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If you lived in a Sci-fi/ fantasy world would you still be into nerdy fiction?

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message 1: by Christos (last edited May 07, 2018 09:58PM) (new)

Christos | 64 comments I was watching DC legends of Tomorrow and there was a time traveling agent who was into D&D. It made me think why would you play D&D when you're in a world filled with magic, aliens, superheroes and super science just go outside and try to become a sorcerer or superhero (this is coming from someone who rarely goes outside). Do you think you would read Sci-fi and Fantasy books if you were in a Sci-fi/ fantasy world when you could just watch the news for your fix?


message 2: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5116 comments The same question occurred to me while watching Captain America: Civil War hearing the pop culture references... wouldn’t that stuff just be “literature”?

The only real escapist art form would be musicals, and in some universes (Buffy) even those would be ruined for you.


message 3: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1034 comments Or would you stay inside and play Accountants & Baristas?
That's a really good question Christos. I think that no matter what world you live in some people would still fantasize about living some other life. Our world is pretty spectacular compared to any other time and place in history but still we dream of something better or more exciting.


message 4: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 2345 comments If you lived in a fantasy world, you'd most likely be an illiterate peasant toiling in the fields. Assuming you didn't die from the mumps before you learned to talk.


message 5: by LouLouReads (new)

LouLouReads | 13 comments By a lot of measures, I *do* live in a science fiction world - my mum is a science fiction fan going back decades, and I get many calls from her about this or that new tech that was first suggested in a novel in the 60s and how excited she is that it's coming to pass. And I still enjoy reading nerdy fiction. So I guess if I lived in one of those worlds, it would be normal to me, and I'd still want to explore other worlds as well.


message 6: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2452 comments Mod
LouLouReads wrote: "By a lot of measures, I *do* live in a science fiction world "

This.

The sci-fi we read today will seem quaint in a few hundred years.

We will find something to fantasise about and nerd out over.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (Pezski) | 454 comments Phil wrote: "Or would you stay inside and play Accountants & Baristas?
That's a really good question Christos. I think that no matter what world you live in some people would still fantasize about living some o..."



That reminds me of a cartoon in (I think) the 2nd edition AD&D manuals (the only time when that game had a sense of humour about itself). One cartoon had a PC group (wizard, barbarian, etc) sat around a table with paper & dice and the magic user saying "My level 3 accountant fills in his tax form..."


( as always, describing a joke makes it even funnier... )


message 8: by DJay (new)

DJay (DJDJay) | 15 comments I think the answer is yes. People that play sports still like to sit down and play sports games. Would everyone? No. But would there be people who play D&D even if they lived in a world just like it? Yes. I believe I would. No different than now when I'm in my own head pretending to be a race car driver when I'm driving down the highway or a pilot when I'm on an air plane. I believe that people who are wizards would pretend to be the "cool" rouge. Or people who are warriors would pretend to be the "smart" wizard.


message 9: by Allison (last edited May 08, 2018 06:01AM) (new)

Allison Hurd | 204 comments I think I'd be into whatever spec fic my world allowed for.

description


message 10: by Chris (new)

Chris | 2 comments Sean wrote: "If you lived in a fantasy world, you'd most likely be an illiterate peasant toiling in the fields. Assuming you didn't die from the mumps before you learned to talk."

Muhaahahahahahaha


message 11: by Scott (new)

Scott | 303 comments Christos wrote: "I was watching DC legends of Tomorrow and there was a time traveling agent who was into D&D. It made me think why would you play D&D when you're in a world filled with magic, aliens, superheroes and super science just go outside and try to become a sorcerer or superhero."

