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Writing the Science Fiction Film
By Robert Grant
Michael Wiese ProductionsCopyright © 2013 Robert Grant
All right reserved.
“What is science fiction?” is a question that’s been debated since the idea of “genre” has been around, and it’s never really been satisfactorily answered. It’s a bit like being asked “What is good taste?” It’s kind of hard to pin down, but you’ll know it when you see it. I mean, it’s easy when you’re watching a film with spaceships or aliens in it to point at the screen and say “Now that’s sci-fi.” But really, we both know there’s a whole lot more to science fiction than the obvious tropes.
Whenever this question comes up I always say that the clue is in the name. It’s SCIENCE fiction. That means that the story must absolutely rely on science in order to be told, and if it doesn’t, then it’s probably fantasy. Now that doesn’t mean that the science in the story has to be real. Neither does it have to make sense (except within the logical parameters of its own world, and we’ll get to that later). And it doesn’t have to be set in the future, so I’m not necessarily talking about robots or spacecraft or “phasers on stun.” But the science does have to be one of the major driving forces of the story. Without the science, the story could not be told.
Excerpted from Writing the Science Fiction Film by Robert Grant Copyright © 2013 by Robert Grant. Excerpted by permission.
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