How much fact must there be in Science Fiction?

For the Critters workshop and writing SF/F/H in general.
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Re: How much fact must there be in Science Fiction?

Postby crit33427 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:08 pm

crit33321 wrote:We read science fiction not to be oohed and aahed by your deep understanding of quantum physics, but because your explanations -- whatever they are -- overcome our intellect long enough that we can suspend our disbelief and enjoy the cool new world you've developed for us.


I think Morgan hits the nail on the head. It is all about suspension of disbelief. This is not unique to any genre 'Would Mr. Darcy really have said such a thing?'. Writers tend to build audiences based on an unspoken contract:

'I the writer shall only ever demand X amount of suspension of disbelief in subject areas Y and Z whilst providing full self-sufficient plausibility elsewhere. You the reader shall accept this and never complain about inconsistencies or plot holes that exist below this given threshold. Everything over and above is fair game.'

Each writer / audience / genre contract has unique values for X, Y and Z. My advice is not to worry too much about what the ideal values might be but far rather pick ones that you are comfortable with and stick to them. As long as you are consistent then a particular audience will naturally gravitate to your writing. If you stick to your contract and never disappoint your loyal fans then it doesn't matter what the perfect academic generic designation for your work is. The fans (you included) are happy.
Charles Gull
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crit33427
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Re: How much fact must there be in Science Fiction?

Postby crit33427 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:11 pm

crit33321 wrote:We read science fiction not to be oohed and aahed by your deep understanding of quantum physics, but because your explanations -- whatever they are -- overcome our intellect long enough that we can suspend our disbelief and enjoy the cool new world you've developed for us.


I think Morgan hits the nail on the head. It is all about suspension of disbelief. This is not unique to any genre 'Would Mr. Darcy really have said such a thing?'. Writers tend to build audiences based on an unspoken contract:

'I the writer shall only ever demand X amount of suspension of disbelief in subject areas Y and Z whilst providing full self-sufficient plausibility elsewhere. You the reader shall accept this and never complain about inconsistencies or plot holes that exist below this given threshold. Everything over and above is fair game.'

Each writer / audience / genre contract has unique values for X, Y and Z. My advice is not to worry too much about what the ideal values might be but far rather pick ones that you are comfortable with and stick to them. As long as you are consistent then a particular audience will naturally gravitate to your writing. If you stick to your contract and never disappoint your loyal fans then it doesn't matter what the perfect academic generic designation for your work is. The fans (you included) are happy.
Charles Gull
Visit me at http://www.ax-yz.mobi and take part in the newsletter.
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crit33427
Name: Charles Gull
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Location: Germany

Re: How much fact must there be in Science Fiction?

Postby crit33888 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:53 pm

For me it depends on the voice of your narrator. If your narrator is omniscient and is in the habit of giving detailed descriptions, you're more likely to have to explain your tech. If it's the first person narration of a lowly private in an infantry brigade, he wouldn't understand the tech anyways so wouldn't have to explain it. It also depends how much you worry about the science geeks rolling their eyes. For me, if the jargon sounds convincing and the writing is good, I don't need tech specs. I know plenty who have stories ruined by bad science though, so horses for courses.
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Name: J. Neff Lind
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