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Bionicle's Genre Discussion Continued...

bonesiii

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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:

 

http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/15829-bionicle-generation-1-misconceptions-discussion-topic/?p=785152

 

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.)

 

"So:

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.

 

Also:

 

"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 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. :)

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Oh jeez, Bonesiii's post has reached critical mass! It's gonna blow! :wacko:

 

I guess I can say thanks for making my own posts feel less long and tedious. :P

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My thoughts are in essence:
 
Bionicle is Science Fantasy.
 
Science Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy (but not a sub-genre of Science Fiction).
 
I don't understand what the fallacy is about calling something that takes elements of category A & category B, being a part of category B, but not category A if category A is defined in a way that elements of B don't fit in; category B in this case is in this case Sci-Fi.
 
As far as genres go;
 

The definition I use for Fantasy is: "imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world".

The definition I use for Science Fiction is: "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".
 

If one interprets that definition of Sci-Fi in a way that Sci-Fi doesn't prohibit Magic, then it's essentially on a lower hierarchical level than Fantasy, where the two sometimes overlaps, and ultimately any speculative technology isn't proven, and thus could be seen as magical; thus all Sci-Fi would technically be a sub-genre of Fantasy ...which doesn't seem very productive.

 

As that line of reasoning doesn't seem to be be common practice, and generally Sci-Fi & Fantasy seem to be viewed on the same level, then I think viewing Science Fiction as excluding the Supernatural is the logical conclusion (the alternative doesn't look productive).

As far as I'm concerned Magic isn't a speculative advancement; it is supernatural; & whilst things sometimes appear to be other than what they are; Bionicle contains things that really don't fit inside the realms of speculative possibilities; as such it no longer fits inside the bounds of Sci-Fi; but it does still fit inside the bounds of Fantasy; thus it is a Fantasy.
 
However Bionicle does contain many Sci-Fi elements so whilst it doesn't fit the definition of Sci-Fi, it certainly also fits the definition of Science Fantasy.
 
Thus "Bionicle is not Science Fiction", although "Bionicle is Fantasy", and more accurately (or rather, informative) "Bionicle is Science Fantasy" are all true (& "Bionicle is Science Fiction" is patently false).
 
Your comparison to Venn diagrams is to simple: both Fantasy & Science Fiction have a definition; the definition of one of them is more limiting than the other.
 
That Bionicle has contained robots is a Science Fiction element or trope; that Bionicle has magical things that can't be explained with anything speculative without completely rewriting physics (which isn't speculative physics in the sense that it isn't possible; it is essentially impossible).

 

("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."

Wasn't the reasoning [i intended] to use. It isn't about 'purity' of tropes and elements used; it is whether any tropes or elements violate a definition. Robots are generally considered to be a Sci-Fi element, an element which isn't prohibited by the definition of fantasy, et cetera...)

That is all I think. Anything else I said before this post can be considered null & void ([{unless restated later}]).

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And that is why I prefer simple answers to questions. *yawns and grumbles something about math homework being more interesting than this*

 

Appreciate the reference of the reference though. :P

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My thoughts are in essence:

 

Bionicle is Science Fantasy.

 

Science Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy (but not a sub-genre of Science Fiction).

 

I don't understand what the fallacy is about calling something that takes elements of category A & category B, being a part of category B, but not category A if category A is defined in a way that elements of B don't fit in; category B in this case is in this case Sci-Fi.

Well, as far as the reasoning you gave that I replied to specifically, this part explains the fallacy most clearly:

 

"^(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. ;)

I also explained that I reject the premise that science fantasy is normally a subset of fantasy anyways. I'm only agreeing that you CAN see it that way, simply because mixes (due to basic Venn diagram categorical logic) can qualify as subsets logically. But by that same logic, it's necessary that it can also be seen as a subset of sci-fi too.

 

Your main mistakes seem to be in 1) pointlessly requiring Science Fantasy to be a subset of fantasy (you CAN see it that way but it's more natural to see it as the middle of a spectrum, or basically its own category), and 2) contradictorily banning it from being a subset of science fiction by the same logic.

 

It seems obvious that you're trying to base this on a prescriptive, limiting definition of science fiction (and thinking that such prescriptive definitions don't exist for fantasy), but I also mentioned why this doesn't work. Mainly because the mixture isn't trying to fit the pure definition of sci-fi!

 

At least these are the best answers I could come up with based on my best estimates of what you seem to mean. If I'm reading that right, all you're doing by having these very "technicalized" definitions is sowing confusion, apparently (it was the main thing in that discussion that ended up making it so ridiculously long), so that alone is probably a great reason not to buy into your approach.

 

No offense... and hope this helps. :)

 

The rest of your latest post here seems to proceed from the same false premise of confusing a mixture for being intended to fit the definitions of the two ends of the spectrum exactly. But fitting either definition exactly would only come up as a problem if you insisted on seeing it as a sub-genre of just one, which is a completely arbitrary assumption, and using this in an argument to lead to that very idea as your conclusion is circular reasoning.

 

And the definitions you keep citing say nothing like that anyways, for either one. (And somebody could just as easily argue that the fantasy definition excludes science as being part of pure fantasy stories, and then apply your same reasoning to say sci-fant could only be a subset of sci-fi and not fantasy! The whole enterprise is missing the point that the mixture has both science and "magic", so it counts as a mix of both genres. And I can't see what treating things your way solves that is helpful at all. The misconception as it was brought up and as I agreed to get to at some point solves an identifiable mistake seen often in past discussions. I don't see how this does.)

 

Thus "Bionicle is not Science Fiction", although "Bionicle is Fantasy", and more accurately (or rather, informative) "Bionicle is Science Fantasy" are all true (& "Bionicle is Science Fiction" is patently false).

The problem with insisting on this is that the latter claim commits the fallacy of the universal negative and contradicts one of the underlying premises in the former -- that you can say something like "Bionicle is fantasy" by using a very specialized, prescriptive (and limiting, or in this case perceived as non-limiting) definition of fantasy beyond the very basic descriptive definition of "fantastical" (to use the word from a common definition of speculative fiction).

 

This premise is necessary to get to the logic that you can use an extra-specialized definition of sci-fi that limits it from even including in the mixture sense a subcategory with magic in it. But the premise also means that somebody is just as allowed to use a non-specialized definition that says "science fiction is fiction about science", so a story that has both science and magic in it could be seen as a subset of both sci-fi and fantasy. (Although again, it's waaaaaay simpler to just call it science fantasy and not get into any of this subset logic!) The premise is that you can pick a different definition from the norm (or even if that happens to be normal, from the definition most consistent with the label of the genre in question -- "science fiction" here).

 

And as I pointed out, it especially makes little sense to do it that way for a story in which the "magic" isn't even called magic in-story, and is defined as "science you don't understand", a phrase that has been used in science fiction stories, etc.

 

In other words, "Bionicle is science fiction" is ONLY false if it's specified "by a definition scheme of science fiction that refuses to use the label for anything but pure, hard science fiction, even loosely in a partial sense to refer to a mixture of science and fantasy being in a story."

 

While that's true within that definition, your ability to pick (and even insist on) that definition doesn't make it the only possible definition or even the most reasonable. A much more unbiased definition of science fiction is fiction with science in it, and Bionicle does have that. And your choosing a more specialized definition also implies that others could also choose more specialized ones... but specialized in a different way that is inclusive.

 

Your comparison to Venn diagrams is [too] simple: both Fantasy & Science Fiction have a definition; the definition of one of them is more limiting than the other.

You have not provided sound support for the idea that it is too simple. And by definition, a mixture with elements of both should fit into such a Venn diagram (although as I said years ago, it's really better seen as a spectrum because the amounts of the one or the other can vary in proportions). While you could make an alternate diagram, with sci-fi being one circle and the fantasy circle having a smaller circle of sci-fi, that fits entirely in it so is also called science fantasy, this would be illogical because the same thing -- sci-fi -- in VDs are supposed to be one circle.

 

And again, the definitions you cited say nothing about one being limiting and the other not, whether in the sense of mixtures between the two being seen as subsets or not. You're adding that idea as your own personal definition (likely taken from others, but the point applies either way). And both the spectrum view and the Venn diagram view already allow for both limited and unlimited versions of it. Stories at both extremes of the spectrum, which could also be seen as stories only in the non-overlapping parts of both circles, can be seen as subsets of both science fiction and fantasy that do not allow overlap. Hard science fiction would be the one, and magic-only fantasy (with no science) would be the other.

 

Remember the argument you tried to make about the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme in the topic? Your point there was that if even an author classified his story in a way that the content of his story does not match, we would not call it by his chosen genre label.

 

The problem with your reasoning here is similar -- you are defining the term science fiction in an arbitrarily limiting way that is divorced from the content. If two stories both have the content of science being done and technology being developed, especially using real-world physics (as Bionicle does in part; normal matter exists there and many principles of real-world physics are confirmed to work there), but one has ONLY that, while the other just uses that partially, both stories do have that ingredient in their content. This is both intuitively obvious and sound, which is why I have talked about it this way in the past; that makes it easy to understand. So it makes sense to say that both are sci-fi so far as that part goes. (And science fantasy has other parts that aren't sci-fi.)

 

Bionicle has magical things that can't be explained with anything speculative without completely rewriting physics

Now you're going off on another tangent that could get very complicated fast. Suffice to say that you can't prove this as it's the fallacy of the universal negative. You could only prove it if we were sure we knew everything there is to know about real physics (but we know of several places in which there are unknowns, and it's hard to rule out the possibility of Black Swan unknowns, especially of possible future technology, as many of the things now possible in both technology and chemistry were thought impossible once).

