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Old 09-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #31
chris stevens
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well, i think 'lost' is trash if it makes you feel better.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:31 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris stevens
well, i think 'lost' is trash if it makes you feel better.
You really are a prick.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:34 AM   #33
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My wife mocked me for watching Battlestar Galactica. The name "Starbuck" gave her such cruel delight.
But then she started watching, and then she'd get mad if I watched without her. BSG converted my wife, which is pretty amazing.

As a life-long scifi fan, I can tell you there are people who love hard scifi because it's HARD. They love the science and the abstract ideas, and they sneer at soft scifi -- it's just not chiseled and buff.
But I think the most enduring scifi are the stories about what it means to be human, and finding an optimistic note in all the mess. People struggling for a better tomorrow.
There's a large enough body of work out there to make a good argument against me...and Philip K. Dick is the nuclear option...but that's how I feel.

Two examples:

The Miracle Mile, the '90s movie with Anthony Edwards, is great -- BUT IT IS SO FREAKING DEPRESSING.

My favorite all-time scifi story is Theodore Sturgeon's Thunder and Roses. It's about love, and hope, and how large dramas are played out on tiny, tiny stages.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:35 AM   #34
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In my opinion sci fi/ fantasy are the same thing. I think what they both bring is the ability to exaggerate the human condition.

I enjoy both perhaps because I live in the real world so I prefer the visual differences and escapism it provides, and just the "oh thats cool " moments.

I think any good story could be told in any setting, to me its the "truth" of the story that has to shine no matter what setting.

When thinking of these anthologies its my personal taste that the intent of the original is understood then the sci fi setting is used to almost disguise and make someone not notice the original it is based on, at least not until further into the story, I think by doing that you are almost adding another layer to the original, the reader gets to almost try and guess what original its based on. If it sticks to much to the original I think that is an element that is lost.

For me what makes this interesting is how can a writer disguise and alter the original while telling the same "truth" of the story. I think it becomes very entertaining if you almost get to the end then realize " wow I cant believe I missed what fairy tale this was based on". That to me is what would distinguish a work such as this from the original, because if its just the same story in space well then I would just go read the original.

Just my thoughts on what I like about this project and how I think it can be different.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:35 AM   #35
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But, actually, on LOST - it bled viewers in season 2 and never quite bounced all the way back, despite the strength of the show increasing ten-fold. Is that because it lost its fans and that was that or is that because it did turn more sci-fi as the show went on. As it stands now, I think LOST is one of the hardest continuing sci-fis network TV has ever seen outside of STAR TREK. I could be wrong...probably am. But it seems like the fans now are more genre ans than casuals, could be wrong.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:45 AM   #36
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But how would she have felt if the trailer played up the love story that is supposedly at the core of AVATAR instead of just previewing the "look" of the film?

That's why LOST works for me. Those guys spent a year making us fall in love/hate with the characters before they started easing us into the sci-fi elements of the show. I'm not sure I would have liked it otherwise, and by the time everyone was jumping through time I was already committed.

For me, (and I say this as a guy who's had two pitches rejected, keep that in mind) the best pitches are always those that focus on character first. What is their personal journey? If I were Chris (and I'm not, keep that in mind too) I would be turned on by the pitches that focused on that because, frankly, if you have an emotional core to your story the sci-fi elements can be built around that. It doesn't work the other way around.

There. Maybe that will start a little debate. LOL.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:47 AM   #37
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"I would be turned on by the pitches that focused on that because, frankly, if you have an emotional core to your story the sci-fi elements can be built around that. It doesn't work the other way around."

exactly.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:53 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery
My wife mocked me for watching Battlestar Galactica. The name "Starbuck" gave her such cruel delight.
But then she started watching, and then she'd get mad if I watched without her. BSG converted my wife, which is pretty amazing.

As a life-long scifi fan, I can tell you there are people who love hard scifi because it's HARD. They love the science and the abstract ideas, and they sneer at soft scifi -- it's just not chiseled and buff.
But I think the most enduring scifi are the stories about what it means to be human, and finding an optimistic note in all the mess. People struggling for a better tomorrow.
There's a large enough body of work out there to make a good argument against me...and Philip K. Dick is the nuclear option...but that's how I feel.

Two examples:

The Miracle Mile, the '90s movie with Anthony Edwards, is great -- BUT IT IS SO FREAKING DEPRESSING.

My favorite all-time scifi story is Theodore Sturgeon's Thunder and Roses. It's about love, and hope, and how large dramas are played out on tiny, tiny stages.
This made me think of THE ROAD. The book is sci-fi and the protagonist's motivations are of two interesting minds. He seems to have an individualist approach to sanctuary, namely for the continued survival of his son. It seems selfish and anti-sci-fi, in a way, because what's good for his son may, in fact be death. That's what his wife thought, at least. But underneath all of the ugliness, there's this collective philosophy, to keep his son not just alive but alive and good so that, as society goes forward, there are still good people left in it.

