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The Bones Blog


Bionicle's Genre Discussion Continued...

Posted by bonesiii , Dec 01 2014 · 621 views

This is a continuation of a tangential in-depth discussion that started in the discussion topic for the new Bionicle Generation 1 Misconceptions project. That topic was not meant for extended debates or the like, so I'm asking participants to continue it elsewhere (by PM or topic is what I suggested... problem with a PM is it can't be viewed by anybody who's curious, and so far none of them have decided to make a topic... it would also be weird to have a bunch of quotes from a different topic in a new one... so I decided to do what we would often do in the old days and make it a blog entry).

The proposed misconception to clear up was that Bionicle is sci-fi (as in pure sci-fi). Later I agreed we could kill two birds with one stone and also clear up that it's not pure fantasy either; it's a mix of both that has been called "science fantasy". Greg has called it this, and it shares common elements with other stories that have begun to be recognized as being in this relatively new genre, such as Star Wars.

In the past I have pointed out that sci-fi, sci-fant, and fantasy form a spectrum that is within a category called "speculative fiction", or as I have called it, "physics fiction" because usage of physics beyond normal real-world uses are a major part of the plot.

In sci-fi, while there's a variety of definitions, one common theme is that the details are explained or at least understood by the characters. Another is that the physics are generally our physics or close to them. In fantasy generally the "how" is not explained and it is treated as more mystical. Alternate physics in a different universe (as Bionicle has been suggested to have) is more of a gray area; Star Trek's speculative extra physics are usually seen as closer to the sci-fi end due to how they treat it in-story, while the Force is seen more as fantasy.

Now, early in the topic, a quote was posted, which may have led to confusion, from Greg. He was responding to somebody asking about Bionicle's alleged shift in later story from a more mystical/fantasy story to what the questioner worded as "a sci-fi story." Adopting the questioner's terms and evidently narrowing the focus to the things that the questioner likely saw as the specific changes -- the giant robot, AI, etc. -- Greg pointed out that it had always been a sci-fi story.

Some of the people in the discussion topic seem to have thought that meant Greg considers it pure sci-fi, and seem to have missed my pointing out that Greg himself called it science fantasy. Others seem to have had other issues. This blog entry will attempt to cover most of them raised there. At the time tons of posts were coming in and I was very busy with other things, so I had to skim most of it and only point out a few relevant details. Hopefully this will clear up any remaining confusion.

As it's more convenient for me, and there's a limit to how many you can have (at least in normal posts), I'll be dispensing with quote tags in favor of quote marks. I'll be including who said what at least early on, but nothing personal is intended; it's just to be clear that it's not all spoken by the same person.

[Update after first draft completion: I got tired of that later on, though I did mention who the speaker was in the answers in many cases. Note also that I only had time to proofread some of this, and I spotted a few errors in a preview but don't have time to fix them. None that I saw so far interfere with understanding it. I may edit later if I find time for a full proof.]

Yalda: "I've always disliked the label of "science fantasy", since it's just an excuse to set a plotline IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE and then proceed to blatantly ignore every field of science. But, then again, that describes BIONICLE pretty aptly."

My reply in the topic covered this pretty clearly, and as it also answers things that people seemed to keep bringing up, it's worth quoting here:

"It isn't meant as an "excuse" -- that presupposes a rule that all fiction has to worry about matching the science of the real world. It doesn't -- and not because science doesn't matter, but because science tells us that in different universes, the rules could be different. Also, when fantasy is set on the ground, people don't have this problem (actually most of Bionicle IS set on the ground!). But in a fantasy story, space exists... and normal physics generally exists alongside of the "magic" so people COULD make robotics, etc. The idea that the two can't mix... well, it's only emotional, not logical.

(And even in science fiction, there's often a rule that Bionicle uses that the "magic" is just science you don't understand. Not explaining it is not "ignoring"... or at least not for bad reasons -- just because it shouldn't need explained, in part because humans haven't always known what we know now about real physics, but stories set in a world with those physics behaviors were quite possible.)

Now that emotion can come from a personal taste, and that makes it okay anyways... but still, understanding why "genre fusions" like this actually make sense can help people enjoy it more easily. :) How our preferences react to things depends in some part on how we understand it. ^_^"

After Yalda's post the topic began to explode when I didn't have time to read it all.

Iblis: "Concerning Genre (Personally I think it should be ignored entirely."

Genre does have relevance to an in-story misconceptions project, because the authorial intent on this subject will help explain why some details are included while others are not, and also help critics avoid the trap of assuming (for example) that it was intended as pure sci-fi, so that they would see lack of explanations of some things as a failing.

"simply because the terms are ocmmonly defined in different ways"

While this is true, few definitions of them are that different to where the basic idea isn't understood by almost everybody. And this could be applied to lots of things in life. An apple tree could be defined in a lot of ways but this wouldn't mean we should ignore apple trees (if the subject comes up :P -- and having one that drops rotting apples every spring and half of the tree literally fell down once, it's hard to ignore, heh).

"Bionicle really isn't science-y, it has a lot of technological stuff"

This is a rather odd differentiation to make, as technology is made via science.

"it is set in space"

Parts of it are, but the vast majority of the storyline has taken place on planets (namely Aqua Magna). And from the fans' perspectives, it seemed to start out on a tropical/mystical island.

Quisoves: "Science-fiction is, by and large, a stylistic label. A few authors tell stories based on hard science, but the vast majority simply tell fantasy-future-history stories with utilitarian aesthetics. Star Trek and Doctor Who are prime examples of this. They are heavily invested in the science of their fictional worlds, but it isn't our science."

This is a fairly good way to put it, although I would say that the label is not so much based on style (that's a part of it), but on type of content. Star Trek is called sci-fi generally not because of the style of its physics, but because the plot content focuses heavily on the practice of science by the characters. That's one of the easiest ones to categorize. Doctor Who is not so blatant, but the Doctor himself is essentially a super-brilliant scientist (alien, Time Lord, etc. but in terms of his talents, yes).

In Star Wars, by contrast, while there's a lot of tech that is obviously the result of science, and they'll all have some level of tech proficiency (Anakin being probably one of the highest), the Jedi are more like wizards, not so much doing science as working "magic". They will study some aspects of the Force, and how it relates to people in that universe, which could be called a type of science loosely, but they primarily solve problems by willpower, focus, emotional calm, etc. used in relation to the Force. This is more like the kinds of "study of magic" that a wizard will do in a normal fantasy story than science. So Star Wars is thus better described as science fantasy.

And in the typical example of Harry Potter, the magic is not explained at all, and although obviously it's studied (it's all about a school after all), it's in how to manipulate it, not in what makes it possible. It's more like a user of a computer who just studies the software and can type a mile a minute but has no idea how the hardware works, or a driver who is really skilled on the road but if you open up the hood, has no idea what to do.

"I think calling Bionicle only fantasy would be sufficient, because it follows no rules of science to speak of."

Actually, within a range of science factoids deemed to be understandable easily for little kids, Bionicle actually has had a pretty strong emphasis on science. The elemental powers are driven by a "magic", but how the elements behave once made tends to be understood well in fairly scientific terms by Toa, exemplified by Tahu heating air to slow a fall in the early comics. If you think about it, it's actually a clever way to teach introductory science in an enjoyable plot format without requiring kids to instantly know all the complex details of full science.

This is popularly known as "comic-book physics"; some real-world physics is kept and focused on, while some is ignored in favor of magic (basically, but often not called that).

Now at this point in the topic, the Greg quote was posted by Boidoh:

""1) BIONICLE was a mystical story that I turned into a sci-fi story.

False. BIONICLE was always a sci-fi story - it was always about beings who were supposed to be (or were) living inside a giant robot. That was from day one. You just didn't know it at the start. And it was governed by a story team, I did not have the power to change its genre."

Again let me emphasize that Greg did not clearly state "Bionicle is pure sci-fi". He just adopted the terms of the questioner. It reads like he is affirming that the sci-fi ingredients (in the mixture) were always planned, which makes sense as he's refuting the claim that those -particular- ingredients were added by him personally later. They weren't. Bionicle was in that sense a sci-fi mystery story, or to be more clear, a science fantasy mystery story ( ;) ) -- in a whodunnit, the murder is planned from the start and the clues planted, and the truth revealed later. Bionicle is a whatizzit -- a sci-fi scenario was planned, and hidden, but clues (like the robotic appearance of the characters) planted, and it was slowly revealed over the course of the ten year plot.

Iblis: "That a creator doesn't understand common definitions for a word doesn't a good argument make?"

This appears to misunderstand Greg's quote; see above. Also, I'm not sure what Boidoh's point was, but I took it as either probably meaning (or should mean) that the misconception that it was never at all a sci-fi story even partially is debunked by that Greg quote.

Regardless of what Boidoh meant, it's important to remember that (for good reasons like responsible time management), Greg has a strong tendency to give short answers that must be understood in the context of everything else he has said. To a question that I typically would take a whole blog entry answering ( :P), or most would take three or four paragraphs, Greg will often just pick one issue in the question that seems to be most prominent, and answer onlyt that, often with a one-liner. Actually this is one of more in-depth answers as it has five sentences (if you count "False." :P).

