Tuesday, March 20, 2012

''POLAR CITY RED'' by Jim Laughter -- Call it Sci fi...or Sci-fi ....or SF (or sf)?


Rewind to early 1950s: Forrest Ackerman used the term sci-fi (analogous to the then-trendy "hi-fi") at UCLA in 1954.

As science fiction entered popular culture, writers and fans active in the field came to associate the term with low-budget, low-tech "B-movies" and with low-quality pulp science fiction. Hmmmmm.

By the 1970s, critics within the field such as Terry Carr and Damon Knight were using sci-fi to distinguish hack-work from serious science.

fPeter Nicholls writes that "SF" (or "sf") is "the preferred abbreviation within the community of sf writers and readers".David Langford's monthly fanzine Ansible includes a regular section "As Others See Us" which offers numerous examples of "sci-fi" being used in a pejorative sense by people outside the genre. The abbreviation SF (or sf) is commonly used instead of "sci-fi".

How will the reading public and the newspaper media community treat POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter? As science fiction or speculative fiction or climate fictiion, also known by its nickname of CLI-FI.

Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality, but most science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader's mind by potential scientific explanations or solutions to various fictional elements. Science fiction elements include:

A time setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record. Such as POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter.

A spatial setting or scenes in outer space (e.g., spaceflight), on other worlds, or on subterranean earth. Such as some parts of POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter.

Technology that is futuristic (e.g., ray guns, teleportation machines, humanoid computers). Such as POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter.

Scientific principles that are new or that contradict known laws of nature, for example time travel, wormholes, or faster-than-light travel. Such as some parts of POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter.

New and different political or social systems (e.g. dystopia, post-scarcity, or a post-apocalyptic situation where organized society has collapsed). Such as POLAR CITY RED by Jim Laughter.

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least non-supernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".

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