Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
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View Poll Results: Which Genre is Better?

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  • Fantasy

    22 39.29%
  • Science Fiction

    34 60.71%
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Thread: Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

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    Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

    Think about literature, movies, games, and comics that identify primarily with either fantasy or science fiction.

    Which of these genres is more compelling to you?
    More interesting?
    Engaging?
    Creative?
    Can you "see" yourself in one of these worlds more than the other?
    Which, in your opinion, gives artists the most oppurtunity for creativity while still staying within the genre?


    I often wonder this. See, MMORPGs seem to be kind of ruled by "fantasy" but other media may make up for this. I'm not talking about which is more prominent though, but which is "better".

    Now I realize that the elements of both "worlds" often overlap in creative works and that no characteristic is entirely black or white. (I remember a quote about "science we don't understand being no different than magic" or something like that.) I also remember many creative works that are clearly both.

    It might be hard, but PICK ONE.

    I've long wondered what the "public consensus" was about this.

    And tell why you picked what you picked, I'm curious to see some contrasting opinions.

    Last edited by Zirngibism; July 22nd, 2008 at 12:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zirngibism View Post
    I'm not talking about which is more prominent though, but which is "better".
    There is no "better"

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    There is no spoon.

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    the cake is a lie

    my collection runs about 300 volumes, fantasy predominates. probably about 2/1

    To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.

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    There is only Zombie Hitler.

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    I'm asking for personal opinions, not absolutes.

    Everyone on forums says there's no answer to these types of broad and comparison-related questions, and I see no reason why this thread would be different. (And I'm not saying they're wrong. Of course there's no set inswer to questions regarding creative things.) But what personally turns you on more?

    Sometimes I think people say there's no answer to questions because it's safer than to express something might dislike. There's always your viewpoint.

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    My viewpoint?

    I don't differentiate by genre or subject. I differentiate by artist (or picture) usually.

    I'm not that keen on classic muscular barbarian dude genre but I can still see that Frazetta is a total badass, I'm not that keen on Faery watercolouring but Alan Lee is obviously stupidly awesome.

    Not really a fan of Marvel comics but I still appreciate how sweet Marko D's excellent backlog of covers are..

    Case by case basis y'know? It's either sweet or not.

    Last edited by Flake; July 21st, 2008 at 10:28 PM.
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    Traditional "dragons and elves" fantasy is just as cliched and stale as traditional "starships and lasers" science fiction. I'm as sick of Elves/Orcs/Wizards/Tolkien as I am of Halo/MetalGear/MassEffect/StarWars. What I prefer is something that isn't defined by established archetypes and popular media. In my science fiction, I want horses and dirt and machines that belch smoke and drip grease. My fantasy needs ancient aliens and jug bands playing over crackling radios. In response to your poll, I have to say that I think the fact that there's a perceived necessary division between 'science fiction' and 'fantasy', that genres exist at all, is utterly ridiculous. It's all fantasy, rules and divisions be damned. If I want to call a flying squid a wyvern I will, and I'll burn a D&D manual while I'm at it.

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    I've been a fan of Sci-Fi for as long as I can remember. Fantasy's cool and everything, but I just find robots, aliens, and lasers much more intriguing than wizards, dragons, a magic.

    More specifically, I like Sci-Fi because I see it was a window to what the future can bring, and even more I love seeing Sci-Fi becoming reality. I'm also a total gadget freak, and if there's something Sci-Fi is good at giving us, it's super cool gadgets, be it space ships, teleporters, or cybernetic implants.

    Like I said, I love both genres, but if I had to pick between watching Star Wars IV-VI and the LotR troligy, I'd most likely watch Star Wars.

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    sci fi all the way. fuck an elf man i wanna roll through space in my SWEET spaceship shooting shit with LASERS!!!! i want some GIANT armor that looks AWESOME so i can feel BAD ASS.

    i think wizards are so 70's...except maybe the way frazetta, jones, sweet, and whoever is a talented fantasy artist makes them shits. but even when they make stuff like that i wish they'd thrown in GLOWING CYBORG EYE on a dragon or troll or something.

    now THATS an idea!!! someone should COMBINE sci fi and fantasy into one supergenre!!!! it would be so sweet except nobody would be able to play it because if you were to look at that kind of awesomeness too long, you would die from dehydration from busting so many consecutive loads in your pants.

    wow ,where did that come from?
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    Coro, hasn't Final Fantasy been combining Sci-fi and fantasy for a long time now?