It also makes no sense to suppose that after more than ten years writing for Bionicle, Greg would somehow have been living in a hole as to commmon definitions of the relevant genres!

"[I still think the debate isn't that useful as regardless of how much as genre-labels are integral to a story; you get a better understanding from actually getting into the story"

Au contraire -- I can't begin to count the number of times people who have followed the story in-depth have done so while having the false premise that it was trying to be either all (or mostly) sci-fi or all (or mostly) fantasy, and use their knowledge simply to list many examples to build a case as to why it failed to be those things. But somebody who doesn't know anything about it (OR somebody who has read the whole story ten times) can avoid this entire issue by knowing off the bat that it's intended as a mixture. You're not going to have Kopaka suddenly look at the camera and say, "Hey, kids, did you know Bionicle is science fantasy?"

" & generally they aren't arguing the nature of the, say, hardness r softness of Bionicles magic or physiscs, but rather definitions. .."

I'm not sure what experience Iblis has to say this, but it does not jive with my decade of following story discussion in S&T (and some other sites to boot :P). In my experience, generally it's the issue I described just above. Defining sci-fi and fantasy almost never comes up... actually it probably should come up more often just so people don't talk past each other. Usually the misconception comes up because people are thinking something should or should not be in the story due to their mistaken premise about what Bionicle was aiming for.

Which is understandable given that Bionicle tried intentionally to blaze trails somewhat; that means people won't be used to a lot of what it did, and will struggle to fit it into categories they are already accustomed to.

Several posts after this got off on a tangent to the tangent, about definitions of what is sci-fi, perhaps because of misunderstanding that Greg quote, which I basically covered in the topic, so I'll be skipping that here. I'll just point out an issue with this:

"Everyone in this topic is overthinking this. In the end, does it really matter what Bionicle's genre is? It's like arguing whether Star Wars is fantasy or sci-fi."

This seems to have been an attempt to resolve the tangent-tangent debate, which is appreciated, but the method could use some work. It doesn't matter much, in the sense that people shouldn't be fighting over it... however, people don't really fight over most misconceptions. That isn't why a misconception makes the list. People fighting is a problem with ignoring our rules and not being polite; it doesn't make the misconception not matter at all.

Also, the answer to the misconception can help stop the pointless fighting, both for Bionicle and Star Wars! Fans of both stories who debate them being one or the other genre are operating from a false premise that those stories were intended as pure one thing or the other. And issues like this are a large part of why many are now moving to recognize the mixture genre of science fantasy.

At this point fishers quoted one of my old blog entries on the subject. I'll link to fishers' post here:


Mjol: "[replying to me: "Again, folks -- it's simple really. It's both -- it's a mixture or a fusion. Fusions are what Bionicle does -- robots plus tropical island... and tech plus "magic". :) So, not pure sci-fi, not pure fantasy. Simple, no?"]

No, it's not that simple - because "Bionicle is sci-fi" misconception is applied on worldbuilding level by Greg himself (what Boidoh wrote) and thus has leaded to numerous issues.""

It does appear that this was the source of the confusion in the "tangent-tangent". I missed this part in the first read-through. Hopefully the above has cleared it up; Greg did not have a misconception about this. He was only commenting on the misconception that things like the giant robot weren't planned from the start.

"Bionicle is not 'science fantasy'. It's a soft sci-fi with mystical elements. At least, that's how I'd categorize it if I were to shelve it in my bookstore. In any case, it belongs under Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, Children's&Teen's."

I already dealt with this in the topic, but for context here it seems wise to repeat the problem with the premise here -- that you can support "a story is NOT" something by appealing to somebody else's definition scheme. That's not how things work -- that's the fallacy of equivocation. When Greg defined Bionicle as science fantasy, he was not talking about one store's or another's bookshelf arrangements, he was talking about the content of the story. While it's certainly possible (and even practical) for a store to do that, it's also subjective, and more to the point, it doesn't change the fact that a definition scheme exists in which it IS sci-fant. (So the "it is not" is not justified.)

Also, "soft sci-fi" is just another way to say science fantasy. There's no point in arguing between synonyms like that; that's just semantics.

Also, a minor nitpick in this part:

"Bionicle is a fantasy story.
Incorrect. Bionicle is a soft sci-fi with mystical elements. Although the beginning ('01-'03) appeared more fantastic, the series was planned from the beginning to be sci-fi, and revealed itself to be such from '04 onwards, culminating in the great reveal of '08, in which the (controversial, but planned all along) giant robot was awoken."

The giant robot is not controversial. The reveal was greeted with widespread enthusiasm. That there are a handful of people with a personal taste not to like it is not relevant enough to warrant mention, as that is true for -everything-. And I only recall one or maybe three who were ever really vocal about it, and this was three years after Bionicle ended, hardly representative of the reaction at the time.

A number of others have disliked the use of the term "robot" out of a dislike for sci-fi, but that is not essential to the giant itself. (And not really native to Bionicle anyways, as all the original characters were widely assumed to be robots.)

1) Advanced technology
2) Set in SPAAACE!
3) Central nanotech plot device.

3 strong arguments in favour of Bionicle being sci-fi."

Actually these are three major examples of the sci-fi -ingredients- in the -mixture- which overall is science fantasy. Appealing to these to argue against it being that mixture is illogical, as the "hypothesis" that it's a mixture would predict ingredients from one side being found in it.

This is also subjective as to how to summarize the whole story. It also has a lot of heroes going around on islands using magical powers and so forth.

"But why then Bionicle can't be defined as, for example, space fantasy of sorts?"

This really wouldn't fit it well as only a tiny percentage of the story took place in space. For years in fact fans widely assumed it should never go into space (despite the skyhopping canisters having already done it in 2001), and saw it as an island story.

The more generalized "science" fantasy is a better description.

And in any case, sci-fi, sci-fant, and fant are overall categories. Space fantasy would be a subcategory of science fantasy anyways, and that is beyond the scope of analysis here.

""an attempt to make it gel with our physics" Is kind of a great way to go; is this based off of our physics + these possibilities (Sci-Fi)? Or is it a completely alternate set of a laws that govern the universe ([alternative physics / physics + magic on top] Fantasy).

If it's set in a world with a completely different basis of laws governing it calling it Science Fiction is really a stretch because "fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances ..." requires a type of connection with the real world (the part about it being the future is relevant to present technology, so something set in the 'real world' but 500 years ago on a planet in another galaxy could still very easily be Science Fiction not Fantasy, even if they have better nano technology but there isn't magic) As Bionicle doesn't have a connection to the real world the label Science Fiction or Fantasy (or "Science Fantasy") only really serve as an indicator for how hard or soft a setting is; compared to the Rea World it is thus very soft, but the RW isn't as relevant as it is to say; the Chronicles of Narnia (where there is an established connection; even in a 'multiverse' kind of way) so whilst I strongly believe it's entirely wrong to stick the label Science Fiction on Bionicle, I see these particular genre labels as not very useful."

This quote is from one of Iblis's first longer later posts, the ones I had to skim. Frankly, even without the constant changing of size in his original format, it's still almost impossible to follow any kind of relevant logic here, so I'm still largely at a loss as to what his point is. It gets similar in places to a question I keep anticipating that hasn't been raised clearly, but as I have a rule to not put words in people's mouths I'd rather wait to see if it's ever brought up clearly. (The answer for the misconception will mention it anyways.)

Suffice to say to the final line of this quote, the answer I have already given explains the usefulness of knowing the genre is a mixture instead of one or the other -- that it avoids confusion by those who wrongly assume it has to be all one or all the other.

My best guess as to what's going on in this quote is a mistake in making too much of the various subcategories of all three main genres, and "missing the forest for the trees." But we'll see if it gets any clearer later on...

"Bionicle has never offered scientific explanations, so much as systemic magical explanations"
This should be clarified -- it's not true that it NEVER does this, but that the things that count as the fantasy ingredients don't. :)

Next up, in answer to the "why not space fantasy" quote from earlier:

"Sci-fi has that covered. Science Fiction is the more accepted way of saying "fantasy based on scientific principles". It isn't literary fantasy, because that leans more on magic."

Only in the false dichotomy view that tries to lump everything into only either sci-fi or fantasy. But Bionicle does not use that view.

"I could accept "Science Fantasy" but by definition, once something is Science Fantasy, it is no longer Sci-Fi"

This doesn't really work. It is not PURE sci-fi, but a mixture is partly one side of the mixture. And it's sometimes appropriate (as seen in that Greg quote) to summarize a part of the discussion as just one side, expecting the reader to hear it in context of it really being a mixture. The problem with saying "not sci-fi" is that that could be taken as an inverse statement meaning "pure fantasy", which Bionicle isn't either.

"Science Fantasy could be considered a sub-genre of Fantasy, but not one of Sci-Fi."
I believe I briefly answered this before too, but I think more needs said.

This is an illogical dichotomy, as all it does is apply the fallacious "a mix can't be a subcategory of one side" reasoning inconsistently. If sci-fant can't be sub-sci-fi because it's not pure sci-fi, then logically sci-fant also can't be sub-fantasy because it's not pure fantasy either. Of course the real problem here is the false premise that a mixture can ever be not a subcategory of one side. In fact by definition, mixtures are always subcategories of both.