I'd say, yes. I think, even in a universe where those things exist, there'd be plenty of demand for outlets to fantasize about them, perhaps even moreso. Just because those things exist doesn't mean everyone has the ability or aptitude to experience them. For every Sorcerer Supreme or John Constantine, there's probably millions of "normal" people. If those people know superheroes or magic users exist, why wouldn't they fantasize about being them? Like how people in the real world fantasize about being pro athletes or movie stars


message 12: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 98 comments It’s possible to become the general manager of a professional sports team. It will take hard work and extreme luck, but it’s possible. Still, millions of people painstakingly review their fantasy teams every season. I feel that’s all the proof I need to know that no matter how advanced or magical a society is, someone will always play make believe. That goes for kids, too.


message 13: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2683 comments I live in a world with the Internet, smart phones, and genetically engineered drugs. I still read SFF. So yeah.


message 14: by Rick (last edited May 08, 2018 10:19AM) (new)

Rick | 2241 comments Some of you are, I think, missing Christos point. IN a world with actual superheroes and aliens, would we still fantasize *about those things*? Or would we fantasize about other things that didn't exist?

The underlying question is what do we fantasize about and why? Is it about the unknowable or impossible (magic, aliens, and the like)? If those became not just knowable and real but a part of our everyday lives, I think we might find other things to occupy the fantasy niche in our lives. What that would be... I've no idea.

John (Taloni) wrote: "I live in a world with the Internet, smart phones, and genetically engineered drugs. I still read SFF. So yeah."

But that's trimmings. If you grew up in the mid-20th century the SF wasn't just communicators, but traveling the stars, meeting aliens. Just because we have a few of those technologies doesn't mean we exist in a SFF world. On the other hand... as we do, edge into it gradually and it becomes everyday, mundane. Ask a 15 year old and they will likely just assume that of course the web and smartphones and the like are an ordinary part of life. Their kids will accept things that would seem amazing to us.


message 15: by DJay (new)

DJay (DJDJay) | 15 comments Rick wrote: "Some of you are, I think, missing Christos point. IN a world with actual superheroes and aliens, would we still fantasize *about those things*? Or would we fantasize about other things that didn't ..."

I think a lot of people hit on this already, but yeah people would still fantasize about those things. People who aren't wizards would fantacize about being wizards. People who are weak would look up to warriors. It's akin to how people look up to Police officers, Military, or their favorite person. If anything it would be more commonplace for people to fantasize about it than not due to cultures more likely than not centering around those people much how society today idolizes movie stars. Except these stars wouldn't need green screens to fight dragons and such.


message 16: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2683 comments ^ ^ I don't think it's trimmings. Heck, we're well into the start of several Philip K. Dick stories. Star Trek had flip communicators, we had those and are now past them. We can access the knowledge of the planet at our fingertips. Sure, it's not *all* SFF storylines, we don't have warp drive or meaningful rocket propulsion, but I already feel like I'm living in the future.

And yes, we will continue to read about even more fantastic things as technology advances. It's the nature of the nerdy viewpoint to think about what might be.


message 17: by Rick (last edited May 08, 2018 10:53AM) (new)

Rick | 2241 comments DJay wrote: "Rick wrote: "Some of you are, I think, missing Christos point. IN a world with actual superheroes and aliens, would we still fantasize *about those things*? Or would we fantasize about other things..."

But would the segment of people who currently fantasize about magic, aliens and the like merely fantasize about those things? After all, that fiction would become more like the crime and thriller or military fiction of our world - fiction that some people buy and love but not the same niche as SFF since it's really just an idealized version of something that exists.

Would there be a new niche that arises to take the place of what we consider SFF now, and would people in such a world find new things that don't exist to occupy that niche?

The question, to me, is about the use and place in our lives of fantasy. Building worlds that don't and perhaps can't exist lets us explore things that the real world does not.

@John Taloni - communicators to me are trimmings. The meat of Trek is interstellar exploration, not the tools.


message 18: by Trike (new)

Trike | 5116 comments I think the comic series Powers: Definitive Collection, Vol. 1 goes into this sort of thing. In that world their versions of gossip mags and entertainment TV shows treat superheroes like any other celebrity, but because powers can destroy cities, it also dominates the news.

I don’t recall offhand if they have their version of Law & Order: Powers Division, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. They definitely have reality TV based around superpowers, as well as shows like Cops.

I think treating it like that is much more realistic than the “secret world” gambit where wizards and shapeshifters are all over the place yet no one seems to notice. If there are like five sorcerers in the world, then sure, but once you start getting dozens of them they become impossible to hide.


message 19: by Scott (new)

Scott | 303 comments DJay wrote: I think a lot of people hit on this already, but yeah people would still fantasize about those things. People who aren't wizards would fantacize about being wizards. People who are weak would look up to warriors...."

