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  1. #1
    Mighty Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Has Fantasy surpassed Sci-fi as the genre of choice for geekdom?

    I was in the sci-fi/fantasy section of my local Barnes and Nobel and noticed that their isn’t nearly as many big name science fiction books on the shelf as there is fantasy. This got me thinking, it seems like fantasy has become the go to genre for geek fiction. But that wasn’t always the case. For most of “geek culture” history I would argue that science fiction was the primary driving force, with fantasy being an even smaller niche within in a niche. When I was growing up stuff like Star Trek and Blade Runner and Tron seemed to be a lot more prominent, and in the anime space, mecha and cyber punk was all the rage. Star Wars was a happy middle ground. D and D and Conan were around, but that was about it as far as big name Fantasy franchises went. I feel the real turn over started to happen in the early 2000, when the Lord of the Rings came out. I started to think about major science fiction franchises of of the last 15 years, and a really worrying trend started to pop up. They are almost uniformly distopian in their outlook.

    Is general pessimism about the future the reason why fantasy has supplanted science fiction?

    It could also be because familiarity breeds contempt. We are literally living in an age where science fiction is becoming science fact at a pretty alarming rate. Things are going from impossible to speculative to reality faster then any time in human history. This is amazing but it might also be rendering sci-fi slightly less wonderous to some. We’ve went from “hey, aren’t robots are amazing,” to “ hey, robots are taking my job.”

  2. #2
    Not a Newbie Member JBatmanFan05's Avatar
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    Not for me. I've always favored sci-fi over fantasy.

    Game of Thrones has been the only thing to make a real go and changing me on that.

    But, ultimately, I think I've realized...I absolutely love GoT/ASOFAI, but I still favor sci-fi generally.

    GoT's dark subversiveness and smartness is what really draws me to it.
    Last edited by JBatmanFan05; 02-08-2018 at 01:24 PM.
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  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Hiromi's Avatar
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    Fantasy has always been a bigger subgenre than Scfi in literature, basically because it has the Lord of the Rings as the standard bearer/template for authors, sci fi literature doesn't really have an equivalent

  4. #4
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    SciFi is the stuff of dreaming of possible futures. When I think of that, I think of books like Dragon's Egg or Foundation. No magic, just extrapolations of existing science and technology to accomplish extraordinary things.

    When most scifi was developed, we as a society were dreaming of the stars. I don't think it happens as much today. We are more entrenched in complete fantasy worlds.
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  5. #5
    Incredible Member Kai "the spy"'s Avatar
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    Well, here in Germany, until the turn of the century, SF was the more popular genre of literature, mostly thanks to movies and TV shows like Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as the German series of pulp novels Perry Rhodan. Fantasy up to that point was mostly new editions of the Lord of the Rings, a few Conan novels, and Terry Pratchett. That changed thanks to Harry Potter and the LotR movies, and ever since Fantasy has surpassed SF as the more popular genres of the two. There are still most of the major SF writers in print, as well as the new Trek and SW novels, and Perry Rhodan (obviously), but Fantasy is more dominant. For a while there, the oversaturation of the 1990s even led to SF fatigue and SF novels sold better if they went as "techno-thriller" or some such new phrase (similar to how the word Graphic Novel helps comics sell better).
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  6. #6
    Guardian Empress of Earth Tami's Avatar
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    Saying that Fantasy is the genre of choice for any particular group is like saying everyone with blue eyes eats chocolate ice cream.

    Everyone has their own tastes in fiction. I mean, aren't movies like Iron Man and the Avengers more Sci-Fi than Fantasy? Or a mix of both? I think it is more about the authors than it is about the Genre. Sci-Fi can be harder to write becasue you need a technical mind and a solid foundation in Science to have it make any sense.

    So, once more Sci-Fi writers come along that can write good Science Fiction, then there will be more books in the bookstore.
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  7. #7

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    Science fiction is better but fantasy is more mainstream.
    Science is better but religion is more mainstream.

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