That's seen most clearly in Venn diagrams, for example. The overlapping region is part of the circle for BOTH sci-fi AND fantasy. :)

You can also see the problem if you correct the earlier statement to "science fantasy cannot be pure sci-fi", which is true, but if you then add the same correction to this new statement, you get nonsense: "science fantasy can be pure fantasy." So in order to get the second one to work, you can't have "pure" in it, which makes the argument equivocal (the definition of categories is being altered midstream, so that in the first one "pure" is taken to be implied, but in the first it's implied that "pure" can't be there).

Now again Iblis follows with another of the confusing giant paragraphs:

"Well technically, one could consider some Sci-Fi a sub-genre of Fantasy; but generally people prefer to consider them on a same hierarchical level; thus something that is truly Sci-Fi excludes the definition of Fantasy, so as to not make it redundant; "Science Fantasy" is invoked as a genre as it is more useful (specific) to identify some pieces of Fantasy as having Sci-Fi elements even though they cannot be Sci-Fi by virtue of the Fantasy (here; magical) elements. However ultimately Bionicle cannot be considered Science Fiction, although I can see the appropriation of unexplained science & other functional magic to give it the title Science-Fantasy; but really whilst it (Science Fantasy) may be a (pre-existing) genre it doesn't seem much more useful than say, a (Techno-)Fantasy in a Space setting; mainly because the Space bit is sort of a spoiler for many of the earlier years... although I don't think there are any rules against a genre (or theme, which the space bit is?) being a spoiler.

Science Fantasy despite being a somewhat more specific genre than Fantasy or Sci-Fi doesn't really tell you much in the case of Bionicle as Bionicle is a very 'individualised' setting (almost unique?); so any genres we through on it are either going to be overly vague or an inaccurate or misleading appropriation (or an overly individualised genre...).

Hence why I was against addressing it's genre in the first place."

At several points here I almost thought it came close to an identifiable point I could address, but I'm still not sure. The end seems to mean that Iblis thinks he's established that addressing the genre is necessarily confusing, but it isn't -- it seems more like Iblis has trouble saying things himself in a way that isn't confusing. :shrugs: (I mean no offense, Ib, but you were later acting upset that I wasn't replying to much of what you said. So you should understand that while maybe you had something clear in your mind that you meant by this, you didn't get it across clearly at all, so there was really nothing to say.)

Several of the least unclear bits of this also seem to contradict Bionicle -- like that space's involvement isn't REALLY a spoiler for the first years, as mentioned above. It's just that specific later uses of it were spoilers. If the rest of your wording is similarly inaccurate, can you see why it would be so confusing as to what you're trying to say? I could "translate" this one, but if you're doing that in everything you say, where it all is estimating something similar to what you mean instead of saying what you mean, I hope you get why that can quickly get impossible to follow.


"Science Fantasy despite being a somewhat more specific genre than Fantasy or Sci-Fi"

Sci-fant isn't any more specific than fantasy or sci-fi. (And I have no idea why you would think it is; it's throwing bizarre claims in without supporting them like this that makes your statements so impossible to follow.)

"Wikipedia calls it 'Science fantasy', Tvtropes categorises it as sci-fi. I will not argue any longer, since we are determined to muddy the waters."

I don't know what this means either. Not sure who you are saying wants to do that, or whether they want to. I would say that recognizing the spectrum, with three overall terms in summary, is the least muddy way (the most clear way), so obviously is the best way. :)

"""It's a soft sci-fi with mystical elements."

Which is summarized as "science fantasy." :)"

On a pedantic note: but never the less; it would be a Fantasy with Sci-Fi elements"
Just want to point out that this is not "pedantic". Actually I would say that pointlessly trying to resist the simple answer would be "pedantic". Notice that both of the erroneous statements here are just doing the same thing in opposite ways -- one saying it's under sci-fi, the other under fantasy. Avoiding nonsensical arguments like this is exactly the point of the "it's both!" solution, which isn't just to avoid the argument, it's also the obvious truth! It DOES contain ingredients of both! I see no good reason to ignore this and avoid putting a simple and easy to grasp label on it that recognizes this.

What follows is yet another of those incredibly complex and unclear arguments of Iblis' -- sorry, but if you need that kind of argument to defend an "it's one side or the other, not a mix" view, that's probably a good indication (re: Ockham's Razor) that your conclusion is not a good one. Not that complex answers are always wrong (hey, I get accused of that myself) -- but if the needed chain of sound reasoning is lost in all that confusion, at the very least it can't be relied upon. The sound argument for it being science fantasy is so simple it basically can't be wrong -- it has identifiable elements of both.

"once you layer magic onto Sci-Fi, it's now an underlying Fantasy + Sci-Fi Elements, it might seem counter-intuitive but the underlying reasoning is perfectly sound & it causes more problems to say Sci-Fi + Fantasy"
Okay, this seems closer to anything yet to one of the myths that I suspected earlier, so lemme just go ahead and make the point "just in case." Bionicle has some normal physics in it -- normal matter (confirmed).

However, even if that wasn't confirmed, we could not rule out a sci-fi side to the mixture. That's important to understand -- it seems like Iblis is making some sweeping assumptions that we can't support.

No real problems are caused by saying that Bionicle is what it is -- science fantasy. As far as I have seen, any claim to the contrary is not sound. It seems to me that the biggest genre-related problem (people thinking there were failures because it wasn't pure one or the other) is actually SOLVED by pointing out that it was intentionally some of both.

"that violates the definitions"

This quote comes a little after this part of his post, which I presume is what he's talking about:

"Sci-Fi: fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.
Fantasy: a genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world."

Because of these two parts of this post, my later replies in the topic presumed that he was basing his arguments against science fantasy on this. Looking more closely at the posts that come before this, though, I'm no longer sure, and that might explain his annoyance in his later posts. I'm still not sure what to think, though.

In any case, why he thinks that "science fantasy" "violates" these definitions, is not made clear. It seems like his logic slipped in his mind to where he forgot that in talking about a mixture as a potential subcategory of both sides, we're NOT saying that it's ever PURELY one side or the other.

I also suspect (but still am not sure) that he doesn't understand that fantasy physics and real-world physics can and often do coexist. Back to the LotR example -- gravity was expected to work normally, and so was the normal matter. The fact that magic also existed in the world would not give any physical reason why for example a helicoptor couldn't be made in that universe. Obviously, Tolkien didn't, because he wasn't GOING for science fantasy, just fantasy, but Bionicle IS going for it.

So... still not sure if that helps or not, but yeah. :)

"It 'can' be called Sci-Fi, but with terms that loose they are hardly indicative of anything."

They're indicative of things like robots, which Greg mentioned in the quote cited earlier when he adopted the questioner's wording of "a sci-fi story." :) Not rocket science here to see why he would do that. :P

"As for "there is a misconception going around that it's supposed to be hard science fiction (everything explained) and it isn't." I'm not entirely sure whether you are referring to Science-Fiction or Science Fantasy"
Although typos happen, in the context of this discussion which started by my agreeing I should address "Bionicle is sci-fi" as a misconception, I have no idea why you would think it likely enough to mention that this might be a typo for science fantasy here. :P But just to help you out anyways, it wasn't. :)

"if the former; I agree"
Then why are we even having this conversation about whether there's a misconception to address?? This was stated simply at the very start. Did you miss it?

"but when it comes to things that aren't explained at all (at least not to the point that they are considered "Surreal" as a genre, although a story can always have points of that, as a theme [As far as other pieces go {not-Bionicle}; I mean you can have a murder mystery for an arc, but out of 30 arcs your unlikely to list that as a genre for an entire piece, so it might not exactly be a theme but things get a bit blurry when it was a greatly influential arc, et cetera] but that's another can of worms!)"

Once again, I have no idea what the point of this is. No offense, Iblis, but you seem to have a tendency to begin a long sentence with something that seems to mean you're about to clarify something, but what comes after seems only to add more confusion. :shrugs:

Seriously, you may want to try to write these things out as drafts and wait a day or two before you post, and read them back slowly later and see if you can understand what you meant. It seems you might need the help to get around the problem of what you mean being clear in your head so that you can't see that it isn't clear in your wording for others to get. >_> That might give you enough time to partially forget it, and you might spot your confusing wordings more easily that way, and correct them.

