kevrob
2020-01-31 19:24:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
Back in the day, science fiction was about science (real or
imagined), technology (ditto), wild adventure, and monstrous
aliens _quant. suff._
It later branched out into speculation, not about what gadgetry
could be invented, but what the effect of that gadgetry would be
on humans and their societies.
For my money, they're both SF.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
I don't wish to belittle the role of technology, hard science, anything that goes bang, and the traditional furniture of SF, Mil/SF and Space Opera (in fact, I usually rejoice in it) but I think there has always been a small amount of attention to social sciences. Asimov's Foundation Series is the obvious example, but Blish built the remarkable Cities In Fight series around Spengler's theories, and you could claim that anybody who ever wrote about a Utopia or Dystopia was saying something about social science. I did have the more specific hope that somebody would have seen a writeup of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and thought "neat! I can write a story on this" - but so far apparently not.
For applied Psychology, there was Pohl & Kornbluth's "The Space Merchants"
aka "Gravy Planet."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Merchants

Asimov's "Franchise" has public opinion polling taken to an absurd extreme.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Merchants

Ada Palmer wrote a nice article on how "the science" in her SF is,
in the main, social science, including history.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/when-science-fiction-meets-social-science/

Kevin R
Robert Carnegie
2020-01-31 21:58:41 UTC
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Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
I think what you're describing is "characters", and
of course they occur outside science fiction as well.

And, what was that line about proper aliens... memory
and web search is presenting me with John W. Campbell
saying something like, "Give me a creature who thinks
like a man but is not a man", but that comes up only
once so it's probably wrong. And I think the point
was (1) he probably didn't mean a woman and (2) if it
isn't to be a man in a fancy-dress costume then really
we want a being that thinks /as/ a man but /not/ like
a man. Well, you may not, but then, again, if an alien
isn't alien then you may as well /not/ read science
fiction. You know people talk about you.

Here's where I praise _Debtors' Planet_ - again -
after checking where the apostrophe belongs, again,
because while it is a Star Trek novel with Captain
Picard in charge, it does a fine job in my opinion
of portraying /alien/ thinking in nature and culture
of several different kinds, including Klingons,
Zhuik (they're "new"), Ferengi, and This One Guy
From the Twentieth Century, who no one likes.
Several of whom are on the Enterprise crew.
The aliens look at the humans, and they all look
at Twentieth Century Guy, and they're all going,
"What /is/ it with you?"

It does have one very poorly portrayed episode in
the middle, in my opinion, where one Ferengi character
decides to commit interspecies rape (not while we watch);
not that this is unlikely, but it does not have weight
or consequences in the story - until a lot later -
that it should.
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-31 22:39:05 UTC
Reply
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Titus G
Re: Self organising teams / the dispossessed
snip
Post by Robert Carnegie
I suppose that's social-science fiction
Isn't most science fiction based on the social sciences, mainly
sociology and psychology?
Or does that opinion just reflect my personal predilection because to
me, most science fiction stories even if set in space with futuristic
advances in technology, are stories about how people interact with
people who are sometimes disguised as aliens but still think like people
think. That is the science fiction I prefer and why I found Weir's _The
Martian_ incredibly boring.
I think what you're describing is "characters", and
of course they occur outside science fiction as well.
And, what was that line about proper aliens... memory
and web search is presenting me with John W. Campbell
saying something like, "Give me a creature who thinks
like a man but is not a man", but that comes up only
once so it's probably wrong. And I think the point
was (1) he probably didn't mean a woman and (2) if it
isn't to be a man in a fancy-dress costume then really
we want a being that thinks /as/ a man but /not/ like
a man. Well, you may not, but then, again, if an alien
isn't alien then you may as well /not/ read science
fiction. You know people talk about you.
John Campbell said, "Give me a creature that thinks AS WELL AS
a man but not LIKE a man." (my emphasis) This is not an exact
quote, and Campbell may have said or written it more than once
in different ways. For as long as I've been reading science fiction
this has been a thing of acclaim and admiration regardless of what
a reader thinks of other elements of a story.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
k***@outlook.com
2020-02-01 17:10:50 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
John Campbell said, "Give me a creature that thinks AS WELL AS
a man but not LIKE a man."
A fine quote, but if you get a time machine and go sell him stories, be advised he did not like the aliens being smarter than us. I used to hang out with one of the authors.

Nils K. Hammer
J. Clarke
2020-02-01 18:12:53 UTC
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Post by k***@outlook.com
Post by p***@hotmail.com
John Campbell said, "Give me a creature that thinks AS WELL AS
a man but not LIKE a man."
A fine quote, but if you get a time machine and go sell him stories, be advised he did not like the aliens being smarter than us. I used to hang out with one of the authors.
I seem to recall one solution being a woman.
David Johnston
2020-02-01 18:40:25 UTC
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Post by k***@outlook.com
Post by p***@hotmail.com
John Campbell said, "Give me a creature that thinks AS WELL AS
a man but not LIKE a man."
A fine quote, but if you get a time machine and go sell him stories, be advised he did not like the aliens being smarter than us. I used to hang out with one of the authors.
Well yeah. "as well as" doesn't mean "better".
p***@hotmail.com
2020-02-02 04:17:11 UTC
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Post by k***@outlook.com
Post by p***@hotmail.com
John Campbell said, "Give me a creature that thinks AS WELL AS
a man but not LIKE a man."
A fine quote, but if you get a time machine and go sell him stories, be advised he did not like the aliens being smarter than us. I used to hang out with one of the authors.
Goodreads and other sources give the quote as:

“Write me a creature that thinks as well as a man or better than a man, but not
like a man.”
― John W. Campbell Jr

I have seen others mention that Campbell did not want smart aliens. Isaac
Asimov wrote that this was a reason that he used an exclusively human
galaxy in _Foundation_. On the other hand, note that Campbell did
publish Edward E. Smith's _Lensman_ series in which the Arisians are
vastly superior to humans until the Arisians themselves uplift (to use
David Brin's term) humanity to become the new guardians of civilization.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
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