And, again, maybe that's why it resonates outside of the usual sci-fi circles. On the surface it is a tale of survival. It is selfish and it people can relate to it, they can put themselves in the protagonists shoes and understand he's doing what he's doing for his son. Underneath all of that, however, there is a sci-fi message of the good of society.

So it's kind of like the big picture snuck in, and people bought the message without questioning it.

I think I'm developing a theory here where human nature makes us too selfish to truly enjoy sci-fi unless it's disguised as something else. Going back to LOST - it was always about individual survival until it turned into a more sci-fi theme of saving the world. The burdened hero is what LOST is all about, but when it started it was about the self above society. Maybe viewers started tuning out because it become more selfless.

Maybe.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:58 AM   #39
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jason, have you read chabon's essay on 'the road'?
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:59 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehobbs
But how would she have felt if the trailer played up the love story that is supposedly at the core of AVATAR instead of just previewing the "look" of the film?

That's why LOST works for me. Those guys spent a year making us fall in love/hate with the characters before they started easing us into the sci-fi elements of the show. I'm not sure I would have liked it otherwise, and by the time everyone was jumping through time I was already committed.

For me, (and I say this as a guy who's had two pitches rejected, keep that in mind) the best pitches are always those that focus on character first. What is their personal journey? If I were Chris (and I'm not, keep that in mind too) I would be turned on by the pitches that focused on that because, frankly, if you have an emotional core to your story the sci-fi elements can be built around that. It doesn't work the other way around.

There. Maybe that will start a little debate. LOL.
I think this kind of backs up the idea of the individualism of fairy tales (how does the outcome change my character) combined with the collectivism of sci-fi (how does my character's arc change my world). So, yeah, I agree - start with the character and build the world around it.

I'm looking back at my own pitch now (the Pinocchio one). I started with the character of Pinocchio and his primary motivation - to become a real person. That's a very selfish motivation, and in the Adventures of Pinocchio every lesson he learned, oftentimes by bringing other people some form of pain, are made to make HIM understand what it means to be a real person. In my pitch, I placed the burden of society on him in true sci-fi fashion, he's supposed to be the repository of all the world's knowledge, but his selfish search for self puts the individual above society. Society loses in the deal, Pinocchio wins. SO I started with the character of Pinocchio, stripped him down to his core, and built one futuristic concept around him to make sure it wasn't "too sci-fi." And I went with a story that favored individualism because, in my opinion, that's what makes it a fairy tale.

So, yeah, I agree.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:00 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris stevens
jason, have you read chabon's essay on 'the road'?
No, I have not. I'll look it up. You know I love me some Chabon. I had a chance to pitch him on POSTCARDS II and promised him everything short of a handjob (but I probably would have given him one).
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:04 PM   #42
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No, I have not. I'll look it up. You know I love me some Chabon. I had a chance to pitch him on POSTCARDS II and promised him everything short of a handjob (but I probably would have given him one).
It seems I need to pay to read it...is there a free link somewhere? I assume you're talking about "After the Apocalypse"
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #43
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essay's called 'dark adventure', from the book 'maps&legends'.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #44
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I do think I disagree with you Jrod on sci fi (should?) have the feeling of "good of society" I think creators often use that as a theme of sci fi but for me sci fi is nothing more than setting that can be used to further the story. I think its bad if sci fi itself has a general theme, that to me defeats the purpose and freedom of it.

But perhaps im putting words in your mouth, or misunderstanding you.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:30 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpushing
I do think I disagree with you Jrod on sci fi (should?) have the feeling of "good of society" I think creators often use that as a theme of sci fi but for me sci fi is nothing more than setting that can be used to further the story. I think its bad if sci fi itself has a general theme, that to me defeats the purpose and freedom of it.

But perhaps im putting words in your mouth, or misunderstanding you.
I'm saying that a lot of sci-fi does have the "for the good of society" theme. But, you're right, I'm also saying that it should have that. But that's just my preference, really. However, I think if sci-fi's just the backdrop then another genre needs to take the lead. EVENT HORIZON used sci-fi as the backdrop to a horror story. TIME-TRAVELER'S WIFE used sci-fi as the backdrop to a romance story.

We're getting at the roots of sci-fi here and it needs to say something. I think in order to be good sci-fi, it needs to say something about society. We're fast-forwarding to the future for a reason, we're seeing new technologies, we're often playing the role of the futurist and saying, "here is where our current course is taking us," and the logical place to take that is, "here is how we diverge from the easy path."
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