I gathered from the open of this quote that you were going to talk about things being explained. But then it seemed to be about murder mysteries. And there were all these sudden and dramatic qualifiers like "as far as other pieces go" and "at least not to the point... although a story can always have points of that" etc. It's distracting. I think you're trying to say way too much, all at once. (A problem I have had myself, so I can relate. :P) I know that that kind of complexity can actually be easy to grasp in your head (I feel that way all the time), but hard to express in the linear format of text. Just slow down and try to describe each part of your argument completely before moving on to qualifiers, etc. and trust that we won't miss the qualifiers later. (You can also warn up front that people should read on to see the qualifiers.) And don't chase after every tangent in the same sentence! Cover one idea clearly and fully, and then you can move on to tangents later if you feel it's relevant. :)

"One needs to rely on how it was depicted & shown; its' style (genre: a style or category of art, music, or literature), & whilst the Great Beings have been described along the lines of being brilliant scientists, that's essentially equivalent to saying that they were systematic & had a great understanding of their, say 'magic'; it seems to me that in the case of Bionicle this is a great case of "

I assume this was a typo unfinished sentence. I think I actually got what's here more than most of what you say, though, ironically lol. I agree here, but notice that the simple label "science fantasy" (and even science fiction) doesn't say whether it's talking about the PRACTICE of science or whether it's OUR science. I get the sense that you are trying to use an argument about it being different physics and not our physics, because that is a major part of the definition of fantasy, but don't miss the difference between a wizard's study of magic and a scientist's study of the natural physics of his world (which may be different to ours).

Also, don't forget as said above that normal matter exists here, and for lot of things in Bionicle, especially protodermis, we don't know how much of it is just possible future scientific plausibility (even in our world) and how much might be the alternate universe's different physics. (And we likely will never know that, as the authors aren't intending to know HOW it works.)

I would suggest that the PRACTICE of science (as I mentioned somewhere, I think, in the topic) is more relevant to the genre question than the type of physics. Star Trek frequently has tie-ins to universes alternate to its own, and its own physics are not quite the same as the real world, but all of these are treated as science fiction elements, not fantasy, mainly because of the approach of the characters to it all as science (I would say science of the multiverse here, not just science of one universe). Fantasy is fantasy more for the lack of study of how it works (in terms of what makes it possible versus how to operate it).

Fantasy is somebody being given a computer and getting really skilled at how to use the software, sci-fi is somebody knowing how to build a computer. Science Fantasy is a little bit of both (which is probably most people :P).

(That's an analogy, of course, since computers DO exist... :P But the equivalent in a fictional world is what I'm talking about. Though again it's not necessarily that simple, and having alternate physics IS usually a big part of fantasy, if it's specified at all. Anywho, the misconception answer need not get into all of that anyways, and the point is that sci-fi, sci-fant, and fantasy are categories containing various versions.)

"That Science Fantasy is a mix of the two genres isn't really relevant"

No, as I've explained repeatedly, this is the most relevant part. Again, this is what helps resolve the common errors people make out of an assumption that it's meant to be just one or just the other.

"it could be considered a subset of Fantasy"

Yes, it COULD, but it's trivial (and it "could" be considered a subset of the other end too, as explained before). It doesn't make sense to me that you follow the previous quote about relevance with this. And the basic definition of science fantasy as a mixture of elements of both already implies this anyways, so I don't see the need to mention it specifically.

I haven't seen anybody having any major misconceptions related to the ability to recatgorize it as a subcategory of fantasy or a subcategory of sci-fi. The major issues come from people assuming it's pure one or the other, and it's in that light that a misconception correction makes sense to do. :) It seems to me you're just bringing this up since the subject happened to come up tangentially in discussion here, just for curiosity's sake. Nothing really wrong with that, but it's still trivial.

"in a somewhat similar way to Urban Fantasy being a subset of Fantasy"

Somewhat similar, yes, but different in that sci-fi, sci-fant, and fantasy are all overarching categories, with sci-fant simply being a mix of the two at the ends. Urban Fantasy is a specific subcategory in the normal sense of fantasy. (There could also be Urban sci-fant or Urban sci-fi, etc.) We're not talking about specifics here, in part because Bionicle often does a variety of the specifics (for example, albeit not with Earth cities, it does have urban areas in some of its stories but also has stories set in the wild or primitive survivor-makeshift villages.)

"Science Fantasy however, despite sharing many elements and tropes with Sci-Fi can not be considered a subset of it"

This absolute negative claim is disproven simply by me happening to consider it a subset of both ends (as of course it logically is!). :P And again, it makes no sense to say that a mix can be a subset of one end, but not of the other. Why would you even want to? This whole exercise is frankly bizarre.

As for tropes, this project will not be involving those, so please keep that in mind. Let's not overcomplicate things here. Leave that to TVTropes and the like. :P

"a mix of it yes, but not a subset, for many reasons already stated, of which I have yet to see refuted."

This statement (and a whole argumentative post before it) seem to be attached to the above idea (which is so off-topic to canonicity issues as to not even be worth discussing in the misconceptions topic anyways), but how exactly Iblis thinks he has given reasons backing up this claim, is not clear. I'm guessing it's the parts that were worded so confusingly earlier, but they weren't "refuted" because it's not clear what they're saying, or that they even intended to offer something up requesting refutation.

I'm going to hope for now that my earlier answer covers this (that Iblis has apparently confused being a mixture-subset for fitting the definition of one end exactly, but only doing this for one of the two ends for some reason).

This argument is very similar to a fallacy that we were warned about in that sci-fi and fantasy class I took that is out there. I could guess that Iblis got it from the people who promote that fallacy, but again, I don't put words in people's mouths.

"People talk about Star Wars being Fantasy in space for good reason; it's a Science Fantasy, but that isn't mutually exclusive with "Fantasy in Space with Advance Technology""

Correct... but neither is it mutually exclusive with "a mix of both sci-fi and fantasy" which is what it is. :) And it could also be called science fiction with pervasive "magic" (the Force). Actually, the latter is probably closer, but pinning down exactly where it falls on the spectrum is beyond the scope of this kind of project (or Bionicle). All that fans really need to know is that it's a mix, and I've seen the mistakes that this answer clears up happen enough to warrant it being included.

For the record, in case this is what all this extended debating is intended to do, no amount of discussion is going to change that -- the project simply answers common misconceptions and arguing a lot about trivial tangents isn't going to change that it's common... and Iblis seems to agree it's a misconception anyways, so this all seems pointless by his own admission. Buuuuuut.... just because he seemed to want answers to much, here's this blog entry. :P

It seems he is vaguely trying to argue about what the details mentioned in the answer should be, but I haven't seen any clear and simple attempt to provide a workable alternative, and approaching that argumentatively like this is not wise; instead he should have been simply making positive suggestions of things he thinks could be included. :) And I haven't even written a draft of the answer anyways, so why he seems to think he's arguing against a specific established answer is also unclear. I suspect as I said that it's largely based on actually misunderstanding that Greg quote that Boidoh posted, and this idea that a mix can be considered a subset of one side but not the other. (But this trivial tangent would not be worth mentioning either way, so why he's bothering I have no idea -- who cares about that? All they need to know is that it IS a mix.)

"however Science Fantasy is just as accurate as "FiSwAT" although Science Fantasy is a more useful label for sizing constraints if nothing else"
Exactly... so why all the early pointless objecting when I pointed out that "Science fantasy" summarizes all the various other ways that people say "it has some science and some magic"? (Or words to that effect like Regitnui's wording.)

"It also serves to show that Science Fantasy is a subset of Fantasy"
What "it" refers to here is not clear.

"anyone that called Star Wars Science-Fiction though would be rightly derided"
Derided, yes, but "rightly" depends on the circumstances. If somebody just called it that because they have, for example, a video categorization system that only has sci-fi and fantasy, all the spaceships and robots and stuff would almost certainly make it go under the sci-fi label. And if in a conversation somebody who didn't know about it asked, "Is it fantasy? Wizards and trees and stuff? Or sci-fi? Spaceships and lasers?" then if somebody said, "Sci-fi" (if that's all they had time to say, for example), nobody should really be deriding them because clearly the questioner wasn't asking about technicalities but just the basics.

But there too you see why the simplicity of the label "science fantasy" helps -- even if you don't have much time (or you're giving short answers as Greg usually does, or both), "It's both -- it's science fantasy" fills the bill. :)

"^(It might seem strange that (in these scenarios) something can be Fantasy + X, but something cannot be Sci-Fi + X"

Problem with this logic is that the X in the first is sci-fi, and the X in the second is Fantasy, so by putting variables in instead, you're obscuring the illogic of your argument. If you translate this back to "clearspeak", you just said that something can be fantasy + sci-fi but not sci-fi + fantasy!

The mathematical principle of commutation says that A + B is the same thing as B + A. Therefore, fantasy + sci-fi IS sci-fi plus fantasy!

And this is so obvious that everybody gets this intuitively, I'd say, even if they don't spot the error consciously as easily due to your using variables (BTW, you should have used a different variable for the second sentence, since X has a different value than in the first), which would be why it seems strange. ;)

" that is because nothing in the definitions of Fantasy exclude Sci-Fi"

The definition of fantasy is irrelevant here because we're talking about a mix! It does seem from this quote that I was right, that somewhere your logic slipped in your mind to forget that talking about a mixture as a subset is not talking about a purity.

And as I warned in the topic, don't rely too much on one specific wording of a definition. There are multiple definitions for both genres, and a lot of debate about what is the best definition. Ultimately the best definitions are the labels themselves -- science fiction means science fiction, and anything that could fit those words could apply in some sense or to some degree. :) In any event, nothing in the definition Iblis cited says anything about a mixture being reinterpreted as a subset being banned. (Or allowed, for fantasy.)