 

This is why as I pointed out in the topic, Bionicle is not necessarily picky about whether its explanations are "unknown future science of this world" or "definitely alternate physics of a different universe." It allows for the second, because it is confirmed that it IS a different universe, but also allows for the first because many things there work like here (like normal matter). Because it's fiction and the authors can't actually know how to make those things work (under either explanation :P), this makes sense. The goal of these kinds of stories, both in the sci-fi and fantasy side, isn't really to figure out how they could work, but to see what could happen in a world if you take it as a given that somehow or another they're possible.

 

BTW, you keep mentioning "speculative" as if it applies only to science fiction, but its normal definition, as I mentioned earlier, is the category that contains both sci-fi and fantasy (and thus the mix too). Rewritten physics are "speculative" too, just in a different way from speculative future real-world technologies.

 

Also, very little in Bionicle even seems to need much rewriting of physics anyways (the subject of my ancient "Wacky Physics" topic, for example, lost unfortunately to the archives, and also partially the subject of my upcoming molecular protodermis theory). People who say things like that usually haven't actually thought it through; they're really just saying they haven't imagined ways, so assume none are possible.

 

It isn't about 'purity' of tropes and elements used; it is whether any tropes or elements violate a definition.

Again: 1) Let's not worry about tropes here. This is complicated enough without pulling in TVTropes. and 2) "A" definition is not the same as "the only possible definition" or even "the most reasonable one." This also falls apart because you're just putting purity into the definition! (Of one, arbitrarily, and not of the other, again arbitrarily.)

 

I really can't see why you would want to do that except to create a way to cause really complex debates. :P Maybe the simplicity of the more reasonable definition just bores you and you enjoy talking about genres too much to accept the simple, but the simple and accurate has value too. :) Especially for a project that is TRYING to keep the answers to these misconceptions simple and straightforward. :)

 

Hope this helps. :shrugs:

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You've said "contradictorily banning" & frankly I still don't see the contradiction in it; unless that was about the quote (of a quote) from a since abandoned quote (by me), which ...you're formatting is somewhat confusing, although the n-built quoting system is cumbersome to say the least.

 

 

pointlessly requiring Science Fantasy to be a subset of fantasy (you CAN see it that way but it's more natural to see it as the middle of a spectrum, or basically its own category)

 

Well if you don't see Science Fantasy as a subset of Fantasy, then your Venn Diagram comparison doesn't work for you either.  :wacko:

I've said that Science Fantasy is more useful than simply saying Fantasy because why be less accurate than one can be (at the cost of a single word)?

 

the definitions you cited say nothing about one being limiting and the other not, whether in the sense of mixtures between the two being seen as subsets or not.

 

Indeed. I saw this as one of two internally-consistent interpretations, the other would be to not have one/either limiting the other; which would allow a lot of Science Fiction to be a subset of Fantasy; which seems to reminisce the unnaturalness of this;

 

If Science Fantasy shouldn't be required to be thought of as a subset of Fantasy, then nor should Science Fiction be thought of as a subset of Fantasy; this can be achieved one of two ways: one is to simply ignore it & pretend the distinction is explained, the other is to define the distinction by something along the lines of...

 

"That which can be classified as Science Fiction is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."

 

Which lends itself to;

 

"That which can be classified as Science Fantasy is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."

 

Although I would feel that people would not classify something under Fantasy if it could be adequately placed as a Science Fiction, (& so on, for Science Fantasy,)

 

As such my rule about something being Sci-Fi prohibiting Fantasy isn't much more than a formalisation of the convention of people trying to be accurate.

 

 

On a rather different note: for things that people aren't being imaginative enough to think of way for something to happen in a story that isn't magic; all Fantasy could be Science-Fiction by virtue that all things could be explained away by 'brain-in-a-jar'/'the matrix' scenarios.

 

 

[The work lends itself to the justification that it is in a world with a completely different set of things which underpin reality, & whilst various things in it could be put down to more intricate workings (Kanohi with complicated programming), it is an enormous stretch of the laws we know, that by the time it's all been fit together; so could essentially every other story.

 

If everything can be classified as something, then that particular classification is no longer that relevant. It might technically be a logical extreme, but it certainly isn't a functional one.]

 

 

However if this all still seems to be an illogical fallacy which can't be deduced, then:

 

I really can't see why you would want to do that except to create a way to cause really complex debates. :P Maybe the simplicity of the more reasonable definition just bores you and you enjoy talking about genres too much to accept the simple, but the simple and accurate has value too. :) Especially for a project that is TRYING to keep the answers to these misconceptions simple and straightforward. :)

 

Maybe, although not consciously.

 

For the record I wasn't trying to bring TV Tropes into this discussion, but the word "trope" did exist before that site. ...I think ;)

 

Ultimately I'm content-happy if Bionicle is called a Science Fantasy (I strongly agree with this); whether they view that as a spectrum or something else. (I still see it as a spectrum of sorts, but to me Flowers for Algernon, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek are all examples of non-hard Sci-Fi, but still Sci-Fi)

 

As TV Tropes has been mentioned... To me, of Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: 4, 5, 6 are typically Sci-Fi; 3 certainly could be; 1 & 2 are Science Fantasy but probably with a focus on 'technology'.

 

My demarcation line may be too strict here, but this is an area where I feel it is advantageous to have a clear line; & it doesn't seem like it would shoehorn much at all (if anything), because the areas it would be cutting out could (& probably have already) be(en) called Science Fantasy.

 

Obviously my opinions differ to yours. I still don't really see how your interpretations invite these labels to be useful; as whilst they might avoid prescriptivism, they don't seem to be very descriptive ...so what is their use?  :shrugs:

A general feel for something? 'My' system has that covered as well.

 

As it is, I'll be content-happy regardless of what people decide to call it :)

 

But frankly, I don't see why one would call Bionicle Fantasy xor Science Fiction; if nothing else but because Science Fantasy is somewhat more informative of this series.

 

Why say it's got, robots xor elemental powers, when I can say it's got robots with elemental powers et cetera; not a perfect example, but I think it illustrates this point.

 

Whether we agree or disagree that Bionicle could be Science Fiction, shouldn't really matter in  the sense that to anyone putting a label on something, they might put: "Fantasy", "Science Fantasy", or "Science Fiction", but they are very unlikely to put more than one; barring that:

 

It isn't yet that uncommon to see see "Fantasy(,/&) Science Fiction" but this is often 'corrected' or read as Science Fantasy.

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Lemme do this slightly out of order with this one first:

 

Well if you don't see Science Fantasy as a subset of Fantasy, then your Venn Diagram comparison doesn't work for you either.  :wacko:

Not quite, for two reasons. First, I brought up the Venn diagram alternative way of looking at it only because you wanted to discuss the mixture being a subset, and it's Venn categorical logic that enables that. :) Second, different points in the overlapping region in a Venn diagram are seen as representing different types of things, so ones closer to the pure fantasy side of the diagram could be seen as one side of a spectrum. This could actually be illustrated simply by having the two pure parts be different colors and the overlap be colored as a spectrum. :)




 

You've said "contradictorily banning" & frankly I still don't see the contradiction in it

I did explain this briefly elsewhere, but lemme clarify what it isn't, and then what it is.

The contradiction is NOT between your chosen definition that adds a limit and the practice of categorizing that you use, but this is just circular reasoning. We could also define "flat" as "three-dimensional instead of twenty-dimensional" and then by that definition say that Earth is flat, and that would be self-consistent... but it also helps illustrate the obvious problem. Doing this doesn't help make things clear.

The contradiction that's most important for purposes of this project is that we aren't looking for overspecialized definitions outside the normal understanding in plain English. (And in plain English, science fiction is fiction about science. :) )

While it's true that a fallacy of limiting the sci-fi definition is out there, it's still arbitrary, even if it were to become the most popular, and a similar limiting of fantasy exists (and even if it didn't, could exist). Witness for example the reactions of many to mitocloriens on this basis. :)

There's also a contradiction as I mentioned between an implied, necessary premise in your approach of picking a specialized definition arbitrarily. If you get to do that, then logically others also get to pick their won specialized definitions, so your own logic actually implies justification for people defining sci-fi differently than you. So absolute negative claims like "'Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work.

That claim says that NO definition scheme exists in which Bionicle could be seen as sci-fi. But some do, especially if we adopt your "the mix can be a subset of one end" logic and apply it consistently so that it can be a subset of BOTH ends under Venn logic. :)

I know this gets complicated, but that's again because you chose to undertake this type of argument. Normally the concept of the genre is simple to grasp and most people don't need this kind of complexity to see that "fiction with science in it" can be part sci-fi, and also part fantasy if it also has "magic" in it, so science fantasy. :)

Let's pull in some other definitions since you keep bringing that up. The top def on dictionary.com:

"a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc."

No mention of ONLY doing this. I would still, again, say that hard science fiction only does, but there is also soft science fiction, and sci-fi elements in science fantasy.

"a literary genre that makes imaginative use of scientific knowledge or conjecture"

Again, this is only a positive statement of what is in there to make it count as sci-fi, not a negative statement that even if these things are in it, if something else is too, it somehow isn't sci-fi or part sci-fi.

As an analogy, if we say "something with a lot of lettuce or spinach in it is salad", it doesn't stop being salad if we also put in carrot slices.

It might become really weird salad if it's lettuce plus chocolate chips or something (:P), but that definition doesn't say that it stops being salad if there's other ingredients. Actually you would need something more like my definition of the spectrum with three main parts to do that! (Then it would still be chocolate salad though. :P)

"Works of fiction that use scientific discoveries or advanced technology — either actual or imaginary — as part of their plot."

