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What makes a sci-fi fim or book?
Case in Point:
Star Wars, Inception, Alien and Resident Evil

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by    Posted september 30, 2010
My response, and thanks for these great answers: In reading some of these, I feel I've dropped into the middle of a conversation.

Regardless, I do like science fiction a lot. I cut my teeth with Asimov, Heinlein and Matheson and used to read Bradbury and Ellison voraciously, so I know my way around. Science fiction has a pretty broad definition.

There is the "science" in a story that is the main drive behind the tale – such as machines that can break the light barrier, innovations in cryogenics, uncontrollable military viruses (Andromeda Strain) and so on. I have found definitions that include psychological and societal upheavals in the future if things continue as they have. I think to include the social sciences as well as hard sciences is what is controversial. Alien may be a horror film, but space exploration for the sponsored company, and danger of taking a dangerous species to Earth is science fiction to me.

Star Wars is a space opera so there I agree with Orlok. There is an argument though that the later films of the sexology (my word!) are more science fiction in nature. Asimov was best in creating societies with science fiction elements but also wanted to tell morality tales too. Foundation has the invention of miniaturization of instruments and the fictional mathematics of psychohistory. What if you could predict social change through mathematics?

Bradbury's stories do tend to be fantasy and sometimes a warning of the future "if things continue." Stories as Fahrenheit 451 are like that. Or George Lucas' THX-1138 and even Logan's Run are similar in depth. So really, it depends on who you ask. If there are fantasy elements in a science fiction story, then I would tend to call it soft science fiction, such as certain Star Trek episodes or Star Wars.

Hard science fiction such as Andromeda Strain, where science goes horribly wrong I would also label as science fiction. I have not seen Inception so can't comment on that. Even The Fantastic Four could be labeled science fiction, since our intrepid travelers have their genes altered by a rogue space storm. Holy smokes! I don't understand why the mention of my community The Forbidden Planet.

It's pretty clear in my About This Community page that I accept all kinds of science fiction, even if it's a hybrid. Pure imaginative fiction, such as Wind of the Willows or Dragon-related stories should go to Orlok's Fans & Friends of Fantasy community.  Star Trek goes to Where No Website Has Gone Before.

So the short story is that I'm pretty inclusive. Thanks to the Lunch fans for steering me back to the library and explore not only science fiction novels, but mystery, crime fiction and fantasy stories.
by    Posted october 16, 2010
I agree with @Sean_Rhodes. Very poignant argument made. :)
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