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JPSpideyCJ
03-19-2007, 01:07 AM
.... Do you prefer Fantasy or Science-Fiction, and why?

southern_cross3
03-19-2007, 01:37 AM
That's really rather hard to answer. I would say that I like science fiction better, because I have been reading/writing it for longer than fantasy, but at the present I'm equally interested in both. There are ways in which I like scifi more, just as there are ways in which I like fantasy more--they complement one another.

Tachyon
03-19-2007, 02:01 AM
I don't particularly prefer reading one over the other.

I write both, but if pressed I'd say that I like to write fantasy just a teensy bit more than I do SF, simply because it requires less use of science. As much as I love science, I'm lazy and hate to do the research required to truly produce good hard SF (which is what I enjoy).

kct webber
03-19-2007, 02:35 AM
I like both, but I'd say that fantasy is definitely more enjoyable to me.

Why? *shrugs*

Oddly, though, I find that there are more Science Fiction movies/shows that I like than there are Fantasy.

Why? The odds, I guess.

JBI
03-19-2007, 03:15 AM
Fantasy if the writer is good. There are, I find, more crummy fantasy writers than crummy Sci-Fi authors. Though I am not too big a fan of modern science fiction.

Lyra Jean
03-19-2007, 04:14 AM
I like science fiction. Especially space opera, I guess that is what you would call it. Shows like Cowboy Bebop (anime/manga), Firefly/Serenity, and to a lesser degree Star Trek. Hmm, maybe it's more of a space western thing or are they both really the same genre?

Anyone know of any novels or short stories like that?

Sage
03-19-2007, 04:19 AM
In television, I prefer sci-fi, although urban fantasy (Buffy, Angel, Dresden) is also good. In novels, I prefer fantasy. In movies, it's about half & half. In anime (movies or shows), I prefer fantasy.

Oddsocks
03-19-2007, 10:13 AM
I generally prefer fantasy, if it's good. I like a fairly limited range of Sci fi too - the X files, Firefly, and I'm trying to branch out and try some of the classics. My least favourite is possibly urban fantasy (though there are some I like), or maybe some kinds of sci-fi.

SlowRain
03-19-2007, 12:28 PM
Epic fantasy, because I'm a nostalgic kind of person (yes, I also like historical fiction).

Troo
03-19-2007, 04:21 PM
Neither. I enjoy reading whichever so long as the characters are three-dimensional and the story is interesting.

I can't stand hard sci-fi where the plot is all-consuming and the people in it are flat and uninspired devices purely to interact with the science / technology. Duller than a very dull thing on a dull day in Dullsville. I want to see people (whether human or otherwise) in the stories I read!

Melanie Nilles
03-19-2007, 06:05 PM
Both, depending on the writing. That applies to books and shows, although I prefer to watch SF more than fantasy for television or movies. Give me Farscape, Stargate, or Babylon 5 anyday!

When it comes to reading, I prefer a good story that doesn't get too technical. I'm a character reader, so to speak. Put the characters in a unique setting and let them loose, although I prefer SF/F on different worlds. Magic or science; it doesn't matter to me as long as it's plausible and doesn't use technobabble (on the SF side) or go into too much explanation. I just want to see the system in use and have it easy to understand from context without having to read a dissertation.

Melanie

J. Weiland
03-19-2007, 06:08 PM
Entertaining novels can be found in both genres. I prefer good books over bad ones.

AceTachyon
03-19-2007, 08:00 PM
I tend to cycle between the two. When I O.D. on one, I'll switch to the other

Right now, I'm on the SF cycle.

Death Wizard
03-21-2007, 12:19 AM
I'm definitely a fantasy guy. Sci-fi with fantasy elements appeals to me, but military sci-fi isn't my thing.

Jim

Peggy
03-21-2007, 10:03 AM
I generally prefer science fiction (but not military variety) and urban fantasy. I'd rather watch space operas (Star Trek, BSG, Bab5) than read them, though.

Back in grad school someone donated a big collection of "strong women of sword and sorcery" anthologies - maybe edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley? - to the paperback book swap. I really overdosed on that particular genre to the point where a warrior woman protag is an immediate turn off.

Michael Dracon
03-21-2007, 02:24 PM
I'm a big fan of Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy, mainly TV and movies but nowadays novels as well. Amongst my favorites are The Dresden Files (both the novels and the TV series), The Nightside novels, the new Battlestar Galactica as well as Supernatural, Babylon 5 and Farscape.

