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What level of sf do you like?

What level of sf do you like?  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. What level of science fiction do you like?

    • Very Hard SF. No rubber science at all.
    • Medium science. Some rubber science that's necessary. FTL drive with limits, otherwise hard.
    • Light science. Large amounts of rubber or super science. Psionics, FTL, still some science.
    • Space opera. Little science, often just used as a plot device. Some reefs to physics.
    • Sci fantasy. Physics? Thermodynamics? Conservation of what? Never heard of 'em.


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Star Frontiers has been my favorite Sci Fi gaming setting for years. I would not call it "hard Sci Fi" but it at least nods in the general direction of physics for the sub-FTL speeds. I'm not a fan of the whole "reach a certain speed and you automagically enter FTL space" but that is easily replaced with "you have to be at this speed before you can activate the FTL drive" mechanics. That is about the perfect balance of science and adventure for me.

 

For Space Opera I prefer Mass Effect. No conservation of anything but Cool in that 'verse.

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I couldn't answer because I've put each of those different levels of science in the various sci-fi campaigns I've run over the decades. I've enjoyed them all.  I also enjoy them all in books, movies and TV shows. It's all good, as long as it's not one thing masquerading as another.

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What he said. They're all fun, as long as everyone is on the same page. My default preference is probably for medium-hard science, but I've also run Flash Gordon-style games where Mom ear irrigation appt science works however the plot requires.

 

I would also say I see Space Opera as a type of plot structure separate from how hard the science is; you can have space opera with hard or rubber physics.

 

Edit: OK I have no idea how autocorrect decided to insert "Mom ear irrigation appt" in the middle of that. But it's nonsensically awesome and I'm leaving it in!

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Good point about space opera. A lot of SF writers handwave FTL but keep the science fairly hard otherwise.

 

While hard SF is currently my favorite, I am not averse to other types. I have thought of doing a science fantasy campaign recently.

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It depends on what I'm running!

 

I prefer a harder science fiction that has very little rubber, or is at least, rooted in believable speculation. Some gaming examples would the Jovian Chronicles, Cyberpunk, and Transhuman Space. I regard a lot of popular "science fiction" as actually being different genres, or at least sub-genres, altogether. For instance, to me, Star Trek is really futurist social fiction rather than science fiction because it's not about the science. Trek uses speculative aliens and technology and metaphors for contemporary social criticism while presenting a hackneyed boomer woo-woo view of the human ideal. It's about Roddenberry's pretentious utopian vision. And Star Wars, which I love and run? What science? is a straight-up fantasy tale reskinned as a space opera. It's a mythic tale that gives a nod to morality plays while never quite rising to being one. To call either of these franchises science fiction is to do them, and fiction that is really about the science and its realistic implications for man, a disservice.  

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Hmm...super gritty/hard sf examples are a little bit scant, since the lack of FTL means it's not going to be as broad.  The Alien franchise(well, not sure how acid for blood is "hard sci-fi", but whatevs), the old Outland movie with Sean Connery, and more recently The Expanse.  They tend to be more near-future-y and closer to Earth(no FTL) in scope.  

Medium science--maybe BSG(2000s edition)

Rubber scifi--most science fiction films and tv series fall into this category

Space Opera--Star Wars

Science Fantasy--Green Lantern Corps, most comic book science fiction

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Hard Science Fiction is usually limited to books, but I'd count The Martian, Gravity and Deep Impact. 2001: A Space Odyssey is hard enough to count until the very final act. In all of those there's still some tweaking for plot effect and small errors (the sandstorm on Mars shouldn't have been able to blow people over; the space stations in Gravity were VERY conveniently placed etc.) But that's got more to do with how regular fiction works, not the science aspect. Certainly your average action film takes far greater liberties with the possible.

 

Most of Kim Stanley Robinson's stuff is very solid.

 

@megaplayboy: Hate to burst your bubble, but even the 2000's BSG is Rubber/Light science, though I'd rate it over most TV efforts. Maybe settle for Medium-Light?

 

Most science fiction films and especially TV fall into Space Opera on this scale...  anyone who kids themselves that Star Trek is harder SF than Star Wars really has not been paying attention. If anything, Star Trek is worse since it takes its technobabble more seriously.

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Hmm...super gritty/hard sf examples are a little bit scant, since the lack of FTL means it's not going to be as broad.  The Alien franchise(well, not sure how acid for blood is "hard sci-fi", but whatevs), the old Outland movie with Sean Connery, and more recently The Expanse.  They tend to be more near-future-y and closer to Earth(no FTL) in scope.  

Medium science--maybe BSG(2000s edition)

Rubber scifi--most science fiction films and tv series fall into this category

Space Opera--Star Wars

Science Fantasy--Green Lantern Corps, most comic book science fiction

 

Gaming-wise: Cyberpunk 2020, Jovian Chronicles, and Transhuman Space are all "fairly hard."

 

I've enjoyed games inspired by them. 

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