Iblis probably doesn't realize that those definitions are not prescriptive, but descriptive; listing common examples of things that have been done in existing stories of science fiction and fantasy, NOT limiting all possible future stories only to those examples. Really the basic concept of both genres is clear just from the names. :)

"& in fact (almost) all Sci-Fi could very, very technically be classified as a subset of Fantasy"

Two things here.

First, Iblis has been repeating "technically" over and over here. This is part of why I suspect he's taking the definitions he cited as prescriptive. There's very little room for "technicality" on this subject, though they are often invoked by those who use the fallacy warned about in that class. Genres are not about technicality but about generality, so that stories within them have flexibility for originality and their own styles, etc. :)

Second, this contradicts everything else Iblis has been saying in that tangent about subset-mix not being sci-fi. If all of sci-fi is a subset of fantasy (under a particular definition scheme), then obviously it's wrong to say that it's impossible for science fantasy to be a subset of fantasy.

But for the record, I will not being using that (obscure) definition scheme anyways. Instead, normally science fiction and fantasy are seen a basically equals under the category of "speculative fiction" or as I have called it, "physics fiction." (as opposed to more real-world based fiction like CSI). Science fantasy is the mixture of both, with there really being a spectrum between the two.

"however not all Fantasy could be Sci-Fi, thus Sci-Fi was given the attribute of excluding certain Fantasy elements (namely; magic), which can eb seen when one compares and contrasts their defintions and their uses..."

There's actually much more to it here (relevant to possible definitions of magic), but it's mostly way too tangential to get into here. Except that it IS relevant that Bionicle uses the "science you don't understand" definition for the magic, which makes any argument that it can't be seen as a sci-fi subset especially weird. (But actually, ALL fantasy COULD be viewed in light of that definition, whether the authors ever confirm that as the intent or not.) Plus, Bionicle doesn't even use the term magic! We're just calling some of it that as an extrapolation since it does use the term fantasy. (Well, I suppose Greg might have used it in answers that aren't coming to mind, but I mean it's not like Once Upon a Time or the like.)

bonesiii, on 23 Nov 2014 - 03:47 AM, said:

"""however if all of your reasoning was applied to Harry Potter it would probably be considered a Sci-Fi"

?? I'm not aware of elements of science fiction in HP."

Of course there aren't any but some of the reasoning you use looks flexible enough that you could classify is as that if you wanted to debate it."

What reasoning he means, or why, he doesn't explain. In any event, I disagree. (I can only guess that he's talking about the spectrum concept fishers quoted from me. My answer to this part in the topic went into more detail on why I disagree, presuming he was confusing any real-world physics for science fiction, or real-world tech, like cars. Still not 100% sure that's what he meant though.)

"EXACTLY! ^([To be clear, I was pointing out how absurd your line of reasoning looks to me.])"
Yet another clarification that seems to only add confusion. It looks like he's simultaneously agreeing strongly with me, and also calling it absurd. Huh?

"But your over-classifying Sci-Fi by allowing magic into it"

I can only guess at what's happening here, but it seems like at this point Iblis has lost all sense of perspective of the conversation we were having. I was not classifying magic as part of sci-fi. I was classifying it as part of fantasy and science fantasy. We only got into the hypothetical of if it was ever okay to loosely call the mixture a subset of both ends because of his own (no offense but bizarre) argument that you can't... for one end but oddly not for the other!

I was answering that only because he seemed to WANT answers to it, and as a logician these kinds of thought puzzles interest me. It's not some basic thesis of mine, or something that would ever come up in a misconception answer. He's literally the only person I've ever seen raise the issue in all my ten years here!

And since we're talking about an intentionally loose style of definition anyways (a mix isn't NORMALLY seen as a subset, we're just talking about if you COULD see it that way), I don't see how you can get "over" here anyways. It seems to me that would only come in if we were talking about the most reasonable definition scheme, in which case I wouldn't talk about it as a subset at all. I talk about it as a spectrum, since that's the most logical understanding. :)

"the existence of magic in the Bionicle World ^([Who decided to actually call the Great Spirit Robot the Matoran Universe? They get no cookies from me.])"

Now it seems we're off on yet another yellowbrick tangent... or possibly two.

First, to the more noticeable bit here, Iblis seems to have missed the nonliteral, and perception-based point of "Matoran Universe." The term makes sense because the Matoran didn't know there was anything beyond it. And that's all it ever meant.

Second, it's not fans that "allow magic in Bionicle", it's the story team, etc. But again I'm guessing that this is the same misunderstanding of that Greg quote as saying PURE sci-fi, rather than what it plainly means, that the PARTS of the story he and the questioner were talking about there were sci-fi. So hopefully he's clear on that now...

"Maybe so, but he has said it was a Sci-Fi, which is patently not what he delivered"

I quoted this in the topic too, but repeating it here to make it clear that this is the main part that makes me think Iblis didn't grasp that Greg wasn't saying Bionicle is pure science fiction in that quote. Somehow he also seems to have missed my pointing out that it was also Greg who called it science fantasy. :shrugs:

"It's a Science Fantasy. Not Sci-Fi, Fantasy. According to the Wikipedia articles they blend into each other, but unless someone can show me why letting something in that has an alter-physics which aren't compatible with present understandings of the universe; it's what some of us call 'magic'"

Several things here.

First, is the "but" here meant to say that Iblis is disagreeing with the spectrum view?

Second, he seems to be forgetting that it isn't meant to be our universe. Or else, I can't see where else he's going witht that part.

Third, calling the different elements magic is hardly inconsistent with it being a blend!

I would need those things cleared up before I could try to answer his "show me why". Also I think he left out an "is okay" or something in the grammar of his "unless someone can show me why [doing this] (is okay? Is reasonable?), [then] XYZ" wording.

"(I've already talked about what specific type[s] it is)."

I have no idea what this refers to.

"Sci-Fi can't have magic that isn't ultimately a sufficiently advanced technology with respect to the laws of our universe."

This is irrelevant here since Bionicle isn't set in our universe, but just for accuracy's sake, this statement is erroneous as it commits the fallacy of the (unsupported) universal negative.

It COULD work as an arbitrary definition scheme to apply for personal categorization purposes but that is not what a misconception answer in this project would do. The basic definition of science fiction is its name -- fiction about science -- and characters in another universe doing science is obviously fiction (partially) about science. Science is a process of investigation of the world you live in. That our science only applies to our world is true only because we happen to be IN this world.

"Sci-Fi is about speculative technologies"

Correct... like Star Trek's warp drive, or Bionicle's giant robot. :) Notice that as far as we know, warp drive is not possible, but Star Trek treats in in this sense: "If we make a future discovery enabling it, it works like that, but if we later find proof it is not possible in the real world, it's an alternate universe where it is."

This is basically the idea behind speculative physics-fiction, both sci-fi AND fantasy; the distinction is primarily in that in sci-fi, the characters are trying to understand how it works (or things similar to this somehow or another, like "understanding it offscreen"), while in fantasy they don't. Sometimes it's just said outright (like with Bionicle) that some of it isn't meant to be like our world. Sometimes, like with Tolkien, even fantasy is said outright to be our world (with an alternate past in that case).

"This shouldn't even matter as Bionicle doesn't offer any speculative techologies in it's universe"

Another of those universal negatives, and frankly strange for a story that has been about apparent-robots from the start, and has a giant robot, etc.

After this point, I brought up Iblis' apparent misunderstanding of that Greg post. He hasn't posted after that point, so not sure if he did or didn't, but it looks that way. I also decided in part in that post and a few posts after to move this discussion to here. Hopefully if anything still isn't clear, we can discuss it in comments to this blog entry. :)


Micro-Bionicle, and 2 sketches

Posted by bonesiii , Jul 13 2014 · 372 views

I've just launched an LDDE MOC project to make lotsa Bionicle stuff at Minifig and similar scales, as System MOCs (primarily). I'm starting mostly with Rahi, and the first batch is up! Plus, a Kini-Nui is thrown in.

Posted Image

Going with one of the MOCs, and releasing early, is some more art for my retelling:
Posted Image

And in case you missed it, recently I also released a sketch of the Mask of Creation.



Bionicle Retelling is Here!

Posted by bonesiii , Feb 26 2014 · 667 views

Posted Image

Beginning of the intro comments copied from the review topic's firstpost:
The Bionicle is the bio-chronicle, the records and legends of life of the Agori alien species and its various subspecies, and primarily the artificial sapient lifeforms known as Matoran and the other inhabitants of the Matoran Universe. One of the most important themes in the official Bionicle story is destiny. And such is the stuff of this story. I have sought to tell a brand new story with new mysteries, and yet blend this with a complete retelling of the canon story, chronologically from a point before the Core War.
As always, any comments, questions, constructive criticism, and favorite details you want to mention in a review would be appreciated. I'd be especially interested to hear theories about the non-canon mysteries I've included. Please note, this story is entirely a standalone, unrelated to my other fan fiction, so there is absolutely no need to read any of my other stories first.


Coming This Week!