    Edit- And Sci fi is way cooler. I want to believe in aliens. I really do.

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    I like when elements of both genres are combined and create a science fantasy.

    Like the Matrix or Star Wars. That's cool stuff.

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    Taking Coro seriously is kind of like... well... it's kind of like...

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    Yeah, I chose sci-fi. When I read a fantasy thing, especially if it's "classic fantasy" I feel like there some kind of wall between me and the story. I think it's because "magic" can't be explained, and that makes reading a book or something just an experience of "reading a book". But sci-fi, (especially "hard" sci-fi) draws me in because it, almost subconciously so, I feel its possible and therefore I can put myself into it more. (Is this maybe lack of creativity on my part?) :-\

    I also like the aesthetic in, the dynamic perspective and lines that tend to be in sci-fi art as opposed to the more whimsical ones in fantasy.

    And I also desperately want extraterrestrial life to exist (I mean, be discovered), even if it's not "intelligent" hehe.

    @ Gory and PatriciaS --> Yeah you're right, combo's are awesome. I didn't want to put a "combo" option in the poll because I was afraid too many people would choose it and dilute the results. Pretend you're at gunpoint to pick one.

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    I like both, but I lean toward fantasy more. I am drawn to the mysterious and spiritual things, as well as shadowy things. Somehow, in the science fiction universe, when they explain how things work, it sucks out the fun.

    I agree that both genres are cliched...I would love to see more variety than just Dungeons & Dragons/Star Trek stereotypes. And I do like the combination of sci-fi and fantasy, too. Maybe a story where the crew of Enterprise lands on the world of Krynn....

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    I don't think you can choose one or the other. They're two sides of the same coin, so.

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    I prefer science fiction because fantasy is so unrealistic.

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    What's the big difference aside from the fact that Sci-Fi has a "rational" rather than "magical" explanation aren't they in a sense the same thing?

    "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."

    Arthur C. Clarke

    these quotes some what apply to the topic!

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    As much as I want to, I can't vote on this poll, Zirn'...

    A great deal of my real life is intertwined with what most people call fantasy, so to me, it's not an alternative to Science Fiction, which I see as the impact of advanced technologies on normal life forms, what ever they may be. I see no reason why faeries, "Demons," or "werewolves" can't be part of sci-fi, since to me it just makes sense that all life forms would/could adapt to advancing technology.

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    Sci-fi. Any day. While I hate the cliched parts of either genre(and they've both definitely got em), I can stomach more classic sci-fi than fantasy, maybe simply because there seems to be less of it(and I'm talking from art to books to movies). Well, actually, entertainment-wise there's been a lot more sci-fi lately, but that's just because everybody is sick of the fantasy we've had since the 1800's.

    Tho, let me just say, I do enjoy a really well done fantasy(a la LOTR, or even Harry Potter).

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    I would choose fantasy because I like the generally mysterious, spiritual, mystical, historical, shadowy stuff. but.... I want my fantasy/magic to make sense on some level, even if it is ambiguous.

    I prefer dark fantasy and steampunk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Musselfarmstudios View Post
    What's the big difference aside from the fact that Sci-Fi has a "rational" rather than "magical" explanation aren't they in a sense the same thing?

    "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."

    Arthur C. Clarke

    these quotes some what apply to the topic!
    Ah, you found who said it! It's Clarkish-- I should've known.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriciaS View Post
    I like when elements of both genres are combined and create a science fantasy.

    Like the Matrix or Star Wars. That's cool stuff.
    In many ways, the Matrix is fairly hard sci-fi, at least by film standards.


    The quality of an independent piece of work is far more important than it's genre, but I've found sci-fi to be, on average, somewhat better than fantasy.

    Though alot of my favorite stuff is in the gray area between the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregano View Post
    I don't think you can choose one or the other. They're two sides of the same coin, so.

    ~Oreg.
    More like two sides of the same Moebius strip.

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    I suppose it comes down to a savage 3 on 3 cage match to the death: Tolkien, Howard, and Jordan versus Herbert, Clarke, and Asimov.
    With HG Wells and Jules Verne doing the commentary. Not sure who to put my money on yet.