This one not only doesn't have a negative statement, the imaginary combined with scientific discoveries opens the door to the fanciful versions of science like Star Trek or a science fiction story taking place in another universe clearly so defined as having different physics (rather than Trek's usual portrayal as our universe with physics not yet discovered).

 

I've said that Science Fantasy is more useful than simply saying Fantasy because why be less accurate than one can be (at the cost of a single word)?

Your other approach though is also contradictory with this. By saying that fiction with both science and magic in it can be a subset of fantasy, but not of science fiction, you using a less useful approach (useful apparently only for sowing a lot of confusion), and being obviously less accurate.

Calling it science fantasy is accurate because there's some science in it. Thus, calling it loosely science fiction (in a mixture-subset sense) is ALSO accurate because there's science in it!

Make sense? :)



 

I saw this as one of two internally-consistent interpretations


Please understand that this is mainly what makes your argument off-topic for this project. We aren't only looking for internally consistent definitions but externally consistent (plus internally) ones, like the one I use primarily. :)

To continue the analogy, defining "anything with less than twenty dimensions" as "flat" and then calling Earth flat is internally consistent, but inconsistent externally with normal usage and easy comprehension without the need to include the definition every time. Since normal usage of flat means two-dimensional (or less :P), flat Earth in plain English is false.

While you CAN categorize things in the weird way you propose, you can also do it in various other ways (maybe flat means monochromatic for example, in which case even a two-dimensional Earth would not be flat lol), so that makes that arbitrary.

 

I saw this as one of two internally-consistent interpretations, the other would be to not have one/either limiting the other; which would allow a lot of Science Fiction to be a subset of Fantasy; which seems to reminisce the unnaturalness of this;


You're missing the simple way of limiting it with the already well known labels of "hard science fiction" (or pure science fiction as I've been saying) versus soft or mixed. Both are easy to understand in plain English, so there's no need for all your complexity and technicality to get across that simple concept!

And the "unnaturalness" of your latter clause here is already solved by just seeing both sci-fi and fantasy (and sci-fant) as equals under the category of speculative fiction as is normally done (or physics fiction as I've called it), not one over the other.

In fact I would suggest that intuitive understanding of this is -why- that feels unnatural.


 

"That which can be classified as Science Fiction is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."

Which lends itself to;

"That which can be classified as Science Fantasy is no longer Fantasy (simply so as to make Fantasy a less broad term)."


I do agree with these, but NOT if you start considering mixture-as-subset logic. This is more consistent (since it doesn't talk about mixture-subsets) with how this conversation started in the topic, as just seeing sci-fi here as short for "(pure) sci-fi".




 

On a rather different note: for things that people aren't being imaginative enough to think of way for something to happen in a story that isn't magic; all Fantasy could be Science-Fiction by virtue that all things could be explained away by 'brain-in-a-jar'/'the matrix' scenarios.


It could -- and your approach of using "weird" definitions beyond the basic "fiction about science" and "fiction with magic" and "fiction about both" is just about as reasonable. :P My point is in fact that the ability or lack to come up with explanations shouldn't be the focus of the definition of sci-fi, it should be more about whether the content of the plot has science being practiced or not, as the latter is not based on any universal negative assumptions but positive evidence. :)

 

If everything can be classified as something, then that particular classification is no longer that relevant. It might technically be a logical extreme, but it certainly isn't a functional one.


Three problems with this:

1) Classifying sci-fant as under sci-fi only came up as a possibility because (well, in addition to Regitnui trying to do that for different reasons) you brought up seeing sci-fant as under fantasy. Since I see no need to bring that up (in a misconception answer for the project), there's no issue to begin with. You're the one creating that issue to then need such a mess to try to clean up. Ockham's Razor would cut away all of that.

2) You're also then classifying a lot of science content in a story as fantasy! So by that logic, if applied consistently, then your definition could also apply to anything, as the normal definition about magic for fantasy now doesn't apply anymore, since even science that characters DO understand could be seen as fantasy. The fact that this is not functional (or self-consistent as you're saying science content in a mix is still fantasy, but the exact same content in pure sci-fi wouldn't be... makes no sense) is precisely why I don't use it.

3) As explained to the previous quote, this is really making my point for me about why we shouldn't base the definition on a universal negative assumption. The moment somebody thinks of a way to explain it, it would then change from fantasy to sci-fi by that definition, without the content of the story itself changing at all! The definition should have an objective basis on what is in the story.

I do think there's wiggle room here for "alternate physics is fantasy" versus "unstudied physics is fantasy", but I'm saying the latter is still more objective for a genre study than "impossible with our physics is fantasy", which has that fallacy of univ. neg.

(And the practice of science even in another universe with different physics still seems more consistent with the label of science fiction than fantasy. This means Bionicle COULD be easily reinterpreted as hard science fiction. Incidentally, that's partly the approach of my retelling, in fact! However, the canon as we have it for Gen1 is not. Why gets a little tricky, since we don't know the extent of what the GBs understand, but at the very least most of the main characters don't understand, yet, how things like their elemental powers work. So I would still call it sci-fant, no sci-fi, by averaging out how much science practice is done.)

 

Maybe, although not consciously.


Well, figured not. :P  

 

For the record I wasn't trying to bring TV Tropes into this discussion, but the word "trope" did exist before that site. ...I think ;)


I would presume so, but not my point. Once you open the door to looking at things as tropes, as that site illustrates, you can quickly turn anything and everything into a trope and require a lot of research to understand what the heck anybody is saying. Plain English can usually express the same meanings without doing that (whether using the terms from that particular site or not), so is generally wiser.

 

Ultimately I'm content-happy if Bionicle is called a Science Fantasy (I strongly agree with this); whether they view that as a spectrum or something else. (I still see it as a spectrum of sorts, but to me Flowers for Algernon, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek are all examples of non-hard Sci-Fi, but still Sci-Fi)


I would agree, but also wouldn't be dogmatic about it. If somebody also wants to just use sci-fi for the pure variety, the spectrum basic definition still works. There'd just be more in the middle category.

 

I still don't really see how your interpretations invite these labels to be useful; as whilst they might avoid prescriptivism, they don't seem to be very descriptive ...so what is their use?  :shrugs:


The main difference between my definition and yours is that you get into seeing the mixture as a subset of one side and/or the other of the spectrum, but add a strange rule that you can only do this for one side. I don't worry about mixtures as subsets of sides. I just see all three categories as subsets of speculative fiction (so not one side or the other, but an overall category), as is the normal practice and what I was taught, makes the most sense etc.

I DO worry about good logic, though, so if you want to open that can of worms, it doesn't work to say it's only possible for one side as many of your statements looked worded to say. (I presume you meant those only within that internally-consistent definition scheme, but this still illustrates the problem because then you really should be clarifying the definition every time, which is impractical.) To be clear, it IS possible to positively define it that way, but you can't get from that to a statement that no other definition schemes exist (or shouldn't word things in a way that without being clarified seems to say that).

To use another analogy, a mutt is best understood as one of three categories under the overall category of "dog". We don't normally look at it as a subset of one of the two pure breeds, but we COULD... and if we DID, then it works both ways.

Now you're bound to run into some stickler about dog breeding who has a favorite breed and insists mutts never be groups under them, but is fine with (probably derogatorily) lumping the mutt in with the other breed. Their definition scheme is possible, but also arbitrary. If we don't share their bias, we have no reason to agree to it (and just to avoid rewarding bias we probably should too). Now I doubt your reason is based in bias quite like that, it seems more like you missed some basics in logic in trying to solve a problem and just solved it poorly, but that is also arbitrary, and we shouldn't want to reward bad logic either. :shrugs:

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Probably also out of order.

 

The contradiction is NOT between your chosen definition that adds a limit and the practice of categorizing that you use, but this is just circular reasoning. We could also define "flat" as "three-dimensional instead of twenty-dimensional" and then by that definition say that Earth is flat, and that would be self-consistent... but it also helps illustrate the obvious problem. Doing this doesn't help make things clear.


The contradiction that's most important for purposes of this project is that we aren't looking for overspecialized definitions outside the normal understanding in plain English. (And in plain English, science fiction is fiction about science. :) )

While it's true that a fallacy of limiting the sci-fi definition is out there, it's still arbitrary, even if it were to become the most popular, and a similar limiting of fantasy exists (and even if it didn't, could exist). Witness for example the reactions of many to mitocloriens on this basis. :)

There's also a contradiction as I mentioned between an implied, necessary premise in your approach of picking a specialized definition arbitrarily. If you get to do that, then logically others also get to pick their won specialized definitions, so your own logic actually implies justification for people defining sci-fi differently than you. So absolute negative claims like "'Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work.

 

It is self consistent, and whilst you claim that this is a fallacy (carried by others); that I use a narrower definition than others out there doesn't make this inconsistent with the rest of the world; those other definitions are merely less accurate & incomplete;

 

I'm struggling to think of any works that would have to have their genre — any that have been classified as Science Fiction that I would classify as Science Fantasy have already been called Science Fantasy;

 

I'm not trying to force something new upon the world I'm merely updating or extrapolating definitions in a way that better reflect the world; I'm prescribing how the definitions of Science Fiction should be read relative to other (definitions of) genres; as nothing exists in a void (they need to be externally consistent as well as internally consistent)

 

But even if "Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work; why would anyone call something a less accurate term than they could otherwise use?

 

Whilst in a bookstore for example, I might place Urban Fantasy in/near Fantasy; when someone is asking me about a given book why would I say something is a Fantasy when it's clearly an Urban Fantasy? I wouldn't be wrong; but I give a better idea by being more specific;

 

So whether Science Fantasy is viewed as a sub genre of both or either Fantasy & Sci-Fi, or as it's own thing (on a spectrum between the two) doesn't really matter; by calling Bionicle Science Fantasy I'm being much more informative than calling it Fantasy xor Sci-Fi.