I love series with a greater story than the individual components (novels or episodes). Or to be more exact, I hate series of stories that follow each other but do not let the characters evolve over time.

Troo
03-21-2007, 05:17 PM
Or to be more exact, I hate series of stories that follow each other but do not let the characters evolve over time.

But isn't this exactly what The Dresden Files (books) does? I admit I'm only on Summer Knight, but it seems to me that Harry never changes, learns, or evolves in any way.

Please give me hope that he starts to? :D

Claudia Gray
03-21-2007, 06:42 PM
I like both science fiction and fantasy, but I definitely prefer "soft" scifi to "hard" scifi, which generally does not delve deeply enough into character for me.

Thump
03-21-2007, 06:46 PM
In television, I prefer sci-fi, although urban fantasy (Buffy, Angel, Dresden) is also good. In novels, I prefer fantasy. In movies, it's about half & half. In anime (movies or shows), I prefer fantasy.

Are you channelling me? :)

Although I don't much like TV Fantasy. Buffy's mostly okay but I don't like it all that much.

I tend to prefer soft SF as well although some hard SF books are AMAZING! Hate cyberpunk (reading Neuromancer for uni was the hardest thing I've ever had to do :D) and can only take so much sword and sorcery.

Michael Dracon
03-21-2007, 09:45 PM
But isn't this exactly what The Dresden Files (books) does? I admit I'm only on Summer Knight, but it seems to me that Harry never changes, learns, or evolves in any way.

Please give me hope that he starts to? :D

He already is. He's getting better protection to his home and I hear he'll sport the leather cloak later on as well.

He'll also most likely gets to see the corners of rooms less often in the future as well :D

It has just started. I'm giving it a chance. It certainly has potential for long-term plotting.

Also, it's not like I dismiss a series just because it doesn't have that much long-term planning. I also keep watching if the series is cool enough. Supernatural is still on my watch-list, despite the little amount of evolving of the main character. Though it looks like we may get some nice twists and turns in the near future.

Vincent
03-21-2007, 09:48 PM
SF tends to engage my mind more, and Fantasy my emotions more. Some go the other way around, and some do both. So they're all good.

Michael Dracon
03-21-2007, 09:53 PM
I also watch some anime. I particularly enjoy Bleach, Naruto and Avatar. I have thought about trying to find a good Anime book/comic series to read but have yet to find a good candidate for that. The Bleach comics didn't really attract me that much, mainly because of the style of drawing. I did however managed to get some nice limited series comic in the Transformers and Streetfighter series.

BiggerBoat
03-21-2007, 10:33 PM
I like either, but typically not the strict interpretations of the genre. I don't really like hard SF, for example, and have grown tired of epic fantasy. I like some military SF, some space opera, urban/paranormal fantasy, historical-themed fantasy. I like books that break genre conventions, or blend those conventions in interesting ways.

benbradley
03-21-2007, 11:00 PM
I like SF, much more than fantasy. If I had to choose between an excellent fantasy and a mediocre SF story, I'll pick the SF and not regret it. The only thing I'll miss is feeling left out when surrounded by people discussing the fantasy story.

I don't care how many or few dimensions the characters have, as long as the hardware and ideas have at least three dimensions (ISTR there were nine dimensions in the Gateway series). Give me The Laws of Physics and how people work within them. Larry Niven's short story collection "Neutron Star" was perfect. I really enjoyed Forward's "Dragon's Egg" and "Starquake" were also great, but these books had more of the "characterization" thing than I'm used to in hard SF stories.

This makes me a horrible, terrible writer, I know...

Melanie Nilles
03-22-2007, 01:38 AM
I also watch some anime. I particularly enjoy Bleach, Naruto and Avatar. I have thought about trying to find a good Anime book/comic series to read but have yet to find a good candidate for that. The Bleach comics didn't really attract me that much, mainly because of the style of drawing. I did however managed to get some nice limited series comic in the Transformers and Streetfighter series.

Avatar's not anime, but is a good American animated series. Have you tried Inu Yasha or Samarai Deeper Kyo? Those are similar to the others you mentioned. Or maybe El Hazard, Dual, or Cowboy Bebop? I love Escaflowne, although it's an old show, but it has a good story.


Melanie

Vincent
03-22-2007, 07:58 AM
I like SF, much more than fantasy. If I had to choose between an excellent fantasy and a mediocre SF story, I'll pick the SF and not regret it.