Posted by bonesiii , Feb 24 2014 · 547 views

I'm officially ready to post the first chapter at least of my Bionicle retelling. Ran into a new problem in reposting the end of my previous fanfic, The Perfect Cage (apparently BZP has drastically shortened the maximum post length since the latest software update, and the final chapter and epilogue got cut off). Will repost final bit of epilogue tomorrow. Then I will get The Destiny of Bionicle up.
After posting the first chapter this week, I plan to post one chapter per week, at least until Chapter 10.
Then, since I haven't actually finished writing the whole story yet (but I'm sure enough about where it's going that I don't need to delay launch anymore), if I haven't got it all written by then I may take a break until it's all done, then continue posting.
-Original form of Vorox & Zesk -- TOP PRIORITY; need this for early chapters
-Karzahni plant
-EP entity
-giant jellyfish Rahi
-Tahtorak on home island, Keetonguan riding
-weird mutant scorpion
Some of these and others from the previous entry about art needed may be being done by some artists, but as of yet I haven't seen them. The only one that is urgent for now is the Vorox/Zesk.
Progress I have made on my own art for it since last update:
-several (classified for now) Agori and Glatorian non-canon characters
-Agori Alphabet (see BZP topic here -- and now includes sketch version!)
-Spirit's Wish Gate (with name written in my version of Agori)
-SM map sketch for locations in first 10 chapters (probably won't be displayed in the actual story but will be in the review topic firstpost, and later the appendix file)
-An LDD small-scale interpretation of the giant robot, designed to show the Red Star booster rocket attaching, plus a slightly larger version of the head
-a sketch of the Red Star based on the above
-LDD interpretation of Tahu "Re-Mata'ed", with and without Golden Armor
-something classified in LDD
-And this likely won't actually be used, but the LDD Matoran HF Masks project (see BZP topic) showing all Matoran element color schemes
One more urgent thing I need for early chapters is Annona, but I have requested permission for one on deviantart. So far haven't heard back. If I don't in time, I'll probably just slap together a sketch myself. I have figured out how to color sketches in GIMP now (two of the above are colored so far, not sure how many more I'll color), so if I do it I'll color it. And, if nobody tries for the Zesk and Vorox original forms in time I may try them myself too.
But, I think I'll take a break from art for now and get back to writing the final ten chapters.
Look for another blog entry before this week is over linking to the story!


Taia = Matoran Universe

Posted by bonesiii , Feb 10 2014 · 1,174 views

So, I have gotten to the part of my retelling where Makuta takes over, and I "discovered" (having apparently never consciously noticed) that officially, he nicknames the MU the "Makutaverse" at that time. I like the idea of him naming it after himself, but Makutaverse sounds hopelessly silly. For one thing, it's a fusion of both English and Matoran.
I got to thinking, though -- what if I come up with a Matoran word for "universe", and mix THAT with Makuta?
Looking into the Maori, I found a word for realm that is similar to (my shortened version here) Taia. Makutaia sounds cool, and even evokes his old lair, the Mangaia.
Also, Taia is WAY more concise than "Matoran Universe" and also avoids the acronym which looks like a cow is yelling. :P
Or, longer version, Matoran Taia.
Likey no likey?

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"Why in the world am I calling him Brave Knight Binkmeister?! That term sounds... nice. It makes him sound like a hero! NO!!! He's my enemy! No, no, henceforth he shalt be known as 'Cowardly Scum Binkmeister'!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"Yes, my new minion, you now see the dastardly plans BZP members have--they seek to avoid my floods by getting on in the morning or the late evening, or worse, the nighttime. Sauron might have been a sleepless creature of the night, but personally I can't stand coffee. But not to worry! You, my friend, will go out and enslave the members. You will sit enthroned on their shelves, hung from their walls like a cursed mark, and wrapped around their wrists like handcuffs. Even they shalt know the constraints of time! Behold, the Evil Clock!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"What is that you sayeth, Evil Clock? BZPower is now five long years old? So what? I am thousands upon thousands of years old! I am, in fact, as old as the ocean that I command with my floods! I am even older than clocks like you! What's that? Yeah, yeah, but I just don't feel like AARP is for me..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"What do you mean, I'm not speaking in proper Old English? I am Lord Survurlode. If I say this is Old English, it iseth!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"What doth mine eyes spyeth? I see-eth a member attempting to posteth! No! I shalt not alloweth it! Rise, ye Floodes! Riseth! ...What? No, I ameth noteth tryingeth hardereth to speaketh Oldeth Englisheth! Ye Silly Clocke!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"No, I am NOT an April Fool's Joke! Just because my power increases tenfold on that day doesn't mean my existence depends on it."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"Frodo? Why would I be scared of him? He sailed off to the West--it means he died, yo! Besides, the One Refresh cannot be melted in some volcano. It would take a... No, wait... Sorry, that information is classified. Muahahahaha!"

--Evil Lord Suvurlode

"The term 'Yo' can be Old English! Yeesh!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"See, my problem is that I am far older than Old English. To me it's that newfangled slang those Anglo-Saxon types speak. You'll forgive me if I get it confused with the five million different versions that came out since then. Yes, you will. Or else."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


--Evil Lord Survurlode's
Kopeke Impression

"What do you mean, it's really 'Mount Doomah?!'"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"You are getting veeery sleepy. You need more Bubble Wrap. That's right, little member. Wallow in bubble wrap forever. Say it with me now. 'Must. Have. More.'"

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"Brave Knight--I mean, Cowardly Sponge Binkmeister has attempted to attacketh me once again! But lo, I am-- What? Sponge? Is that what I said? I meant Scum. Brave Scum Binkmeister-- What now? Oh, be quiet, minion."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"No, I am not a girl!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
on his power over water

"Muahahahahahahahaha*cough* *hack* *gurgle* ..... *ahem* Must remember to watch the evil laugh when the floodwaters get that high..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

"Oh, that's an easy question. See, Sauron's One Telephone Ring looked like a metal ring, right? Well, the One Refresh looks like a ring made out of those green arrows... like on that refresh button up there. Wait... why am I telling you this?!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
in a BZP interview

"No, I do not get rusty! This is Stainless Steel! What? Yes, yes! They had stainless steel thousands of years ago. Yeesh."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

Gallery Of Explosions

Because explosions are the answer.


"While it's all well and good for someone to turn the other cheek in daily life, in times of great hardship another thought comes to mind instead; namely that one cannot turn a blind eye to the actions of evil and still call himself good."

"This is a discussion forum for a reason; it's a place where opinions can be discussed and debated civilly, not where one person can claim their opinion as fact and all others as "just opinions." Every person should, however, support their opinions with facts and evidence of all kinds."

"'The challenge of being a Biological chronicler is understanding why Lego are using another method to sell better. It gets boring using the same ones all the time. Variety is the spice of selling, after all.'
— A Biological chronicler"

"I could convince a thousand people that the moon is made of cheese... and yet it would remain as rocky as ever."

"This is simple, people! If it hurts to hit yourself with a hammer, then don't do it!"

"A famous drummer sits down to do a drum solo, but he has to keep his solo up for five minutes. Does he do all his amazing stuff first? no! If he did that, he would loose all attention because the end would be so boring. If he were smart, he would start out with something simple, and then add to its complexity as he goes along, so that more people would be into it.

The point is, writing either a drum solo, or is like a mountain, the bigger the base, the higher it can get, and the more amazing it is. Think about it, when building a mountain of dirt or sand, you need to slowly create your huge base, then as you build towards the peak things get faster and easier to pile on. The High points are where the story is fast paced and we are reaching the climax--what we just left on the last mountain of story we had (the MU story arch), and now Greg is building a new story mountain for us."

Gallery Of Galaxies

~through the macroscope~


92% of people have moved on from Gregorian chants. If you are part of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy and paste this into your sig.

Least Favorite Edit Of Your Least Favorite Post On Your Most Favorite Day Of The Month?

Secret Info: The Red Star is Tahu's mobile space mansion, complete with servants.

Join the petiton for ban bad grammer toady!

9009 Ways To Say "I Heart Spam"

92% of all teenagers claim they're in the 8% that hasn't moved on to rap.
If you are part of the 0% that still uses real math, copy and paste this into your sig.

What Is Your Alter-Ego's Imaginary Friend's Least Favorite Pet Collar?

Certificates Of Approval

Various award imagery and suchnot:

(Above from Makaru; resized to fit.)

(Resized to fit.)

The above earned twice.

Certificates Of Approval

Part 2

Needs sized down

Needs sized down

/This blog has been approved by \
/-For demonstrating outstanding-\
/~~~~RHYME and REASON~~~~\


Logic is the key.

I am insane. I know that I am insane. In fact, I know that I am so insane, that I am incapable of realizing that I am insane. Therefore, I know that I am not insane.

Forgetting things since.... umm....

Creativity should not be confused with nuclear weapons.

I heart logic.

Only dead things do not change. Much.

Pay attention now. Repeat after me. "Bones. Can. Be. Wrong."

The problem is, "Tradition for tradition's sake" is like flying blind in an airplane. It's like saying as you approach a mountain "But we've always flown in this direction before... why would we change direction? It isn't the tradition!"

Remember that -- clever absurdity, designed to harmonize with certain tastes, is the key to originality.