 

 

You're missing the simple way of limiting it with the already well known labels of "hard science fiction" (or pure science fiction as I've been saying) versus soft or mixed. Both are easy to understand in plain English, so there's no need for all your complexity and technicality to get across that simple concept!

 

...There isn't anything that difficult about the concept I've presented; I've gone it a ludicrous depth, because you where calling things fallacies without fully emulating on why it was wrong;

Furthermore I tried to present it in it's most basic components; as a whole it is much shorter & feels perfectly natural to me & others.

 

(I've seen other classify things as Sci-Fi versus Fantasy with the same conclusions as me, & you've apparently seen others using the same 'fallacies' as me.)

 

I reject the notion that I'm only classifying Hard Science Fiction as Science Fiction; I'm classifying Hard, Non-Hard, & Some Soft Sci-Fi.  as Sci Fi; the softest of the softest of so called "Sci-Fi" is being 'eliminated' from Sci-Fi by me; & all that I can see included in that have already been called Science Fantasy.

 

 
 

You're also then classifying a lot of science content in a story as fantasy! So by that logic, if applied consistently, then your definition could also apply to anything, as the normal definition about magic for fantasy now doesn't apply anymore, since even science that characters DO understand could be seen as fantasy. The fact that this is not functional (or self-consistent as you're saying science content in a mix is still fantasy, but the exact same content in pure sci-fi wouldn't be... makes no sense) is precisely why I don't use it.

 

...The whole point of me having Sci-Fi exclude things that have elements that are patently fantastical & can not be explained by present Science or Speculative Sciences; that something can't technically ever be disproved is entirely pedantic; to be functional we exclude certain things as they are too unlikely. This is part of the reason presentation is important;

 

The Force in Star Wars, Elemental Powers in Bionicle, are both presented as if not mystical, merely a fundamental part of the universe (which is at odds with reality; because if it were that; why can't we use them or have observed...?).

 

 

However:

 

I would agree, but also wouldn't be dogmatic about it. If somebody also wants to just use sci-fi for the pure variety, the spectrum basic definition still works. There'd just be more in the middle category.

 

This is were I entirely disagree; by having such a relaxed interpretation of Sci-Fi as this; then Science Fantasy is just a sub genre (of both Fantasy & Sci-Fi); as this is the same action as calling an Urbane Fantasy a Fantasy.

 

This seems counter productive; because what is the point of a label offering variety? The purpose of the label is to give someone an idea of what to expect; we should remove all mystery labels as that would make it more of a mystery!

 

I struggle to see why one would feel the need to avoid the fine label of Science Fantasy in favour of Sci-Fi et cetera;

 

There is also the entirely acceptable umbrella category of Speculative Fiction.

 

As it is, some (not all), of the soft Sci-Fi are really a vain appropriation of the term Science; 

 

 

Calling it science fantasy is accurate because there's some science in it. Thus, calling it loosely science fiction (in a mixture-subset sense) is ALSO accurate because there's science in it!

 

Well; if in real life I say I'm undergoing a scientific study, but I arbitrarily insert magical spells into it and violate a systematic (scientific) method, I'm no longer "performing science" (haha); it's Pseudo-Science; also known as not Science.

 

That the literary genre no longer encompasses Science & Speculative Science but also violations of known science without an explanation beyond magic in numerous places & without a focus on "a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting, theme, etc." is akin to calling an entire series a Murder Mystery because 1 unimportant background character was murdered & we don't know, & it wasn't used to drive character development or the plot.

 

It is at this point that the term "Science Fiction" hasn't so much evolved as grown to the point where it is no longer relevant to a particular style or category other than; electricity &/or robots &/or space &/or a focus on a speculative science/technology &/or someone explaining things in a 'systematic' manner.

 

It isn't just an umbrella category of (deep breath): Hard Sci-Fi, Space opera, Military, Punk (Cyberpunk, [biopunk, Nanopunk, Postcyberpunk], Steampunk [Clockpunk, Dieselpunk, Atompunk]), Dystopian, Alternative universe (Alternative history), Post-apocalyptic, Alien invasion, Scientific romance, & Soft Sci-Fi.

 

That last one has grown to mean anything that has almost any element of Fantasy; probably safe to say any of these: Comic fantasy, Dark fantasy, Contemporary fantasy, Heroic fantasy, 

Magic realism, Fantasy of manners, Mythic, Paranormal fantasy, Superhero fantasy, Sword and sorcery, Low fantasy, Prehistoric fantasy, Medieval fantasy, Wuxia, & Paranormal romance
 
But only so long as they then have an occurrence of electricity/robots/space.
 
Basically if it is any of those + one to three of three things; it seems more accurate to say it that way rather than imply that it has anything to do with (Speculative) Science (Fiction); if they are dominant.
 
After all; 

 

 

a non-specialized definition that says "science fiction is fiction about science", so a story that has both science and magic

 
It should be about Science. & because it's Science Fiction, a fairly intuitive, logical, and straight forward resolution is that it is about Speculative Science, which doesn't really imply magic, it can draw very imaginatively from it (which possibly correlates to softer Sci-Fi), but while an open reading of a variety of definitions could certainly allow various magical things, they aren't really implied or invited, & they merely inflate Sci Fi to overlap hugely with Fantasy & Science Fantasy;
 
Which basically just means ones been able to appropriate one thing into another,
 
(Which was possibly related to some people sadly feeling like their works-directed-at-adults would be taken more seriously if they were called Science Fiction, rather than Fantasy [or Science Fantasy] which is sometimes thought to be immature &/or 'for children' [which I think is inaccurate & unfair]... So I can see a reason for why this happened, although I don't think it was a good thing. & of course this may have played no part in it at all. People possibly just not being interested in meaningful labels in the first place.)
 
& well, appropriation isn't useful; it's muddying waters, & makes it less clear what something is about.
 
 
So I strongly stand that it isn't (typically) 'fair' to call something which is Science Fantasy Science Fiction. The presence of a given genres elements isn't enough for me to consider it part of that genre without taking other thing into account.
 
 
 
 

Midi-chlorians Tangent?

(I'm not really sure how Midi-chlorians are that relevant here; they where a [faux-]science-y explanation for magic; saying that your variety of magic has a physical cause that assume-ably ties into actual 'physics' [of that universe] doesn't really present itself strongly as a Speculative (based off of real world {known}] Science [as apparently context didn't clear that up last time, so I hope that it's now clear that when I'm talking about Science {Fiction}, the word "Speculative" by itself refers to Speculative technologies {& theories}, not to the umbrella category that is "Speculative Fiction"];

 

Midi-chlorians were a less magical explanation; & would have debatably been able to change Star Wars [as a whole] from Science Fantasy[, Epic Space Opera] to Science Fiction[, Epic Space Opera] except that it never really explains how bodies disappear or a variety of other things; it's still very magical; hence it may be less fantastical it was still just Science Fantasy :)

 

[Although whilst some people didn't like say 'the giant robot reveal' there are similarities, but in neither case was this a genre changing moment.])

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Pardon if I'm reading this out wrong, but if I'm not, iblis' view of science fantasy appears to be something like this, as stated: 

 

15751782730_5c50c1fc00_c.jpg

Whereas bones has already told us that his view looks more like this: 

 

15913270756_bc3aa72844_c.jpg

On imagery, bones' view would seem simpler. :P But it seems that the real question here (again, pardon me if I'm hopelessly going out on a limb) is "Can genres mix?". 

 

The reason why it appears to be a valid question is because iblis is appears to be assuming that 1) Science Fiction and Fantasy are rigid categories and cannot mix, and 2) that Fantasy can incorporate anything, including science, into itself. 

 

My answer to the question "Can genres mix?" is yes. Consider Paranormal and High Fantasy for example, to talk in iblis' terms. Can they go together? Can they mix? Absolutely. Paranormal normally takes place in the real world, but that's no limit - consider a Narnia-like scenario where a young child off in a high fantasy world enjoying themselves while their actions are linked to the terrifying horrors that their parents are experiencing simultaneously. Now I don't know of any story on the market today that is like that, :shrugs:, but I could just as easily write that story and publish it next week - no genre police are suddenly going to show up at my door and arrest me for writing that story. 

 

Note that in writing that story I have not invalidated either the paranormal nor the high fantasy genre categories, since someone could write a high fantasy story without including paranormal, and paranormal without including high fantasy. BTW that's not the only way to combine High Fantasy and Paranormal - a high fantasy world full of paranormal horrors would also do.

 

But that's not the only way genres can mix. Let's say that a wizard and a scientist have to work together to save the world. The wizard has to do all the wizardly things like cast the dangerous spells and fight the mystically powered evil bad guy and get all of the powerful magic objects, and the scientist guy is racing against time to develop this technology to save the world from some deadly virus or enemy or whatnot.

 

Now, if the scientist guy was working on his own to save the world from the deadly virus, it would be science fiction, would it not? And if the wizard was working on his own (or with a contingent of hobbits :P) to save the world, would we not call it fantasy?

 

But then again, no genre police are going to arrest me if I write a tale that includes a scientist and a wizard. My memory says that someone probably already has. Once again, this does not invalidate either category in logic, since wizards and scientists can exist in their own stories without being combined, and that is not the only possibility to combine the two. 

 

Can they mix? Sure thing. And "science fantasy", as known by bonesiii, is his term for the mix. Or the widely accepted term. That's because mixing science fiction elements and fantasy elements has become so common that someone felt that a new term was needed.    