I'll admit this puzzles me.

Pthom
03-22-2007, 10:54 AM
Doesn't puzzle me. But it helps to be a techno-nerd. For years, I just couldn't enjoy fantasy. I preferred hard SF to anything else (with the possible exception of soft SF ;) ). I had to force myself to read all the way through LotR, never had any love affair with myth or legend. Only recently have I made any attempt to read fantasy. (This experiment due in large part because of my accepting moderatorship of this forum.)

I got about 1/3 of the way through DeLint's Onion Girl before completely losing interest. I then read the very strange but delightful books by Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town) and Greg Bear's Songs of Earth and Power. And now, I will make tentative, and very brief forays into the realm of fantasy. (I will say that several stories written by our own shweta have delighted me.)

But if I'm going to get deep into a novel? It'd better be something along the likes of Larry Niven, Asimov, Vinge...or Harry Harrison (how can you not like a Stainless Steel Rat? :) )

Michael Dracon
03-22-2007, 02:08 PM
Avatar's not anime, but is a good American animated series. Have you tried Inu Yasha or Samarai Deeper Kyo? Those are similar to the others you mentioned. Or maybe El Hazard, Dual, or Cowboy Bebop? I love Escaflowne, although it's an old show, but it has a good story.


Melanie

I didn't know about the classification of Avatar. Inu Yasha has been advice to me before. I'll have to look into that.

I also found Macross and Hellsing on DVD. Awesome stuff!

PenDragon
03-22-2007, 03:30 PM
Fantasy.

Melanie Nilles
03-22-2007, 06:19 PM
I didn't know about the classification of Avatar.

The term "anime" is used to describe Japanese animation and has some distinctive characteristics. A couple of writers, however, have styles that aren't typical of anime (Miyazaki comes to mind).

Melanie

ShapeSphere
03-24-2007, 04:53 AM
Fantasy.

You're a fan of Hemingway perhaps. ;)

Fantasy is my preferred choice. A childhood diet of Enid Blyton (Magic Faraway Tree, etc.), Narnia, Tolkien, D&D, and other assorted fancies took its hold. Fantasy always seems so much more vivid, dreamlike and imaginative than anything else. (Because it is). As others have said it's pure escapism.

I like SF a lot, but I can never get my head around complex scientific ideas. I like to read the New Scientist and keep abreast of sci/tech issues, but some concepts go in one ear, hang around for a few seconds, and then depart out the other ear with a final wave goodbye. Old SF by Aldiss, J.G. Ballard, Moorcock was always pleasant, but anything today that is too technical or dry leaves me cold.

Feathers
03-28-2007, 12:21 AM
Sci-fi all the way. I like fantasy, but I find its all to similar. Theres a new world (which I admit is often really cool), and some sort of mission that waters down to saving the new world, often by finding a magical device, killing Wicked Wizard/Ruler X, or fighting The Big Battle between good and evil.
I'm more into action, dramatic/mind-boggeling twists (he didn't really die, compound Z-5 stuck his soul in a new body so thats why he looks like bad guy 1). Less battle, more run-for-your-life and snap-thinking.
Its not that I don't like fantasy, more that I get bored after too much of it.

benbradley
03-28-2007, 01:19 AM
Here's a story about me reading fantasy:
A college friend of my sisters' was visiting her once when I stopped over. My stister's friend Debbie had written and published a book, so I went to the store and bought a copy and had her autograph/inscribe it for me ("The Burning Stone" by Deborah Turner Harris, not the more recent book of that title by somoene else). I found it moderately interesting for fantasy/magic stuff, and made it about 1/3 the way through. I still have the book around here somewhere.

PenDragon
03-28-2007, 01:27 AM
You're a fan of Hemingway perhaps. ;)

Yes.

blacbird
03-28-2007, 01:38 AM
Sci-fi all the way. I like fantasy, but I find its all to similar. Theres a new world (which I admit is often really cool), and some sort of mission that waters down to saving the new world, often by finding a magical device, killing Wicked Wizard/Ruler X, or fighting The Big Battle between good and evil.

Couldn't agree more. It's odd how many aspiring writers seem to be attracted to this, what should be the most fancifully imaginative of all fiction genres, and who can't seem to get past square one when it comes to actually being imaginative. The genre is currently afflicted by a stultifying sameness that approaches being as pervasive as that afflicting the Romance genre. I guess there's just a big audience out there that wants to read the same thing painted with a slightly different veneer over and over and over . . .

caw

weatherfield
03-28-2007, 02:53 AM
I tend to like only very specific things, but I like them a lot. I don't usually like science fiction, but I like William Gibson and Philip K. Dick. Also, most of the anime I like is science fiction-y (Cowboy Bebop, Lain, FLCL).

