[SFRA-L] examples of bad "sci-fi"?
Curtis, Silvio L
curtissi at Grinnell.EDU
Sat Sep 10 18:03:21 EDT 2011
I agree with Virginia Allen's three points, and I think my suggestion is vulnerable to at least #1, but I wonder if the Animorphs series by K. A. Applegate would be a good example of "sci-fi." I read a lot of them from late elementary school up through early adolescence. Then I got fed up with how ridiculously inconsistent some background was between books. They were being published at something like ten books a year, and now that I've watched more TV than I had then they seem a lot like a TV series in print form. I would think they're pretty good CONSIDERING how fast they were written, but that could be because I haven't looked back at them in years.
I'm actually curious about the history of the distinction between "sci-fi" and "sf." Almost everywhere I've encountered the term "sci-fi" it's seemed to be meant as a synonym for "science fiction."
From: sfra-l-bounces at wiz.cath.vt.edu [sfra-l-bounces at wiz.cath.vt.edu] on behalf of aevans2 tds.net [aevans2 at tds.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 3:39 PM
To: sfra-l at wiz.cath.vt.edu
Subject: [SFRA-L] examples of bad "sci-fi"?
Dear SFRA colleagues,
Each fall I teach an Intro to SF course. Early on I try to clarify the terminology of "SF" (or "sf") versus "sci-fi" (or "syfy")--partially in order to get the students to stop automatically using the latter term when referring to the works we are studying. I'm sure all of you have probably had similar experiences.
My students tend to like the notion of having two terms to describe the genre--one for good science fiction (that is intellectually demanding) and one for bad science fiction (that is not). But they invariably want examples of each. I normally do not have any difficulty providing them with multiple examples of good science fiction in literature and film. And I don't usually have a problem in coming up with examples of bad science fiction in film.
But I do seem to have trouble identifying bad works of science fiction in literature.
Any suggestions? What examples would you offer of a really bad "sci-fi" novel or short story?
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