Since when does SF include all things geek?

I consider myself to be a fan of science fiction,  I even did an oral about it in elementary school (arguing that science fiction is valuable in social commentary and in inspiring new technologies). This last year I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal, urban fantasy stuff and I  thought I’d try to get back in touch with the science fiction world by grabbing SCI FI magazine.

Almost nothing in this magazine could be classed as science fiction! My professor who taught me in the class Professing the Popular would argue that true science fiction fans call it SF and a magazine working in the genre would have known this and not used sci fi in their title. I think semantics like this aren’t overly important to many fans, so I ignored the outdated or amateurish title and bought it anyway.

Science fiction to me is something set in the future (can be near or far) and involves advances in science or technology that make the world unlike our own. Things like robots, space travel, cyborgs…. Creatures that appear paranormal can be included IF they became vampires or werewolves because of a genetic virus that is explained scientifically OR if they are from another planet and their biology is feasible within the expanded possibilities of science.

Here are the pop culture works explored in my copy of SCI FI magazine that seem to fit into this category:

  1. X-Men
  2. maybe Smallville
  3. Battlestar Galactica
  4. I am Number Four
  5. Spider Man
  6. Fringe
  7. True Blood (I think they treat vampirism like a disease)
  8. The Cape (looked like it would have been SF but didn’t have a chance to develop)
  9. Star Trek
  10. Chuck (I guess, but pretty low grade SF)
  11. SGU
  12. Tron
  13. Skyline
  14. Dr Who (I think, though I haven’t seen it)
  15. Mystery Science Theater
  16. The Twilight Zone
  17. Dark Skies
  18. Welcome to the Greenhouse (dystopian)
  19. Eldritch evolutions
  20. Hybrids
  21. http://www.wonder
  22. embassyton
  23. The Quantum Thief

Here are the ones that don’t:

  1. Pirate of the Caribbean
  2. Camelot
  3. Thor
  4. Teen Wolf (unless there’s more to it than I realize)
  5. Scream 4 (I haven’t actually seen these so maybe there’s something to it?)
  6. Game of Thrones
  7. The Fighter
  8. Tangled
  9. Rango
  10. Sanctuary
  11. Supernatural
  12. Vampire Diaries
  13. Harry Potter
  14. Narnia
  15. Black Swan
  16. Tales from Earthsea
  17. Gulliver’s Travels
  18. Ghost Country
  19. Of Blood and Honey
  20. Queen of Kings
  21. God’s War

Up for debate

  • Terra Nova (don’t know enough yet)
  • The Event (I’m not informed enough)
  • The Samaritan
  • Point

So about half of the shows, movies and books discussed as “sci fi” are not science fiction at all. Many are fantasy, a genre often lumped in with science fiction (in libraries too I am ashamed to say) even though they are very different. I like both genres but just because they both are set in worlds other than the way our own currently is doesn’t mean that they should be together. I know many science fiction writers work with scientists to make their books very accurate.

So basically I beg Laura Cleveland, editor in chief of Sci Fi magazine to either change the name of the magazine or stick to science fiction, because based on the issue I purchased the title does not live up to its name whatsoever.


2 thoughts on “Since when does SF include all things geek?

  1. “Science fiction to me is something set in the future (can be near or far) and involves advances in science or technology that make the world unlike our own. ”

    Doesn’t Star Wars take place in the past, though in a futuristic-type one?

  2. I actually don’t consider Star Wars to be science fiction. It’s “space fantasy”, especially the original trilogy (which I prefer). It isn’t scientifically accurate and has magic (the Force). In the new movies the Force is explained as metachlorians in the blood, which is more science fiction like. Just because something is set in space doesn’t mean it’s science fiction, that”s just what many people perceive it to be.
    It’s possible for a story in another set on another world to be science fiction, or say a story explaining the pyramids were built by aliens in the past to be science fiction so you’re right to point out my assumption it’s in the future is false.

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