I'm often more interested in fantasy, although if it has elves, dwarfs, or dragons, it's going to have to work a lot harder than something that doesn't. As a general rule, if there's a picture of one of those things on the cover, I'll probably skip that book. I avoid epic fantasy. I like Neil Gaiman and Emma Bull. I liked Jonathan Strange. Also, Howl's Moving Castle. I like urban fantasy, but only if it's got a great prose style. I really (really, really) dislike Laurel K Hamilton and marginally dislike Anne Rice.

Okay, I should back up and make this simple: I'll read anything that's low on melodrama, high on wit, and very high on charm.

laurel29
03-28-2007, 04:52 AM
I didn't know about the classification of Avatar. Inu Yasha has been advice to me before. I'll have to look into that.

I also found Macross and Hellsing on DVD. Awesome stuff!

I'll add Death Note to the list of Manga to read :). The anime hasn't been released in america (as far as I know,) but it is also good. I've been meaning to watch Lain... I read about it somewhere before. An anime that I loved (but some others found boring) was Gilgamesh.

I enjoy both Science Fiction and Fantasy equally, and I alternate between the two frequently. I really couldn't pick just one. I like fantasy that has a little bit of science fiction mixed in. Sometimes I like to read epic fantasy, but not recently.

Oh yeah, and I love Neil Gaiman. :LilLove:

The Grift
03-28-2007, 05:11 AM
Here's a question. Why is it that fans of one tend to be fans of the other, making this poll relevant?

If I had to wager a guess, I would say that it is because what we are fans of are impossibilities. We like things that cannot occur in the world as we know it. And before all you hard sci-fi/spec-fic guys jump on me, think about it. Even those stories are impossible within current constraints. Only if the science was properly developed would they become reality, hence the "speculative" in spec-fic. The what-ifs of fantasy often involve magic, new races of sentient beings, creatures, and all of that.

Therefore, I would say that we like both genres because we like to ask not only "What if," but "what if the world was not as we know it."

This isn't meant to hijack the thread, but rather give people something to think about as they answer what they prefer.

As for me, I just like a good story :)

ShapeSphere
03-28-2007, 05:21 AM
Couldn't agree more. It's odd how many aspiring writers seem to be attracted to this, what should be the most fancifully imaginative of all fiction genres, and who can't seem to get past square one when it comes to actually being imaginative. The genre is currently afflicted by a stultifying sameness that approaches being as pervasive as that afflicting the Romance genre. I guess there's just a big audience out there that wants to read the same thing painted with a slightly different veneer over and over and over . . .

It's a good point. I suppose some people after a busy and stressful day seek a simple and relaxing read in the realms of fantasy.

But SF is not immune from the comfort zone. I liked Star Trek on TV, but the original series always had the same formula (because it worked). There was a threat, Kirk made the "two-backed beast" with some alien female, and after a suitable delay saved the day. Almost every ending was successful.

The Next Generation saw everybody being well-balanced, nauseously wholesome and having lots of different hobbies. (Riker can stick his trombone where the sun doesn't shine). Invariably these perfectly formed people saved the day... again.

It was very popular because of the way it was told and the universe it created.

Both genres have their fair share of the mundane. They also have their share of the original.

Most people like the predictable. I am not criticising them. It's their life. They are looking for something exciting and well told, but that eventually will see good triumph over evil.

LOTR, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., etc., are huge because they did that.

Inkdaub
03-28-2007, 02:46 PM
Fantasy is my favorite but I like sci-fi just fine. Right now I'm reading Simmons' Hyperion series and I love it. The cool thing about sci-fi...to me...is that I can imagine that far enough in the future or past and distant enough in space these incredible mysteries really exist. Space/time is like the great default possibility field.

FredCharles
03-29-2007, 11:35 PM
.... Do you prefer Fantasy or Science-Fiction, and why?

I prefer to mix them together since I like elements of both.

Zoombie
03-30-2007, 01:51 AM
I don't care what it is, as long as it's original. The latest new sci-fi book I read was in a gigantic enclosed sphere with no gravity, where oceans were massive blobs of water, where cities were constructed in huge fly wheels with sails at the ends to spin it, and where falling off a city can send you plummeting into the spaces between suns, leaving you quite chilly for the next hundred years.