I agree. We don't see it much in the movies (except for the scene at the end of Last Jedi) but I imagine, in the Star Wars universe, people without Force abilities would romanticize the Jedi and fantasize about being Jedi, much the same way we treat knights in shining armor or other heroic figures. Heck, nerds in the Star Wars universe probably play Rancors and Asteroids.


message 20: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 2452 comments Mod
Scott wrote: "Heck, nerds in the Star Wars universe probably play Rancors and Asteroids. "

or Dejarik

"Let the Wookie Win" ;-)


message 21: by John (Taloni) (last edited May 08, 2018 02:36PM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2683 comments To me, the internet, smartphones and other devices are not trimmings. If I must be abundantly clear, it is my opinion that we are starting to enter a scifi future. One I hope to be around long enough to see more of. Already life extending sciences may help us live to 80 in decent health, and what might happen in the ensuing decades? Perhaps I will live to see Musk Base established on Mars, or ride a cheap rocket to orbit.

As for "Law And Order: Special Powers Unit," I think I would have to tune into that show every week.


message 22: by Christos (last edited May 08, 2018 06:50PM) (new)

Christos | 64 comments That's a good point that we do live in a Sci-fi like world but if someone told me here read this great recent true story about a hacker or a scientist I would say no thanks I will just watch his story on the news or look up interviews online.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2335 comments Good question, and my only answer is that now that we live in dystopia, I'm not as interested in reading it.


message 24: by LouLouReads (last edited May 10, 2018 01:50AM) (new)

LouLouReads | 13 comments Christos wrote: "That's a good point that we do live in a Sci-fi like world but if someone told me here read this great recent true story about a hacker or a scientist I would say no thanks I will just watch his st..."

This is a good point and maybe a different perspective from mine. I am a scientist (for a given value of scientist) and yet I read about scientists all the time, non-fiction and fiction. I'm currently reading The Vaccine Race, non-fiction about the development of the polio vaccine, despite the fact that I have both been vaccinated against polio and administered many many polio vaccines to children in my previous job. So I would probably be interested in both scientific non-fiction and SFF of whatever world I lived in.


message 25: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 231 comments In worlds where lords send their armies through your lands and cities are leveled by aliens, supers, dragons, kaiju, monsters, or simply falling from the sky, books/games like "A Quiet Day on the Farm" and "Bakers and Barmaids" are the fiction. Regular people would fantasize about being powerful or a having a quiet life.


message 26: by Ivi_kiwi (last edited May 11, 2018 10:28PM) (new)

Ivi_kiwi | 85 comments Aaron wrote: "In worlds where lords send their armies through your lands and cities are leveled by aliens, supers, dragons, kaiju, monsters, or simply falling from the sky, books/games like "A Quiet Day on the F..."

When i think back to my grandparents who lived through wwII i have to say, they did enjoy watching quiet films. In those films the worst thing that happened was having the hunters daughter fall in love with the rich farmer's son and the familiy being against it. In the end everything turned out fine and you saw lots of lovely, scenic mountains in the background. Furthermore all the people i met who have been refugees in some time of their lifes don't read grimdark books but prefer "happy books".


message 27: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 370 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "Good question, and my only answer is that now that we live in dystopia, I'm not as interested in reading it."

Yeah I find a lot of dystopian fiction is just... really not very hard-hitting. I recently went through a spate of Lemming dystopian books because I found their visions of the future just felt quite basic and not at all grounded in the real dystopian shit that's happening right now.


message 28: by Ed (last edited May 19, 2018 12:59PM) (new)

Ed (swampyankee) | 27 comments What would nerdy fiction be?

I think the OP misses a real point: for many decades, "nerd" was a category other people put one into. The societies in superhero comics are, at best, no more tolerant of the factors that put people in the nerd bin than Real Life is.

In the broader sf/f sense, what would end up being "nerdy fiction? Although in most fantasy worlds, 90+ percent of humans would be illiterate subsistence farmers, so there'd probably be no genre literature.


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