 

At this point, the argument becomes semantics. Is "science" a term to describe the word "fantasy" like "high" is in "High Fantasy"? Or is it a portmanteau of Science Fiction and Fantasy? The mix is valid, so there's no reason to invalidate the portmanteau; while the former appears to have a stronger semantical argument at first glance...how can you have a fantasy that's scientific, since fantasy's very definition eschews science? It doesn't make any sense. That would make it an invalid genre category, a self-contradictory thing. No need.

 

Therefore, it makes sense to apply said term to a valid possibility in logic.  

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"whilst you claim that this is a fallacy (carried by others); that I use a narrower definition"

 

Not what I said. I said it's fallacious to use this to conclude that somebody else using a different label, by a different definition scheme, is "patently false" or the like. You would only logically be able to say something like "inconsistent with my personal definition."

 

"those other definitions are merely less accurate & incomplete"

 

Accurate to what? To your own definition? That's circular (and thus still arbitrary). It's not (evidently, based on things you've said) as accurate to the name itself -- science fiction.

 

And as it would rule things out (in the "mix as subset" sense) that would normally count under "fiction about science" (or words to that effect like the cited definitions), it seems to me that it's yours that is more incomplete.

 

And by the same logic, then your definition of fantasy must be incomplete, since you're not applying the limit to that, that you are to sci-fi!

 

 

 

Keep in mind I was perfectly happy to let you go on using that unusual definition system in the topic -- we're debating this because when I did not reply to most of what you said, you started to object and seemed to think I should adopt your system. You can define it that way, just keep it in perspective that it shouldn't likely be adopted by everybody else, as it's arbitrary. Though then we must wonder why you would want to keep it yourself. :P

 

 

 

I'm struggling to think of any works that would have to have their genre — any that have been classified as Science Fiction that I would classify as Science Fantasy have already been called Science Fantasy;

You lost me here again, sorry. Except it sounds like maybe you lost sight here that we were talking about the "in a sense" classification of a mixture being a subset, as you used for Fantasy. But that seems unlikely so I figure you must mean something else. :shrugs:

 

 

I'm not trying to force something new upon the world

I wouldn't say "force" and wouldn't say (totally) new, but it does seem like you wanted everybody else to adopt this complex and confusing system, from several of your statements in the topic, when we have a more consistent and logical system that is also pretty straightforward.

 

But even if "Bionicle is sci-fi' is patently false" do not work; why would anyone call something a less accurate term than they could otherwise use?

You're the one that needs to answer that, not me. Again, I don't know how many times it needs said to sink in, but I'm not the one that normally classifies the mixture as a subset -- you did that by insisting Science Fantasy be seen as a subset of Fantasy. I simply pointed out that while it's logical that you CAN do that, Venn logic shows that by definition it also works the other way, so it could also be seen as a subset of Sci-Fi.

 

Normally I just see everything on the spectrum from hard sci-fi to pure fantasy as in the category of speculative fiction, and classify based on "closest match" in sci-fi, sci-fant, or fantasy.

 

So, you're the one that wanted to classify Sci-fant by the less accurate term Fantasy. You should answer why we should do that, but not also do the same for Science Fiction.

 

And while you can arbitrarily do that, somebody else could just as easily say Fantasy is the one that stays limited, and Sci-fi isn't. Either way, you're not actually changing the content of the mixture story! So I say it's all just semantics, and if you want to look at it as a subset, it goes both ways.

 

 

 

Incidentally, you could also just as easily see both sci-fi and fantasy as the subsets of science fantasy, for stories that are sci-fant like Star Wars or Bionicle. In this sense, the spaceships and robots in both series are in a set of "things that are in this story" and they are sub-classified as "sci-fi things in this story", while the Jedi or Toa ("wizards" with their own special types of magics) powers are in the subset of "fantasy things in this story."

 

So, neither Fantasy nor Sci-Fi has to be seen as OVER Science Fantasy if you're going to work with subsets! They could both be under.

 

Not saying I would put all Fantasy under Science Fantasy of course, but just within those stories you could do this. So, in addition to mixtures being able to be looked at as subsets, you can also look at mixtures as categories containing subsets!

 

 

My point being, it's all somewhat arbitrary, when you worry about making one thing or another subsets of each other, within spec. fic.

 

Whilst in a bookstore for example, I might place Urban Fantasy in/near Fantasy; when someone is asking me about a given book why would I say something is a Fantasy when it's clearly an Urban Fantasy?

If you sensed they didn't care about the sub-genre; like if they asked, "I'm looking for a fantasy story. Not a sci-fi story, mind you. Hey, that book there... I see in the cover art there's real-world stuff... does that make that sci-fi?"

 

In that case they would already be aware it's "urban" so you might find it wasteful to spend words saying it, and just say, "No, it's fantasy!"

 

Or somebody else might make an argument, like the one in that question Greg was quoted as arguing in the topic. They might say, "I read this book, where they're in a normal city, and there's a mystery, but since there is technology like cars and stuff around, I assumed the answer to the mystery would be based in the real world, something you'd find in an Urban environment, but a few chapters in, magic started happening! This author took an Urban story and turned it into a fantasy story!"

 

In this case you have two routes to go -- you could point out (as I would in my style of more thorough answers, compared to Greg who prefers very short answers to be read in context of the tons of other answers he gives) that it's a false dichotomy that a story can only be one or the other, and that it's Urban Fantasy, but if you have already pointed this out in the past (as Greg has for Science Fantasy), there would be no need to repeat it.

 

And it doesn't address the main mistake being made by this person. (They already know, actually, that the Urban stuff was in the story. The issue is that they thought it was actually just an Urban story at first.) So you very well might point out "It was always a fantasy story, you just didn't know it at the start."

 

I'm sure if we applied our brains with imagination we could think of other scenarios. Point being, "why would this happen" is never a solid argument to support a universal negative (or estimated negative, even :P) conclusion of "there is no reason", since you could just be failing to think of one. (Although such things can work as evidential arguments with uncertainty being clarified.)

 

So whether Science Fantasy is viewed as a sub genre of both or either Fantasy & Sci-Fi, or as it's own thing (on a spectrum between the two) doesn't really matter

I agree -- just keep in mind you were the one that was making "sub-genre of only fantasy, not sci-fi" matter enough to write lots of posts and challenge me to answer the points in them, and made strong negative statements against the alternatives. But it seems you are now admitting that it actually doesn't matter if people were to call it a sub-genre of sci-fi too. :) That's good. We done, then? :P

 

 

There isn't anything that difficult about the concept I've presented

Sure there is. When you say that a mixture of two ingredients can be viewed as a subset of one ingredient, but not of the other, this is strange. It isn't difficult to say your basic concept, and then not think it through, but that could go for any idea no matter how nonsensical. It's if you analyze it to see if it makes sense where it gets difficult (if you assume it somehow does make sense anyways).

 

But it isn't about how easy or difficult it is, it's that it doesn't make sense; that identifiable errors in logic were spotted. (Or that if it you remove these by refraining from negative statements about alternate definition schemes, you're just admitting this one is arbitrary, so best avoided.)

 

I brought up simplicity simply because the principle of Ockham's Razor does apply it in a way to help spot bad answers when simpler, good answers are available. :)

 

I've gone it a ludicrous depth, because you where calling things fallacies without fully emulating on why it was wrong

This assumes that the SIMPLE "emulating on why it's wrong" that I gave at the start wasn't sufficient for you to know it's wrong.

 

It was. You shouldn't have needed me to say it five thousand different ways to get it. :P And I said it briefly because you weren't the only person in the topic; for the sake of others, who likely WOULD get it from the short version.

 

In other words, if somebody calls you out for using a fallacy, don't outsource all the work on understanding why to them -- you should see this as a red flag that you should be doing thinking on your own to figure out why it is one (or whether it is one), and try to understand what would make it fallacious. Most people on hearing such a notice would do this within a few seconds, frankly. That you haven't, tells me you probably didn't want to think about it.

 

But that's okay... sort of. :P It's still wasting my time and I really do wish you'd stop... But if it helps you see why the project won't be adopting these definition system so that you won't complain about this, then okay.

 

 

I reject the notion that I'm only classifying Hard Science Fiction as Science Fiction; I'm classifying Hard, Non-Hard, & Some Soft Sci-Fi. as Sci Fi; the softest of the softest of so called "Sci-Fi" is being 'eliminated' from Sci-Fi by me; & all that I can see included in that have already been called Science Fantasy.

I didn't say you were only classifying hard sci-fi as sci-fi. I said somebody COULD if they wanted. (But you're actually doing the same thing as people who would -- adopting your own abnormal definition scheme.)

 

The whole point of me having Sci-Fi exclude things that have elements that are patently fantastical & can not be explained by present Science

We've been over this -- present science is not the limiter in the definitions of sci-fi, as presently we don't know everything about it. But more importantly, this is again apparently forgetting that fantasy also excludes "speculative science"! Nobody is saying that the fantastical parts (elemental powers, Jedi powers) of a sci-fant story are themselves science fiction content!

 

This is actually a "bait and switch" fallacy. You're using arguments like this to justify not grouping sci-fant under sci-fi, because sci-fant has elements that aren't sci-fi, but the whole reason we would want to put sci-fant under sci-fi despite its having fantasy elements is that you wanted to put sci-fant under fantasy, despite its having sci-fi elements!

 

You're "baiting" the argument by starting by saying it's okay to include the mix in a loose sense under the label that normal goes for the pure for one side (fantasy).

 

But then when somebody applies the same reasoning the other way, you're "switching" by now saying it's NOT okay to include the mix in a loose sense under the label that normally goes for the pure for the other side (sci-fi). You can't use the inverse of the support for your argument as a reason to reject the other!

