Why I Don’t Like Science Fiction

Have you ever noticed how the fantasy and science fiction genres are grouped together, like salt & pepper or bread & butter. Many see them as a seamless combo, and that fans of one genre will automatically be devotees of the other. I love fantasy. I was raised on Tolkien and his tales of hobbits, orcs and dragons. But here’s the deal, huddle round closer and don’t breathe of a word for this is strictly between you and I….

I don’t like science fiction….

Gasp! Shock! Horror! Before I’m hung, drawn and quartered I’ll try and explain myself. Or rather I won’t for, if asked, I’m unable to put my finger on the reason why. I love escapism and unreal, futuristic settings. Give me a post apocalyptic movie and I’m as happy as Larry….whoever Larry is. I say yes to the sinister, the supernatural and the paranormal.

Zombies are my favourite ever big screen invention. Until they are invented, that is. For they are coming. Oh yes. But as for Chewbacca and R2D2. I’m just left cold. I watched the ‘Star Wars’ movies when I was a kid. But I didn’t fall in love with Princess Leia, I didn’t much care for what happened Han Solo and as for C3PO? Well, I found him incredibly irritating. To the point where I was rooting for Darth Vader and his armies of stormtroopers.

Then there’s Star Trek. The following will probably have some viewing me as a heretic and furiously hitting the unfollow button. So be it. But I never much cared for the original TV series. William Shatner’s acting was beyond hammy and the naff sets and special effects haven’t aged well at all. Leonard Nimoy raises an eyebrow and everyone goes into convulsions of ecstasy. Sorry, not my cup of tea.

I haven’t watched any of the current strain of ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’ movies. I watched ‘Men In Black’ but it left me cold. Battlestar Galactica? Nope. The only possible exception is ‘The X Files.’ I was obsessed with Mulder and Scully. Then they kissed and everything was ruined forever. Did I tell you about the time I saw Gillian Anderson in Belfast? Oh ok, I’ll save that story for another day.

So, I’m throwing it out there to you lot. Are you happy with the SF & F genres being lumped together? Have elves & vulcans got more in common than I first thought? Would you foam at the mouth with disgust or delight if Gandalf appeared on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in some bonkers Hollywood LOTR/Star Trek crossover. As ever, leave your comments below. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.

61 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like Science Fiction

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  1. Stephen, reading this post has forced me to realize how out of touch I am. At least you are familiar with the characters you don’t like – I don’t even know whom you are talking about. Alas, I live in a bubble and it is wonderful….slosh, blurp, gurgle.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love sci fi and fantasy both, and I can see why sci fi wouldn’t appeal to some people. There’s iften a need to explain things in sci fi, to slow things down and stop focusing on plot, character, or even theme so elements of minutiae can be highlighted. I think one can make fantasy that slows to a halt like that, but fantasy is often ancient or modern cultures with a couple new premises that people can grasp and apply quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree that science fiction and fantasy shouldn’t be grouped together. I also think horror novels shouldn’t be grouped together with thrillers. It’s not the same thing reading a story about a group trying to assassinate a political leader vs reading a story about a vampire cult taking over a Southern town.

    I had a crush on Spock as a kid and cried when Nemoy died, but I won’t unfollow you.:-)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I always liked her stuff because she used the space exploration that led to colonization, then the planet got settled and they bioengineered these little fire lizards into dragons that scorch thread from the sky. It makes quite an interesting read.

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  4. Hi. I am copletely on-board with this blog. I don’t understand why Sci-Fi and Fantasy are grouped together. My DD reads Fantasy books like they are going out of fashion, but give her SCi/Fi books and she won’t touch them. Don’t get me wrong, she can watch Trek/Wars etc and loves the films but she can’t read the books. I have also tried Assassins Creed//Star Wars and various other Science Fiction books and have had to DNF them.

    Interestingly I don’t think thrillers should be grouped with horror either. I will happily read a thriller (Sidney Sheldon etc) but I can’t read horror. It’s just a no-no for me.

    At least I know we are the only ones who feel that way. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Agreed. Separating genres can be tricky these days, but fantasy and sci-fi are NOT the same thing. I’m a huge Narnia fan, but maybe that’s because the books were written for children (my kids and grandkids gave me the perfect excuse to read them over and over.) and they are by my favorite author. In my songwriting days I even wrote a “Ballad of Narnia.” I’ll have to post the lyrics one of these days. – Thanks for the idea! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I avoided the Sci-Fi genre like the plague…until I married a scientist💜 Now I have someone who can explain all this stuff to me. I met him when the Star Trek-Next Generation series was in full swing and he shared the whole Borg episodes with me (of course, he taped all of them) and hooked me!

    I get you, Stephen. It took me 10 years to watch Star Wars and understand the hype. I am more of a Star Trek fan as the Star Wars movies confused the heck out of me when they started the prequels. I didn’t even ask for help.