People are like snowflakes. No two are the same.

Yes, the Toa will win somehow. But let me give you a challenge. Write a story. In which the good guys win, or the bad guys win, doesn't matter. But write it with only introducing the challenges that the winner must overcome, and avoid showing how the winner wins. Just set up the problem, then skip to the end:

"In the end, this character wins, somehow."

Now, do you think this is a successful format for a story, that anybody would really want to read? [...] Readers demand that you as writer have thought through the "how" of the story.

Where is this idea coming from?


[L]et's not mince words here -- all LEGO products are toys. It's a toy company, in the toy business. There's nothing wrong with that.

[A] wise Daoist once said that a name is merely a label. If a person calls me a "nerd", then that is their label for me. If a person calls me a "human", that is a label. If they call me "bonesiii", that is a label. I would simply reply that, if "nerd" is the term they wish to apply to me, like "human", then so be it -- I would thus be proud of that label, because I am proud of who I am.

I'm not telepathic.

I don't know if this is just the way I'm wired, but I don't really think like "hey, wanna be my friend?" I just be myself, treat others with respect and friendliness, and those who would make good friends just sorta show up. And I really don't think like "well, you're not my friend, you are, you aren't" etc. Anybody can be my friend.

*revives topic, only to kill it seconds later*

My two pieces of eight.

Ha ha! Voriki myth still isn't dead? It's been so long since the constant flow of these topics stopped I guess I thought Voriki had finally kicked the bucket. Well, I hate to put another nail in the old guy's coffin, but...

Topic closed.

I Heart Logic


Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of complaint topics in July!

I think Evil Lord Survurlode is out to get me.

Bionicle doesn't revolve around ANY one fan. Not even you.

Bionicle does NOT age with its fans.

If something absolutely has to be done for the greater good, it is by definition NOT evil.

Think, guys, think! You have brains! Use them!

Logic is not some meaningless buzzword you can throw around like pie, at least not as long as I, an actual logician, am here.

Common myth. The answer is: "Yes, if you are an ancient Greek."

Last I checked, most of us aren't ancient Greeks. tongue.gif Some of us are ancient Geeks, but...

Besides, show me a brown rock, and I'll use your logic on you. "That's not a rock, it's hardened lava."

The best symbol of stone would be gray. But it would probably sell almost as bad as brown -- LEGO needed a "flashy" color, more like what Ta, Ga, and Le Toa have.

Do not insult cheese.

Omi's right.


(Four eight fifteen sixteen twenty-three... *ahem*)

Logic! Why don't they teach logic in these schools?

Can you imagine MNOG ending with the Turaga and Matoran executing Ahkmou?

So here's the question: If LEGO working harder by listening to fans is "lazy", then wouldn't they be "lazy" if they listened to you -- a fan?

You don't need to hate to say it.

Four extra letters. "Bionicle sets." How hard is that?

Actually, three extra letters since the s just moves.

If they are "Bionicles", then you are "History".

BZPers are often the exception, not the rule.



Of course it's cruel -- did you think bad guys were Mother Teresa?

It isn't like I hide it, but it also isn't like I go up to random students at college at say "Hey, I like Bionicle, isn't that something?!"

One man's junk is another man's treasure.

I had the same theory in ages past, and Greg personally disproved it.

The thing can destroy time, man. You guard those kinda things.

Brevity is the soul.

Which I suppose is a fancy way of saying, "I have no idea."

I attack my own theories. I'm weird like that.

If only books could be updated like web pages.

Bionicle was supposedly a betrayal of everything LEGO stands for, its pieces far too clunky, a horrible turn away from the more "intelligent" Technic and a total stabbing in the back of the good old brick, an insult to AFOLS, evidence of a mythical trend away from the construction toy, far too violent, etc.

It's really pretty simple:

Gadunka is one of the "coolest" sets ever. Most inventive, most unusual, most striking. Thus, he is horrible.

Of course they're weird. All Bionicle names are supposed to be weird. Show me the Bionicle name that is "normal".

You just completely contradicted yourself. If Mata Nui was working out great, then wouldn't Metru Nui have made less money?

If that's greedy, then you are greedy for driving in a car to get somewhere far away fast, for wearing shoes so you can walk at a reasonable pace without cutting your feet, using silverware to better eat your food, using a telephone to avoid having to make a trip and speak, using a computer to type a forum post when you could walk personally to everybody's house and speak what you just said over and over and over again.... At least 2000 times to account for all the possible active BZP members, and preferably about five million times -- and you'd have to go door to door throughout the whole world to even figure out which people were Bionicle fans anyways before you started confusing monks in Tibet with strange words like "Kongu" and "Cordak". All within your own lifetime, regardless of whatever else you had wanted to do in your life.

And forget speech. You have to scratch out the message with your fingernails in stone. Then maybe you wouldn't be greedy. Maybe.

Nobody would surprise me, so it's probably Makuta. But I went with Hydraxon, because he's a weapons master and it would make sense, no?

Why didn't I think of that earlier?

I don't just ask rhetorical questions -- I answer them.

I knew you'd say that.

You're a body with a head. So what?

A simple conversion is not a business plan to actually get two radically different markets to behave as if they were the same.

Um, hello? Are my posts invisible?

Universe go poof.

We All Live In An


I hate typing Roman numerals above three.

I always find these topics funny -- everybody goes in circles, pointing to the exact same aspect of the set and going "See that? So it's obvious it's horrible! How can you not see that?", and then someone else saying, "See that? It's obvious it's awesome! How can you not see that?"

Obviously, not everybody sees I to I.

They have their uses -- like if you're making a MOC that's supposed to be a light green faceless humanoid.

I hate it when I can't tell if someone's joking.

Yes, that's an excuse to be lazy.

Hold on just a second. I think you have things backwards. Mata Nui was not paradise -- it was a place of horror and war for a thousand years!


I'm a logician. I can tell you that your argument does not merely sound illogical. It is.

Yeah, that'd be bad. Next question?

We'd still have wooden ducks, no plastic bricks, and definately no LEGO if change was prevented. Really, we wouldn't even have that.

It is unfortunate that it's this way (at least for us). But it is. We might as well come to grips with it.

And I walk away in peace.

You have no idea how many times I've read this style of opening to this kind of topic, man. I must admit I am very very tired of it.

*deeeeep breath*

*shakes head madly*

Okay, I'm good.

My memory doesn't go back that far.

If I didn't agree with something, I'd try to find out the reasons for it before doing anything else, which is something I think some people forget to do and instead they dig themselves a hole for no reason.

Lol, I think you missed the point -- BR isn't going to think your forum deserves approval if he has to be told it exists.

I'm a coolomaniac.

But I like spam!

This is not a country. This is a website. Countries are led by governments. Websites are owned by owners. Countries are places you physically exist in, and may have difficulty leaving. Websites are places YOU choose to go. Countries are places you may be born in, or grow up in, etc.

BZPower is a place YOU sign an agreement in order to join. Blame cannot be placed on us when a member violates that agreement. And if a member chooses not to like that agreement anymore, they are free to leave at will. If a member violates the agreement they made with us, we are justified in punishing the member as agreed.

I'm a logician -- I think in terms of what makes sense all the time. I don't just agree -- I know why I agree, and I think my reasons are pretty sound.

If I'm breaking a rule, it's because I gave myself permission to allow myself an exception, thus I am not technically breaking it.

[A]lthough Evil Lord Survurlode does seem to be making a bit of a comeback, just like Sauron, so we might have an epic war that will spawn a novel and three giant books of a trilogy soon... but yeah...

I object to the wording of this question.


I'm A Doctor, Not A Great Being

_bonesquotes #whatever

Ever had one of those moments where you think you just passed into an alternate timeline? This is one. ()_o

Rants are based on pompous egos and desire to pick a fight. Not intelligence.

The Monster on LOST is Makuta.

Cynics are some of the most naive people on the planet. They hear someone claim things are bad, and they accept it without question.

I'm a realist with an imagination.

I blame Survurlode.

You see a flamer, your response should not be to just flame him back -- you lower yourself to his level if you do.

Let's open that can of worms, as unpleasant as it might be. [...] *I'm not afraid of you, worms!*

"Transformation" can be as simple as a bomb rearranging a building into a debris field.

Far better to be proven wrong than to be wrong without knowing it.

I remember when I was a kid, and I was just playing around, I didn't know this stuff, so I said gas prices were five dollars at my play gas station.

My dad laughed, said gas would never be that expensive.

Toa carrying rifles... as they ride their space shuttles into... Klingon territory...

Kazi [ha]s Rahkshi staffs. (Oooh, Kazi=evil??)

Take an election between two candidates. Obviously, both candidates will get votes. However, one will get more votes, and one will get less. You would be, in this example, voting for the one with less votes (Mr. Olderfanson). You see why the fact that you, one person, did vote for that guy, doesn't prove that he won the election? [...] "Mr. Newerfanson" won the election.


In general, I do enjoy debates--but I don't enjoy being flamed, no. Nor do I enjoy wasting time when I have tons of PMs I need to reply to and top secret reference projects to work on and all that responding to things that could have been cleared up with more thought before posting, heh. Debates can still get tedious when it seems (please note "seems"!) that a few people refuse to approach them with an open mind.