 

That is, again, contradictory.

 

that something can't technically ever be disproved is entirely pedantic

This is nothing but an appeal to an insult (I'm sure you don't intend to flame, but in terms of the logic this is what you're doing). It's not "pedantic" -- it's why the standard definition of sci-fi is not limited to only things we presently know how to do in this world. (Hard sci-fi does, but not soft.)

 

And like any fallacious argument, I could just as easily say that your approach is pedantic. (And it may apply better, although had you not brought it up, I would not have mentioned it.)

 

[i'm getting a "bytes exhausted" error message to this. Undoubtedly for the expected reason. :P So, splitting reply into two...]

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Okay, my second reply isn't working, even when I make it short. Sorry, the above will have to do. I really should try to finish the "pedantic" response though:

 

[continued]

 

Here's the dictionary.com defs of pedantic:

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pedantic?s=t

 

Notice the emphasis on refusing to acknowledge errors (from the example that somebody can point out a math error without intending to be pedantic). Insisting that a logical error is an error is not pedantic (like pointing out the fallaciousness of the universal negative in "not possible with our science" as a good reason not to include that in the definition). Actually just being dismissive of this point to justify keeping the fallacious part of the definition in would be the pedantic thing. (No offense; again, you brought it up, not me. :))

 

And there's this:

 

"overly concerned with minute details or formalisms"

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But it seems that the real question here (again, pardon me if I'm hopelessly going out on a limb) is "Can genres mix?". 

 

My opinion is that some genres can mix; however to me the meaning of "Science Fiction" is that it is about possible 'future' (relative to RL, not to say that a Sci-Fi story can't be set in the past, or in an alternate universe) developments/discoveries/technologies (so something might be a natural phenomenon that hasn't been seen in RL, but wouldn't necessarily be impossible, so if that thing becomes a focus of the story), something that is at complete odds with present Science (breaks the 1st law of thermodynamics or some-such), is no longer Sci-Fi.

 

Thus whilst genres are to a great degree about elements, and genres certainly can overlap, not all can; or rather where Fantasy (at least Magic) & Sci-Fi overlap, there is "Science Fantasy"; except that because it's Science Fantasy, it can't be Sci-Fi; I could still call it Fantasy (although it has another set of elements not common to Fantasy).

 

In fact I call Star Wars "Science Fantasy, Space Opera", those are two different genres; & I think it is both. Genres commonly overlap; but to me Science Fiction is about Science;  as such Magitech (or Magic & Technology) is well within the domain of Science Fantasy.

 

I view a genre as a bucket filled with certain elements, but that that bucket may have rules about what can be put in it; I'm 'strict' on Sci-Fi about thing being possible not impossible; because if I don't limit either Sci-Fi or Fantasy most elements of both could go in either bucket, & having the separate buckets would be pointless.

 

Where Sci-Fi & Fantasy mix, I pretty much know that it now has entirely impossible things ...which aren't what Sci-Fi is mostly about.

 

In saying all this, there is one error I need to go and fix in particular;

 

 

 

So whether Science Fantasy is viewed as a sub genre of both or either Fantasy & Sci-Fi, or as it's own thing (on a spectrum between the two) doesn't really matter

I agree -- just keep in mind you were the one that was making "sub-genre of only fantasy, not sci-fi" matter enough to write lots of posts and challenge me to answer the points in them, and made strong negative statements against the alternatives. But it seems you are now admitting that it actually doesn't matter if people were to call it a sub-genre of sci-fi too.  :) That's good. We done, then?  :P

 

 

I only say it doesn't matter, in the sense that as far as Bionicle goes, it's a Science Fantasy; so in the context of Bionicle it doesn't matter, because I would rarely call something by an umbrella genre when I'm specifically talking about a single work, I would use the most accurate term I had; & you seem to view Science Fantasy as a different genre (blurring into both) so I don't really see why you would call Bionicle Fantasy xor Sci-Fi when you can call it Science Fantasy.

 

I still strongly believe that Sci-Fi has a fairly strong line between it & Science Fantasy.

 

I feel the demarcation line is important, because otherwise Fantasy seems to be a synonym for Speculative Fiction.

 

 

So, you're the one that wanted to classify Sci-fant by the less accurate term Fantasy. You should answer why we should do that, but not also do the same for Science Fiction.

And while you can arbitrarily do that, somebody else could just as easily say Fantasy is the one that stays limited, and Sci-fi isn't. Either way, you're not actually changing the content of the mixture story! So I say it's all just semantics, and if you want to look at it as a subset, it goes both ways.

 

Of course it's all semantics; we're debating a categorisation/labeling system...

 

Science Fantasy should be seen as a sub-genre of Fantasy because it doesn't violate any definition of Fantasy, and ultimately 'technology' and 'scientific laws' exist in all stories but the most surreal; most stories with magic have a fundamentally RW-like physics (etc.) with magic added in; to try and then make Fantasy involve impossible things + some possible things but not other might-be-possible things would be more complex.

 

Having a genre which only includes possible & might-be-possible things is much more natural than that. It has the rule of no-impossible tacked on, where as the other way around would essentially be no futuristic technology (might-be-possible)? that seems a bit more flippant than a clear no 'proven'-to-be-impossible.

 

& it would be redundant; as I would call most things Science Fantasy anyway. So the distinction of calling it a sub-genre of Fantasy or a genre in itself doesn't really matter; because Fantasy is an umbrella term for a whole pile of genres; to me Urban Fantasy is a genre. It just happens to be a sub-genre of Fantasy, which in turn happens to be a sub-genre of Speculative Fiction. I try to operate on the lowest (most specific level), so I could add that Science-Fantasy is a direct sub-genre of Speculative Fiction & not Fantasy :)

 

 

Incidentally, you could also just as easily see both sci-fi and fantasy as the subsets of science fantasy, for stories that are sci-fant like Star Wars or Bionicle. In this sense, the spaceships and robots in both series are in a set of "things that are in this story" and they are sub-classified as "sci-fi things in this story", while the Jedi or Toa ("wizards" with their own special types of magics) powers are in the subset of "fantasy things in this story."

So, neither Fantasy nor Sci-Fi has to be seen as OVER Science Fantasy if you're going to work with subsets! They could both be under.

 

Although if Fantasy & Sci-Fi were both considered to be sub-genres of Science Fantasy; determining that something is Fantasy with Sci-Fi elements or Sci-Fi with Fantasy elements could be incredibly awkward; because how easily can I measure how many Fantasy elements there are opposed to Science Fiction elements?

 

What about something that almost everyone considers to be right in the middle? Just call them the now-less-specific genre that is Science Fantasy? Well that isn't very informative. So why bother with the label? Which also runs into:

 

 

Whilst in a bookstore for example, I might place Urban Fantasy in/near Fantasy; when someone is asking me about a given book why would I say something is a Fantasy when it's clearly an Urban Fantasy?

If you sensed they didn't care about the sub-genre; like if they asked, "I'm looking for a fantasy story. Not a sci-fi story, mind you. Hey, that book there... I see in the cover art there's real-world stuff... does that make that sci-fi?"

 

In that case they would already be aware it's "urban" so you might find it wasteful to spend words saying it, and just say, "No, it's fantasy!"

 

([{I've seen some horribly misleading cover art in my life, that is entirely unrelated to the story, but now that I've got that out, I'm going to ignore judging a book by its cover from here.}])

 

Exactly, you're being less specific, because the person you're taking to already knows that; however I thought it would have been clear that I was talking about situations where someone doesn't know about a story...

 

But back to;

 

Not saying I would put all Fantasy under Science Fantasy of course, but just within those stories you could do this. So, in addition to mixtures being able to be looked at as subsets, you can also look at mixtures as categories containing subsets!

 

My point being, it's all somewhat arbitrary, when you worry about making one thing or another subsets of each other, within spec. fic.

 

I think it's a fair goal to try and avoid arbitrary lines; because those are unnatural (although growing up with an arbitrary line makes it seem less unnatural); the Science Fantasy as an umbrella genre of  Fantasy & Sci-Fi, runs into plenty of issues (see all those unanswered questions or with unsatisfying answers); so I'm glad you wouldn't put all Science Fantasy under Fantasy.

 

Not to mention that would be a complete overhaul of the system; me excluding what is patently unexplained magic from Sci-Fi doesn't require a huge re-categorisation, there are a few titles people occasionally call Sci-Fi which others call Science Fantasy (Star Wars is probably a good example), and firmly restating that it is Science Fantasy.

 

 

Or somebody else might make an argument, like the one in that question Greg was quoted as arguing in the topic. They might say, "I read this book, where they're in a normal city, and there's a mystery, but since there is technology like cars and stuff around, I assumed the answer to the mystery would be based in the real world, something you'd find in an Urban environment, but a few chapters in, magic started happening! This author took an Urban story and turned it into a fantasy story!"

 

The story so far was an Urban story, and then it became an Urban Fantasy; there isn't anything wrong with that, & certainly, just because it wasn't apparent doesn't mean that wasn't intended. If this happened in the second book; then the first book would have been an Urban story, & the second one an Urbane Fantasy; there isn't anything wrong with that;

although if they are strictly saying it is no longer an urbane story they are of course wrong, that is a false dichotomy.

 

This doesn't really compare well with Bionicle, because if I look at another Science Fantasy, namely Star Wars, when someone calls it Sci-Fi people correct them to it being a Science Fantasy; thus many already agree that Science Fantasy isn't (a sub genre) of Science Fiction.
 