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  7. We are alot alike on this subject. I too do not like science fiction but I love fantasy. I could watch Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit everyday. I’ve never seen Star Wars. I am not a fan at all of Sci-Fi. I love Game of Thrones and people assume I like Sci-Fi. Nothing about Game of Thrones is Sci-Fi. I don’t think dragons are Sci-Fi more fantasy I think. Great post

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  8. I enjoy both, but they are very different. But my favorite sci-fi isn’t Star Wars. It’s the movie from a couple of years ago, “The Martian” with Matt Damon. An astronaut abandoned and alone on Mars who has to use science to survive. He’s smart and, as he says, has to “science the hell out of it.” It’s fiction and it’s science, so I guess that makes it science fiction, but it’s not all space ships and ray guns and hideous tentacled beasts. Same with the best sci-fi. I’ve always preferred reading my sci-fi to watching it on the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t see the movie, but loved the book. The author is not a scientist by trade, but an amateur researcher. All the science in The Martian is real and based on what we know now, so is technically possible. Read the book. It is exciting, It is fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree. Sci-fi and fantasy are very different and often seem mismatched. To me, some of that odd-couple strangeness is because space opera (a sub genre to sci-fi) tends to be the poster child for sci-fi. But sci-fi is pretty diverse. Mortal Engines, Divergent, Hunger Games, Back To The Future, all the Marvel movies… all sci-fi.

    To be honest, while I have enjoyed both Star Trek and LOTR, I don’t typically gravitate to either Space Opera or High Fantasy. I enjoy more of the middle of the road SF & F fare.

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  10. I used to read a lot of Piers Anthony and he was a mesh of sci fi and fantasy. I think u would really like him though because he is mostly a fantasy writer, plus he writes with a lot of humor, something I noticed in your writing🤗. Keep writing the good stuff!

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  11. Ha, ha! First you say you don’t like Harry Potter, and now you say you’re a pure fantasy-ist. I think you’re drawing rather squiggly lines.

    I enjoy many genres except for terrible writing. One reason I like science fiction is because of the reasonable explanation for things, the idea that what is happening really COULD happen if we were advanced enough to know how.

    In that light, I do not have as much attachment to sci-fi that verges more on fantasy. I still like the “crossovers,” as you put them, but not as deeply or with as much appreciation.

    (P.S. I finally sent you an article. Don’t let it get lost in your Spam folder or a time-space anomaly.)

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  12. I love it all – for different reasons. Should it be lumped together? Dear heavens, no! I don’t need that kind of genre fusion. I believe, though, that one of the greater gifts that SciFi has brought is the idea that “Hey, maybe this tech would work!” Looking at TOS of Star Trek (Shatner should have been in a can marked as Spam) what do you see? The first ideas of tablets and earbuds. Gene Roddenberry would have lost his marbles to see the teeny little bluetooth earbuds people wear now as opposed to the arrow through the head Uhura wore.

    The bigger question in my mind is… Doctor Who? Where do you stand on that and why?

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  13. I do love both science fiction and fantasy, but they are quite different for sure. I will excuse your lapse in judgment just this once…😉 The original three Star Wars movies transfixed me as a kid, and I so much enjoyed seeing my own kids enjoy them as much as I did.

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  14. I grew up on the original “Star Trek”. As cheesy as William Shatner’s acting and the sets were, the show was light years ahead of its time in a cultural sense. What other TV series were integrated and treated women as equals? The “Prime Directive” – not to interfere with an alien society’s development – is a direct response to colonialism in its even well-intentioned forms.
    Technologically speaking, many of the items on the show are no longer science fiction, but present reality. Someday we might get the whole “Beam me up, Scotty” thing down. Just saying…

    I don’t have feelings one way or another regarding the lines or lack thereof between literary genres. I enjoy a good story regardless of classification. Much of my reading was directed by mentors and teachers who helped expand my perspective. Tolkien was my first exposure to fantasy. It was the 70s and hallucinogenic substances were involved the first time around. He was an even better writer after that…

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  15. Years ago, the great cinematographer Roger Deakins was asked if he was a fan of science fiction, he said he was but that he didn’t consider many mainstream works of today as sci-fi and said that franchises like Star Wars are more science fantasy than it is fiction, he added that many works of science fiction at least in terms of what’s been written in books will soon be categorized as science fact because of how far we are in technology.

    This doesn’t seem to have any relation to what you’re trying to say but I should at least put it out there. As for me, I enjoy sci-fi books than I do films mainly because of how little films there are in that genre are actually good.

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  16. I totally agree with you. Star Trek & Wars- ugh! I do love sci-fi in the sense of post-apocalypse type novels, but they need to have a feeling of real-ness to them. As in, this authors interpretation could actually happen. Not only do Star Trek & Wars not have this feeling, they both have such generic aesthetic qualities.

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  17. I used to feel like this, until someone recommended I read the Iain M Banks books about The Culture. Now I can’t get enough and Sci Fi turned into one of my favourite genres.
    The aspect I find most interesting is the social science side of it, how people act under different circumstances outside of what we understand as our normal.
    I don’t think Science Fiction and Fantasy should be lumped together at all, they can be very different beasts.

    Like

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