If that's not original, I want to know what is?

Now THAT was a neat book...too bad I can't remember it's name, or I'd tell you all to read it right now...damn it, damn it, damn it!

My tastes for originality extend to pretty much all fields. Movies, Anime, Video games even (My favored video game allows you to debate people out of existence and shape reality through sheer force of will. That and your best friend is a floating, talking skull...named Morte)

So if anyone's read some really out there books, please give me a ring.

Oh but they still have to be well written and crammed with awesome little details. It's not the big details that makes a world stick in my mind. It's the little details. You can't have big details without little details.

Judg
03-30-2007, 04:15 AM
And I have to choose why? Personally, I like a well-crafted story and fleshed-out characters that pull me in and I don't much care what the genre is. Heck, I've even liked the occasional romance, although admittedly they have been few and far between. But I do get an extra buzz from fantasy and science fiction and any blend of the two because of the extra shot of imagination. But I'll happily read thrillers and mysteries and spy novels and *gasp* literary stuff, provided they are the best in their category.

In the last couple of days I have done the unthinkable, put aside both a science fiction and a fantasy book without finishing them. One was too pulpy and the other too grim.

Troo
03-30-2007, 02:12 PM
Ooo? What was the grim one?

Pthom
03-30-2007, 10:19 PM
...The latest new sci-fi book I read was in a gigantic enclosed sphere with no gravity, where oceans were massive blobs of water, where cities were constructed in huge fly wheels with sails at the ends to spin it, and where falling off a city can send you plummeting into the spaces between suns, leaving you quite chilly for the next hundred years.

If that's not original, I want to know what is?

Now THAT was a neat book...too bad I can't remember it's name, or I'd tell you all to read it right now...damn it, damn it, damn it! That sounds to me like Sun of Suns (http://www.analogsf.com/0511/sunofsuns.shtml) by Karl Schroeder, first serialized in Analog and now available in hard cover (http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Suns-Virga-Book-1/dp/0765315432). I agree. A most original story.

Judg
03-31-2007, 12:21 AM
The grim one was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which I mistakenly took out of the library in French. (They evidently thought the title was untranslatable - correct - so I didn't notice when I reserved it.) I was getting tired of descriptions of rot and dilapidation and squalor and misery, especially because I read more slowly in French and can't just go barrelling through it like I can in English. I think I'll give it another chance, this time in English. I do think I can learn a lot from him. If I can't take it even in English, I'll just try another of his books. I've only read a couple of his books so far.

Now I know that all of you who like dark fantasy are probably laughing at me right now about how grim Gaiman isn't, but what can I say? You'd probably laugh at my idea of what constitutes loud music too.

My defence is that raising five kids (the last now approaching voting age) shot my nerves for life. That may not be true, but it's handy.

Troo
04-01-2007, 07:56 PM
Not at all, Judg. I was merely curious :)

Zoombie
04-01-2007, 08:50 PM
Sun of Suns, THAT was it. My only comlaint was I instantly knew who the secret bad guy/girl was, what would happen to him/her and how one of the other charicters would react.

Too bad that knowing it would happen didn't make me like that charicter any less. She/he was still awsome and I was bummed when they <removed for spoiler reasons>

Judg
04-02-2007, 12:13 AM
Well, I actually did read the whole darn thing after all. I'm not going to re-read it though. Once was enough. Far too many gratuitous gross-outs, although the humour helped. I'm assuming this isn't his best work.

weatherfield
04-02-2007, 12:47 AM
Well, I actually did read the whole darn thing after all. I'm not going to re-read it though. Once was enough. Far too many gratuitous gross-outs, although the humour helped. I'm assuming this isn't his best work.


Neverwhere? Yes, not his best, in my opinion. I think it seems like a young novel, kind of flat and linear. Subsequent ones are very well crafted, although I think you'll find them about the same in terms of the graphic depictions of this and that mutilation, etc. I like him an awfully lot, but I understand, too, that he's not for everyone. I'd say I was one of those kids desensitized by the media, but I've been obsessed with dissection and gore since I was very small--well before I started reading Stephen King and watching Tarantino. I actually like Gaiman specifically because I find his work quite charming, but yes, charm comes in many different guises. (There may be something wrong with me ;).)

Judg
04-02-2007, 01:00 AM
I very much liked the voice and feel of Stardust, but it's a very different story.