But if I call an Urban Fantasy just a Fantasy or Urban, I'm being less specific than I could be
 
Calling a Science Fantasy a Sci-Fi is actually very misleading; magic can't exist in a Sci-Fi, mixing the elements of two genres spawns a new one, sometimes a genre carries more baggage than having certain elements, but of lacking other ones.
Interestingly enough Urban Fantasy is typically listed as a sub-genre of Fantasy.
 
I can't really think of many situations where I would call something that is Science Fantasy a Fantasy, because less accuracy ultimately could be misleading, as many people seem to think that Fantasy necessitates no electronics; for this reason Science Fantasy & Urban Fantasy might not be considered sub-genres of Fantasy, & Fantasy shall come to be a narrower category; I think the opposite is happening if anything, but words evolve in funny ways.
 

In this case you have two routes to go -- you could point out (as I would in my style of more thorough answers, compared to Greg who prefers very short answers to be read in context of the tons of other answers he gives) that it's a false dichotomy that a story can only be one or the other, and that it's Urban Fantasy, but if you have already pointed this out in the past (as Greg has for Science Fantasy), there would be no need to repeat it.

And it doesn't address the main mistake being made by this person. (They already know, actually, that the Urban stuff was in the story. The issue is that they thought it was actually just an Urban story at first.) So you very well might point out "It was always a fantasy story, you just didn't know it at the start."

 

Greg opens himself up to be quote mined (although that can't easily be entirely avoided), If I go to a site with his account, and see in one thread him calling Bionicle Sci-Fi, & can't see him call it a Science Fantasy anywhere else in that thread I'm getting worried that he either isn't aware that Science Fantasy is a term, (I very much doubt he thinks a world akin to Bionicles exists somewhere out in a multiverse, at least one that isn't someones brain/computer simulation).

 

He could have easily said it was a Science Fantasy. Although considering that from the very beginning their were bio-mechanical beings using Elemental powers; I don't really see how someone could not be inclined to use the label of Science Fantasy.

I mean the reveal that Mata Nui was sitting on an enormousness robot didn't really change the genre that much; maybe revealed that it had space travel? But it hardly changed it being a Science Fantasy.

 

& in the case of someone ignoring previous elements in the story; well if they think that it having Fantasy themes means it can't be Urban (Fantasy) then yes that certainly looks like a false dichotomy.

 

But yeah; "It was always a fantasy story, you just didn't know it at the start." well there was a genre ; if that genre shift happened after a released piece, then that first piece wasn't the (exact) same genre as later pieces; if this happens in a single book (which is what i believe you imply), then yeah, the book as whole was that genre, it was just a twist of sorts.

 

I'm sure if we applied our brains with imagination we could think of other scenarios. Point being, "why would this happen" is never a solid argument to support a universal negative (or estimated negative, even  :P) conclusion of "there is no reason", since you could just be failing to think of one. (Although such things can work as evidential arguments with uncertainty being clarified.)

 

 

I'm sure we can think of other scenarios; but 'impossible' is usually defined as things deemed significantly unlikely; hence Hard Sci-Fi & Soft Sci-Fi (debatably amongst other things?); but if a no explanations are ever really offered, only ever hand waved, then it looks very soft indeed;

 

If the typical way people come up to explain something apparently magical, are brain in a jar scenarios or an entirely alternate set of physics, the former isn't really meaningful; because everything could be Sci-Fi (if a given thing makes everything the same, & everything being the same isn't productive...) and alternate physics essentially means that that it isn't a speculative possibility; it's assuming what if everything went entirely differently on the (second, first being logic itself?) most fundamental level, it's no longer related to current known laws (science) & possibilities that have been considered from a scientific view (not so much a philosophical one, although that usually comes into play).

 

And as much as the various Elemental powers & other Powers where explained essentially as nanotechnology, Greg has insisted that Bionicle has it's own physics.

 

'T'is the most waviest of hand waves; Sci-Fi usually keeps it's hand waves to there is this substance which has this property & because of this property we can do this and this, or we worked out how to warp space so we can appear to go faster than the speed of light, but fundamentally we haven't gone faster than it, we've just made our trip 'shorter', the more fundamental the hand wave the less explanations, the softer, & eventually you have Magic, & thus a Fantasy element.

 

So Bionicle alternate physics kind of disqualifies it from Sci-Fi; but it's obviously a Science Fantasy... so thus something being a Science Fantasy doesn't automatically mean it's Sci-Fi.

 

I'm not relying on a universal negative; if it is something not yet proven (hmm hi Sci-Fi) then a creator won't be able to offer an entire explanation (or rather, if they do, they've just made a huge scientifc break through, & should be congratulated on [partially] defictionalising their story) but saying that the Great Beings have an explanation isn't giving us one; if he said that Energised Protodermis is a room temperature superconductor or some such, & from this they cna do X, Y, & Z et cetera might be enough to get it accepted as a Sci-Fi, but he didn't have that; it's just an entirely magical substance which inconsistently does things, but we are told that their is an internal consistency;

 

There is the creator stating things, but some things are just informed abilities which look more like a hallmark of trying to avoid the label of Fantasy ...for some reason.

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Science Fantasy is not a genre under science fiction or fantasy categories. It is a completely different genre that takes elements from both. 

 

That's my point. 

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Science Fantasy is not a genre under science fiction or fantasy categories. It is a completely different genre that takes elements from both. 

 

That's my point. 

 

& I would ([{sort of, mostly}]) agree with that.

 

Would you then agree that it is incorrect to call something that is Science Fantasy a Fantasy xor a Sci-Fi?

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Yes. (What does "xor" mean? Nor? Or? Both? :P)

 

Sort of mostly? I think that statement is pretty straightforward to be honest. You either think that: 

 

1) Science Fantasy is a category under sci-fi. 

xor

2) Science Fantasy is a category under fantasy.

xor 

3) Science Fantasy is not a genre under science fiction or fantasy categories. It is a completely different genre that takes elements from both. 

 

You just spent five long blog comments arguing that 2 was correct against bonesiii. I know you disagree with 1, you agree with 2, and you (sort of, mostly) agree with 3? 3 and 2 are mutually exclusive options. If you agree with 3, you don't agree with 2. Yeesh. 

 

For the record, I disagree with 1 and 2, because 3 contradicts 1 and 2 in all forms of sound logic that I happen to know about. Obviously if something is NOT a category under two things it is not a category of either of them. Duh. 

 

But how in the blue blazes did you get that bones agreed with 1? As far as I know, he does not. Unless his views have significantly changed since the blog entry I quoted back in the topic, he would agree with 3. Aaand I know that because I got 3 from that blog entry in the first place!

 

*facepalm* 

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All I particularly care about is that Science Fantasy is not a category under Sci-Fi;

I can see it as a category under Fantasy, but I can also see it just as its own thing;

I'm inclined to have it as a category beneath Fantasy, but I feel that is becoming less relevant to people today, so I'm open to simply having them as 3 separate categories entirely.

 

Frankly I don't really have any idea what bonesiii's actual opinion is; I know he considers Bionicle to be Science Fantasy (which pretty much everyone did), way back in another thread;

 

Boidoh dropped a quote that made it look like (to me) that Greg (one of the creators) thought Bionicle was Sci-Fi which looked utterly asinine to me, & bonesiii came in saying that I misunderstood Greg (which I did, his quote lacked proper context...)

 

But looking back over that I saw something relevant to you fishers64: "The method is fantastic, the idea scientific. Therefore  there is both science and fantasy in here." which Mjolnitor actually came up with some good responses to (even if most aren't), because frankly that there is science in even Narnia (gravity works; implied that Science works in the real world because it's science & is otherwise RW physics + 'magic [on top]')

 

So if that's still your line of reasoning, it looks to be flawed because I don't see what explanation there is there, & I don't see how the idea is scientific in the slightest... essentially all Fantasy series have some science in them so why aren't they all Science Fantasy?

 

Robots and all the rest are certainly Sci-Fi elements; but I feel Sci-Fi is defined (by the way many people catergorise them, not just various dictionaries etc.) by something more; mainly that the series contains things that could be possible within known science (so if someone starts being telekinetic you better have a very good explanation);

 

If you have Magic (a Fantasy element, one that is more or less 'can not be explained by science or any current scientific speculation'), & Sci-Fi elements, it is Science Fantasy; but as that Magic is opposed to Sci-Fi, Science Fantasy can't be thought of a sub-genre of Sci-Fi, where as ...robots really aren't incompatible with Fantasy; they are (an extrapolation of) RW science, & there is already RW science in Fantasy.

 

Furthermore I see no reason why two different categories (which like all categories have some form of rules that tell you what can go in it) could have an asymmetric relationship in terms of what elements can go in them.

 

So for Science Fantasy to not be a sub-genre of Fantasy would either require an extra rule (either on it, or Fantasy), which I'm open to but I don't see much of a need for it, as we would be having the same results (although by different methods); me because I try to use the most specific genres I know.

 

Alternatively one wouldn't need an extra rule, but simply replace my rule (about Sci-Fi not containing Magic [the {essentially} 'impossible']), with one that states that Science Fantasy is not a sub-genre of Fantasy or Science Fiction.

 

Which I see as neither inherently better or worse than my proposition.

 

Or finally one could just define Sci-Fi as just (advanced)tech-ish stuff; but then why not just call it Tech..? etc. (Seems like one has managed to appropriate Sci-Fi into a synonym of pretty much just one word; tech-ish.)

 

Which does look bad to me; appropriation of words which doesn't even give them a different implication?

 

But going way back to 

 

But how in the blue blazes did you get that bones agreed with 1? As far as I know, he does not. Unless his views have significantly changed since the blog entry I quoted back in the topic, he would agree with 3. Aaand I know that because I got 3 from that blog entry in the first place!

