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 ),
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:
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
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.