Can I get some Science with my Fiction?

By Matthew S. Dent
I’ve been thinking about what precisely science-fiction is. It covers a great deal of subgenres, some of which I’ve written in. But the fundamental idea behind it is in the name, I think. Science-fiction. Equal measures of each. Fiction about science. Or fiction involving science.

And I think that lies at the core of a lot of matters. Given that science is under a daily assault… it seems all the more important that sci-fi represents science in the most honest way possible. To me, sci-fi has always been about dreaming, about what could be in the future, but I know that a lot of people think of sci-fi as impenetrable nerd-gruel, but it really doesn’t have to be.

Reflecting on it, I think a lot of the bad sci-fi is the scientifically inaccurate stuff. To compensate for frankly impossible plot developments and holes that the writer has dug themselves into, they throw impenetrable technobabble and deus ex machinas into the mix, despite having little to no understanding of how the universe actually works. And then we’re using science as the plot crutch that magic so often is in fantasy.

The science in sci-fi doesn’t have to be so bold. It should be the lifeblood running through the veins of the story (and now I’m waxing all lyrical).

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The Vampire Diaries – From Book to Screen

via Movie Matics
First of all I have to say that I’ve read most of the books and I kind of liked it. Okay, I’ll admit. The first time hearing about this series I thought…no not another vampire show…but I tuned in anyways. Just to see what the hype was about. The show started off with a stumble, like any new show, but as the story progressed, I’m so addicted. I never missed an episode, if I did I’d try to find it online.I wasn’t a big fan though so I wasn’t so freaked out to watch the series.

When I did watch the show I liked it much more than the books. OH YES I DID. Why? Because of Elena. I didn’t like that character in the book at all! A blond haired, blue eyed cheerleader who is the most popular girl of the school and every boy wants to go out with her? Not for me. So far that was better than the book. For me, anyway. I do understand though, those who didn’t like the series for not being a good adaption of the books, I’ve been there. But don’t forget it is supposed to be BASED on the novel. I didn’t care about older actors playing younger roles, or that most of them are pretty.

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The Handmaid’s Tale, The Time-Traveler’s Wife: Why Real Book Lovers Read Science Fiction

by Amanda467 at BlogHer
In this post, I’m going to argue that if you’re a serious book lover, you should be reading sci-fi. I’m going to identify some compelling reasons why you should be reading the genre. Familiar, comfy titles that are literary bestsellers from the past 20 or so years: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Road, Never Let Me Go, Oryx and Crake,The Time Traveler’s Wife.

These are ALL works of science fiction.

Yep. That’s right. Somehow, those sneaky little aliens, robots and mad scientists all crawled under your radar and made you read a sci-fi novel without you even knowing it. Some of the book on the list above were even short-listed for the Booker Prize. Many of them are now classics of contemporary literature.

Margaret Atwood argues here that what she writes is “speculative fiction.” I disagree. She writes dystopic science fiction, but markets it to the masses. Why? Because of the inane and incorrect stereotypes about sci-fi that persist even now. If it’s got someone as well known and well respected as Margaret Atwood cringing over associations with tight lycra suits, little green men and bad B-grade movies, then is it any wonder the genre attracts only six percent of the U.S. reading public?

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I have to agree about science in some sci fi books. It’s just terrible. Sometimes all it takes to disprove a plot is a 30 second google search, and that’s just shoddy writing.  The really good Science fiction makes people want to learn more. And there are some tv shows out there that are more accurate than the books. If TV writers can do research for a show that appears weekly, then why are novelist being so lazy?

Do you think Vampire Diaries was adapted for TV well? Do you prefer the books or the TV show? What do you think of books that are marketed as literature, but are really Sci Fi?