 

The first blog post is the size of a small novel, & the way he seemed to defend Greg calling Bionicle Science Fiction makes it look like Science Fantasy was just a more technical term...

 

Furthermore whilst he might not say it's a sub-genre of either of the others exactly, he does talk about it as a spectrum, & as he keeps on saying it could be viewed all these other ways (which he apparently doesn't himself) it could be viewed, that I don't agree with either, it leaves me little room other than to state my reasoning and offer a counterpoint to his counterpoints.

 

IF you both view them as three distinct genres on the same level; that is a rule you have added on, instead of that rule I just have a rule stating that Magic can't be in Sci-Fi (which logically follows on that Science Fantasy can't be a sub-genre of it, & it being a sub-genre was only relevant because I was contesting that something that was Science Fantasy could not be Science Fiction).

 

Both are rules that aren't explicitly found in any definitions; however the results of both aren't particularly alien to how people classify things presently.

 

 

Things like this:
 

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

Which is summarized as "science fantasy."  :)

You can also just call it sci-fi in loose terms. But there is a misconception going around that it's supposed to be hard science fiction (everything explained) and it isn't.  :)

 

 

Were very confusing; he accepted there someone calling it a Sci-Fi, so maybe I've quote mined him by accident (as he did to me a few posts up), it happens from time to time, but that sort of thing makes me inclined to try and deal with every side I can think of; because his stance seems to change very quickly.

 

 

 
1) Science Fantasy is a category under sci-fi. 
xor
2) Science Fantasy is a category under fantasy.
xor 
3) Science Fantasy is not a genre under science fiction or fantasy categories. It is a completely different genre that takes elements from both. 

 

My intention was to 'disprove' 1, I tried to invoke 2 just to show why there was a big wall between Science Fantasy & Science Fiction ; I'm open to a wall also existing in-between Fantasy & Science Fiction; but all I ever cared about was that something that is a Science Fantasy can not truly be called a Sci-Fi.

 

 

If everyone agrees that something which is Science Fantasy can not correctly be called Sci-Fi I am happy; the only other reason I have tried to follow the various other posts on all the related matters is to defend what I think on genre classification.

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Iblis, I only had time to skim your latest replies, and if at this point touching on every point gives length errors this is becoming a point of diminishing returns. I'm baffled that after all of thaaaaat you could possibly say something like that you still don't know what my view is! (Why, then, even bother?)

 

You know, this blog has been dead for so long, I started just reading the "bonesquotes" on the side for old times' sake, and I noticed one that seems to sum up the problem I'm seeing in your approach:

 

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.

 

I think your concern at its heart seems to be paranoia that by your using the definition fishers listed as #2, and people applying your same logic in a different way to use #1 (or using #1 on their own), that they will be confusing magic for science. It's a good concern, but it's also 1) extremely unlikely, and 2) already solved by just everybody using definition #3! You create that problem by seeing the mix as a subset in the first place.

 

If I'm getting this right, all I can say in closing (for now... maybe...) is: relax. People know the diff between wizardry and elemental powers, and science. And if they don't, hey, a story having both could be written to help explain it in a fun and engaging (thus memorable) way. :) Or we can correct them.

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All I particularly care about is that Science Fantasy is not a category under Sci-Fi;

I can see it as a category under Fantasy, but I can also see it just as its own thing;

I'm inclined to have it as a category beneath Fantasy, but I feel that is becoming less relevant to people today, so I'm open to simply having them as 3 separate categories entirely.

Unfortunately, IMO Science fantasy has science fiction elements in it by inherent nature of itself, which would invalidate it as a category under fantasy.

 

Please note that I said "science fiction elements". I am merely being consistent with myself (internally consistent, if you prefer) that science fantasy contains science fiction elements, which I mentioned previously.

 

So I maintain that if a story contains science fiction elements, it cannot be fantasy. If a story contains fantastic elements, it cannot be science fiction. If a story contains both science fiction and fantasy elements, it is science fantasy.

 

Frankly I don't really have any idea what bonesiii's actual opinion is; I know he considers Bionicle to be Science Fantasy (which pretty much everyone did), way back in another thread;

 

[...][i'll get to this in a second...]

 

Furthermore whilst he might not say it's a sub-genre of either of the others exactly, he does talk about it as a spectrum, & as he keeps on saying it could be viewed all these other ways (which he apparently doesn't himself) it could be viewed, that I don't agree with either, it leaves me little room other than to state my reasoning and offer a counterpoint to his counterpoints.

I don't pretend to speak for bonesiii. All I can do is read what he said in previous blog entries and provide what I got out of it. So I'm going to do that.

Adventure Mystery

Science Fantasy

 

QUOTE(Wikipedia (D.com doesn't have it))

Science fantasy is a mixed genre of story which contains some science fiction and some fantasy elements.

 

 

See the aforelinked blog entry for more on how I see this as being defined. Essentially, it can mix and match anything from scifi and fantasy in any way.[/size]

That was exactly where I got everything I said from lol. It's practically word-for-word quote; my memory is just that good. *is surprised, actually :)*

 

The aforelinked blog entry is this one: Science Fantasy = Bionicle.

 

Science fiction, science fantasy, and fantasy are all within a larger category that we could call "Physics Fiction".If you think about it, the common trait of them all is that physics is important to the storyline, as opposed to more "real world" fiction. 

 

What's more, "Physics Fiction" is a spectrum, not three seperate categories. At one end, science fiction focuses on real physics. The story centers around what real phsycists, scientists, etc. know about how our world works and takes it in an imaginative direction. At the other end, fantasy focuses on fictional physics. The story features physics invented by the author; taking physics itself in an imaginative direction. In between, science fantasy merges the two, melding real phsyics with fictional ones to give the fictional physics more of a sense of realism while also giving the imagination freedom. 

 

So here's what the spectrum looks like if you consider examples of popular physics fiction examples:

 

physfict.gif

 

Bionicle is probably one of the prime examples of "pure" science fantasy. You've got fictional elemental energy, protodermis, Kanohi, etc. and yet you've got machinery, technology, etc. blended together. Star Wars is another good example.

Okay, so this is where we get the spectrum thing from. But notice this part: 

 

At one end, science fiction focuses on real physics. The story centers around what real phsycists, scientists, etc. know about how our world works and takes it in an imaginative direction. At the other end, fantasy focuses on fictional physics. The story features physics invented by the author; taking physics itself in an imaginative direction. In between, science fantasy merges the two, melding real phsyics with fictional ones to give the fictional physics more of a sense of realism while also giving the imagination freedom.

Okay, so science fiction contains real physics, not fantastic stuff that couldn't happen in the real world. Fantasy contains fantastic physics - obviously Sci-Fi does NOT, or it wouldn't be science fiction. And that's how you get what you think - a sudden introduction of any sort of fantastic physics leaps it straight to fantasy because "real-world physics" apply in all stories to some degree, right? Therefore Science Fantasy and Fantasy are one and the same - Science Fantasy just has a bit more recognition of such real-world physics than Tolkien.

 

Note that when I use the term "genre elements" instead of "physics" everything makes sense; when I use "physics" the situation appears to collapse. Physics fiction is bones' terms - it appears that I've shot myself in the foot by quoting him, haven't I? In fact, it would appear that he would agree with you even more than I do!

 

But would "real-world physics applying" actually distinguish genre in that case? Since real-world physics apply in all stories to some degree, that wouldn't distinguish genre. It applies to mysteries, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, drama, thriller, urbane...you name it. What distinguishes Sci-Fi from drama, though, is this: 

 

The story centers around what real phsycists, scientists, etc. know about how our world works and takes it in an imaginative direction.

 

SF takes real world physics in a new direction - the ways that it does are sci-fi genre elements (like robots, space ships, computers, etc. This is different from fantasy, which DOES NOT take real-world physics in an imaginative direction at all. 

 

Science Fantasy, by its very nature, does both. It takes real physics in new ways that are possible but aren't real yet, and uses fantastic fictional physics that are impossible in our world. 

 

Normally I don't even dare to type such things. But bones referred to my original post-quote in the very blog entry we are arguing in, which seems to imply that he still agrees with himself. :lookaround:

 

And since I'm typing in a Bones Blog entry, I'll add that bones sees almost every single way that you could be wrong in every single post (once you get in a discussion/debate), and for some reason he feels the need to point out every single last one, even if it has nothing to do with the point you were trying to make or his dispute with it. :P I advise you to stick to the point you were trying to make and concede the other things you don't really want to fight over. And if you still don't know what you're fighting about, ask. 

 

It's not just bones though. :) A lot of people do that - it's fairly common around here. :shrugs:  

 

Okay, and that's normally where I would end this, but I feel the need to briefly address this tangent: 

 

But looking back over that I saw something relevant to you fishers64: "The method is fantastic, the idea scientific. Therefore  there is both science and fantasy in here." which Mjolnitor actually came up with some good responses to (even if most aren't), because frankly that there is science in even Narnia (gravity works; implied that Science works in the real world because it's science & is otherwise RW physics + 'magic [on top]')

 

So if that's still your line of reasoning, it looks to be flawed because I don't see what explanation there is there, & I don't see how the idea is scientific in the slightest... essentially all Fantasy series have some science in them so why aren't they all Science Fantasy?

Actually, that quote has nothing to do with genre debates - it has to do with how science and fantasy mix in Bionicle, which is an entirely different watermelon.  

Alternatively one wouldn't need an extra rule, but simply replace my rule (about Sci-Fi not containing Magic [the {essentially} 'impossible']), with one that states that Science Fantasy is not a sub-genre of Fantasy or Science Fiction.

Um, that's what I just did. :D

 

Edit: ninja'd by bonesiii :)

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