    Does anyone remember that game Might and Magic III from the early 90s? It was one of the first computer games I even played, pretty old school, floppy disks and such. Anyhow, the whole game you thought you were in this high fantasy adventure setting, but right at the very end of the game, they turn it around on you and go all Alien Sci-Fi. Pretty cool concept, along the lines of the supergenre Coro was talking about.

    Also, where do we put Star Wars and the Gunslinger?

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    Lets take it head to head on Movies (film franchises.)

    Sci-FI
    12 Monkeys
    2001
    Alien
    Akira
    Blade Runner
    Brazil
    Dark City
    Day the Earth Stood Still
    Dune
    Gattaca
    Ghost in the Shell
    Escape from New York
    E.T.
    Forbidden Planet
    Logan’s Run
    Mad Max
    Matrix
    Predator
    Planet of the Apes
    Serenity
    Solyaris
    Star Trek
    Star Wars
    Terminator
    VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

    vs.

    Fantasy
    Beastmaster
    Big Trouble in Little China
    Clash of the Titans
    Conan
    Crouching Tiger
    Dark Crystal
    Excalibur
    Highlander
    Hobbit
    Jason and the Argonauts
    King Kong
    Labyrinth
    Legend
    Land that Time Forgot
    Lord of the Rings
    Never Ending Story
    Ninja Scroll
    Princess Bride
    Princess Mononoke
    Sinbad
    Star Wars
    Return to Oz
    Willow
    Wu Tang Clan

    … I can’t remember any more but I’m sure there are hundreds. Right now I think Sci-Fi is winning for me, but I’m getting all nostalgic with my VHS collection.

    Last edited by Jasonwclark; July 22nd, 2008 at 09:44 PM.
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    I like both! However I am steered more towards fantasy with literature. Movies I like sci-fi.

    I 'think' its because in film sci-fi looks cooler and in books authors tend to go too techy on you. Where-as in fantasy they hae a set good guy verse bad guy nearly all the time.

    Visually I like both, but I think SCI-FI has more room to improve because fantasy tends to draw upon mythology more than anything and has already gained a prominent strict fan base that expects a certain look to their fantasy. Sci-fi has a little of the same, but directors and such always seem to startle me with something new.

    So i chose fantasy, however, I think sci-fi has a lot of potential because of the new technologies coming out to inspire us.

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    I *do* both. Games, movies, books. I chose fantasy though, since when looking at the amount of sci-fi and fantasy I own, it leans heavily on fantasy.

    There's good and bad things with both. Nothing is as bad as bad fantasy. Nothing is as bad as bad sci-fi. I squirm and blush when I find out I've managed to let a book of classic clichès slip thrugh my bookradar. There's nothing that's as bad as when futuristic gadgets comes in the way of story or character building, or when after reading three pages you're wondering when the elves are gonna contact your hero in distress or possibly quarrel with the dwarves.

    But when done right, I simply love it. And truth to be told, I still haven't found anything sci-fi that's topped my Malazan Book of the Dead series by Steven Erikson.

    Keep your elves and dwarves for yerself though. I have extremely little patience for the "traditional" fantasy world, to be quite honest. same with sci-fi really, a lot repeats itself in both worlds. But fantasy is a lot more than Tolkien spawns, and there's a lot that I would have trouble labelling either fantasy or sci-fi as it's both. I guess that if you lean towards fantasy, you'd label those kinda things as fantasy, and leaning towards sci-fi if you label it sci-fi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el coro View Post
    now THATS an idea!!! someone should COMBINE sci fi and fantasy into one supergenre!!!! it would be so sweet except nobody would be able to play it because if you were to look at that kind of awesomeness too long, you would die from dehydration from busting so many consecutive loads in your pants.
    There is Shadowrun RPG. Wizard that throws glowing cyborg eye would be possible there .
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    The problem I have with the way the two are most often combined is that most crossover works simply take the standard archetypal people/elves/orcs/cyborgs and toss them together into one or the other archetypal setting and rely on the novelty of a nontraditional juxtaposition of themes to carry the interest. Instead of a wizard shouting hocus-pocus spells at a giant robot, for instance, I'd have some kind of shaman communing with transcendental lifeforms to do his bidding against giant synthetic creatures. A true reconciliation between science fiction and fantasy shouldn't be about smashing the two together, but about emphasizing what they both have in common and synthesizing new, original worlds around those core ideas. Cyberpunk elves are no more engaging or original than a skateboarding dog.

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