Originally Posted by rdclark
I would say "science fiction" when pointing to "Flowers for Algernon" because it really does fit every possible qualification I can think of. It starts with a premise based in science and then it speculates about what might happen if that premise was played out.
Exactly. I am loath to cite Wikipedia, lest people respond with the usual, "You must be right, because Wikipedia is so
reliable," quip, but I think even the introduction of its science fiction page provides a simple justification for our position:
"Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a 'literature of ideas',"
"It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation),"
sets the stage for the entire genre. Orphan Black, Flowers for Algernon, and even Revolution qualify as science fiction under this definition. Of course, many science fiction narratives go further than these shows in terms of how extensively and conspicuously they incorporate fictional elements, but CGI-intensive shows with "Star" in their names that focus on the "science" part of science fiction should not discount the inclusion of other works in the genre. Whether the topic deals with the impacts of cloning, the artificial increasing of human intelligence, or the loss of electricity, such stories are still science fiction.
The element which differentiates Orphan Black and Flowers for Algernon from Revolution is that the unfolding of events in the first two is tightly connected with the premise, such that the sequence of events inexorably stems from the scifi premise by exploring the effects of such technology in a plausible manner. Revolution is bad science fiction, since the unfolding of its events is implausible
at every turn.
Science fiction only functions when it operates within a set of rules, and Revolution's rules are so malleable that the writers seem to be making them up as they go along (as has been observed already in this thread). First the nanites eat electricity, then they cure cancer, then they stir-fry people, and now they can apparently stir-fry the planet out of spite if anyone tries to disable them. Revolution may not be strictly
science fiction, since it incorporates many action-adventure elements as well, but the unfolding of events is still linked to the original premise, despite how poorly it's been executed thus far.
Originally Posted by NetworkTV
That's what's wrong with SciFi: there really isn't much of any anymore. Instead, we get this mushy ether between psuedo-science concepts and characters have angst over something. That's how we got to crap like "Twilight" that insults anyone who has ever liked the vampire genre.
Revolution insults anyone who likes speculative fiction.
The above is also why this post is completely irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody has ever classified vampires as science fiction (or speculative fiction), because vampires, werewolves, and other mythical creatures are part of the fantasy genre. There is no scientific basis to justify their existence, either now or in the future, so they are merely elements of fiction, not science fiction.Edited by Aleron Ives - 5/31/13 at 10:38pm