I didn't even spell "the" right.

Lol. I never said I'm always right! Yeesh, what do I have to do to convince you guys I don't think that? Purposefully take wrong positions or something?

Guess what? I could draw before I learned to write, but does that mean I should get all huffy and insulted at the fact that not everybody shares my particular talent? This is just absurd, isn't it? Did you honestly think that everybody has the same talents and gains proficiency at the same time?

When someone much older than you was a kid, LEGO was wooden toys. [fogie teeth voice]"These newfangled plastic things are insulting! As if there isn't money to be made in good old fashioned woodblock toys!"[/fogie teeth voice]

Can we sing kumbaya yet? Sing it! Koooooooo----oom---bah-----yaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Or something... Sing it! You don't even have to agree with me! Just sing it anyways, maaan!


Your mistake is that you are thinking in terms of a simplistic "formula" of strength, and thinking that can be used to predict everything. It can't--every situation is different, and sometimes a weak Matoran might catch a glimpse of a passing Rahkshi while a powerful "Toa Ultimaultrasuper" might get blasted to bits when the same Rahkshi actually attacks. You need to be realistic--think in terms of the situation. Stories are based on that--they are a "game of seconds and inches" where dangers both big and small can occur to both powerful and weak people, and how you perform depends on your brains and the time you have to prepare more than your actual power level.

Why did the entirely robotic Bohrok need teeth? Someone explain how that is okay but teeth in Piraka isn't?

Phew. Now, to post, and see if I maxed the text limit out.

Yabo! Hahaha!

_bonesquotes #whatever.2

Thanks X. Thanks D. Thanks X and D. XD

I lazy.

You can make any innovation look bad if you point to the non-innovative ways (the old "normal" ways) and claim they must be followed blindly.

But what I don't get about it is -- why the apparent desire to kill characters off for no reason? In real life you meet tons of people who you will never meet again, and they're not dead. Is that to you a problem? I don't get it -- you'd go insane if you tried to stay in touch with every random old lady that said hi when you were walking the dog...

Yes, my post in this topic is product placement. So sue me.

In addition, high gravity affects spacetime on a fundamental level, slowing time down and bending the spatial brane. Not to be confused with the spacious brain.

It would create a field of electrogravimetry that would pull all nearby matter in and then make it explode. The explosion cloud would take the form of an anchovy.

There's only a slim chance that we exist.

I love taking myself out of context.

I think it's admirable to be careful not to offend people where it makes sense. But at some point, you have to be willing to stand up for yourself and be confident enough that if someone comes at you with an unreasonable accusation, you don't take it.

I think aliens invaded already and have fooled us into thinking they are mere animals who "meow".

Good stories aren't puppet shows. They are tales of life, with realistic characters -- people -- living out their lives, with really minimal "guiding" by the author.

Oh goody, a complainer to blast to oblivion.

To begin with, I disagree strongly with pretending it is "killing off", rather than a serious story being told, with serious themes and life in the story. Characters aren't "killed off". They die.

I find this term somewhat offensive, because it implies the writer kills the character like a TV show host telling a contestant to leave. This is not a game show. It is the events of the storyline that kill the character. That term is merely a psychological shield to avoid the emotion of the moment in the story. IMO, that's a kind of immaturity.


You can't always get what you want "now now now". Your logic makes no sense -- if you want to know what's in the books, that means you support the books' existence. Yet you apparently want spoilers to go up the day it's out, so in the countries where it is bought, people could just read the spoilers and not buy the book, risking its sales going down and the books ending, and thus no more spoilers for you to read!

Truth = Truth. And nothing else.

I had spammed ten thousand times.

A good comedy is a development, like a story, not a punchline. You start with a situation, and it goes in unexpected, funny ways, which leads into other twists, to a conclusion that often can be more serious than funny, avoiding random cliches and developing enough logic that it doesn't feel like you slapped random nonsense down. Comedies Forum has this bad rap of having a lot of Unfunny Stuff -- I think it's the temptation to write short punchlines drawing on typical one-liner cliches that causes this. The 300 word rule is a good basic start to avoiding that problem.

Dude. My voting precint is a "23". ph34r.gif

And what people are saying about randomosity is true -- I hope that it's not surprising that as a logician, I understand how to be funny (though I won't try in this post ). Logic isn't for Spock who refuses to smile -- you actually need logic in your comedy to make it funny. In my experience, a balance of logic and random nonsense helps -- even logic OF the random nonsense.

I highly recommendate it.

Another mistake a lot of people make is thinking a comedy must be 100% funny -- reality is that that tends to just overwhelm the reader and come off more as spam. If you look at my Survurlode interviews, for example, there is always at least one serious theme that the whole work revolves around. The serious aspects support the humorous, and vice versa.

*strongly approves of the use of the term "bionical"*

Well, my observation has always been the opposite -- more established official facts inspires MORE fan imagination -- at least with imaginative official facts. It was really only once the "gappists" starting complaining, in my observation as a 2003+ member here, about "tons of official facts" that I saw the fanfiction community here really explode with creativity.

Think about it -- imagination feuls imagination. Less imagination doesn't -- it starves imagination.

Search My Blog

_bonesquotes #whatever.3

How much wood would a woodwood wood if a woodwood would would wood?

But my point related to that isn't that I literally think it should be FULLY sun-sized. I'm just saying, there's a whole range, from a little larger than Earth, to a LOT larger, to a TONTONZILLION larger, and it's all possible if the story team just feels like it.

*imagines massive asteriod pulling out a pirate's telescope lol*

GD is NOT for storyline-only discussion. That discussion belongs in S&T.

S&T policies are designed for good reasons, tried, tested, and they work.

Sure I'm sure -- it's Bionicle. Anything's possible.

I never understand these claims -- how do you know what "proportionate" is for that character? He's a fictional character, made out of plastic LEGO parts.

So why get annoyed at it? When you look at a giraffe, do you get annoyed? It makes no sense to me to do so.

Besides, you're setting yourself up for it. Nobody ever told you these characters were supposed to be exactly human.

If you look at an ape, would you say it's done wrong, just because it resembles a human?

I plan not to, but I guess if the site shut down I'd kinda have to, wouldn't I?

...they usually give their jokes when they have the upper hand at the moment, though, or when they've just run into a frustrating difficulty that's not immediately dangerous, which are realistic IMO. When they're in immediate danger, I am not aware that they pause to crack jokes.

I strongly disagree -- everybody capitalizes their name. It's cliche.

(I do not capitalize because 1) I hate being cliche, and 2) it is symbolic of humility.)

I knew you'd say that.

Seriously though, obviously the focus groups like silver, guys -- there's no mystery, those of you portraying it as odd that LEGO keeps using the color. This is how personal taste works -- it differs, and you're gonna find yourself in the minority sometimes. Best get used to it -- that's life.

*lets self dp*

I'm not a soldier, but I know that keeping your sense of humor alive even in dangerous or serious situations can be a huge boon to keeping your sanity.

He who forgets how to laugh forgets how to live.

I heart silver. My favorite metallic. If I had my way, gold would be considered lesser than silver.

The red eye thing is the closest thing you have to evidence, but I could argue that Berix is the traitor for spending time away from the villages, or Ackar is the traitor because his name sounds like Admiral Ackbar and there was a traitor in Star Wars called Darth Vader.

Ultimately it comes down to this for me -- YOU choose to dissapointed or miserable.

If you expected the universe to be perfect, that was your choice, and really not very sensible of you.

If I as a writer were to try to appeal to the attitude you express in your post, I would feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells. Everytime I had a cool idea how to use a character, or more importantly logic told me the character naturally would be involved in something, I would have to worry about whether I shouldn't do it as it might offend someone.

That's a miserable way to write, and I wouldn't wish that on the story team, myself, or anyone.

But one thing. Everyone expects something when they do something.

Very true. For example, when I posted the above post, I expected somebody to reward me with this point, giving me an excuse to discuss it in a separate post so as to give it better focus.

Therefore, the more "things to expect" from a "donation or whatever the heck you want to call it", the more likely we get mooooolaaaaaaaa. Therefore good.

I don't see what the anology has to do with this. "Chevys" (or "Chevies") makes sense. Like "Keets" or Morby or my personal favorite for Makuta -- Terry Mack. "Biological Chronicles" referring to beings makes no sense. And as I typed this, a Chevy ad came on TV. They called it "Chevy." Seriously, exact same time.

Oh my, you're completely irrelevant metaphor makes you look sooo intelligent.

This is obviously getting out of hand, so I guess I have to close it. Also, you failed to answer my question. When a moderator asks you a question, answer it. Capisce? wink.gif

Please do not attack people like that. That is flaming, or at best trolling, both of which are not allowed.

What does a premier member buy?

1) YOUR right to be on here for free.

2) Their right to be on here.

3) PM perks, like poll-making, blogs, etc.

4) Proto.

No matter how you slice it, sending in that money is NOT just buying proto. Even if proto is all they want, they're still buying YOUR right to be on here for free. Yall should be grateful.


IPB Image