✯✯✯ Sci-fi Genre Conventions

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 3:14:59 AM

Sci-fi Genre Conventions



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What Makes Sci-Fi Great?

While some kinds of religion make a lot of news, the fact is that in the Western world, belief in traditional religion and scripture has radically declined in the past decades, leaving people hungry for religion but unable to believe in the old ones. These things move in cycles that are beyond our control and are rarely identified until well after the fact. Maybe most or all of these ideas contain some speck of truth, but the real fact is that all we need is some brilliant writer to bring science fiction back into preeminence, the way that J. To which my response is, why not give Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham emeritus status and open up even more slots on the list to those pathetic, needy writers who think somebody is cheating them out of their rightful measure of fame?

All it would take is one great writer to make all the hand-wringing about the death of sci-fi seem … premature. Maybe the writer who will do that has just had his or her first story published in the annual Writers of the Future anthology, which continues to thrive, continues to discover eager and talented new writers, and continues to please thousands of readers who become the audience for yet another generation of sci-fi writers. Science fiction has always happened first in the short stories. Novels bring each new movement to fruition, but the new ideas, the new trends, the new techniques have always surfaced first in the short form. The internet—and Writers of the Future I tell my writing students that they owe it to themselves to submit their stories to this contest and, therefore, this anthology first.

Because Writers of the Future actually delivers on the promise. When you win, it can build you an audience; it can lead you to a career. Maybe science fiction is dying. Perhaps not quite like the Nile flood or the monsoon, but at least like the April showers that bring May flowers. In , Writers of the Future judge Orson Scott Card addressed a very simple if not vital question which was published in Writers of the Future Volume People doing stuff.

I recently watched the excellent sci fi channel series The Expanse. Our technology is. Terraforming the place is starting to look more like fantasy than science. Something like The Martian, in which a fairly contemporary human using tech that mostly exists now gets stranded on Mars, requires significant suspension of disbelief… because we know damn well no government is going to pay for it. Further, social media and what the internet has degenerated into proves another point: Huxley was right. Who wants to read or watch stories about THAT future? Even The Expanse… a bleak view of the future compared to Star Trek… seems to 45 year old me a wildly optimistic best case scenario. Absolutely, science fiction will not die.

And that is the exact point that Orson Scott Card makes as well. Thank you for your comment! Science fiction is a genre in which you can write about almost anything — alien invasion, robot takeover, zombie apocalypse, and more. There is really no limit in choosing what kind of a science fiction story you are going to write for as long as it is still believable and ethically acceptable. Mythical beasts. The only sheet metal seems to be on medieval armor. Fantasy is crowding science fiction off the shelves! So … what has happened in the past decade or so? Which, if any, of these explanations is true? Pick-your-speculation is a game we could play all day without coming up with a useful answer.

But let me suggest another set of possibilities: 1. These are the reasons sci fi is dying. August 25, at am. Lower ability had two image stimulus of a human and an alien. Clear human and alien set for them, and their mind-map was already sectioned off to give some structure. Higher attainers were only given the question. Colourful pens can be handed out to the class too in order to ensure who has wrote what on the plan, to gauge progress. The main task for the lesson is to write dialogue between a human and an alien. One of these characters is pleading for their lives. The class will then present this in a dramatic reading, using their dialogue tags as directions e. If you wanted, the pupils could freeze, and then teacher could point to pupils and say "which convention of Sci-Fi have partner A and B used?

Costume-Con gathers people from around the world who are mainly interested in science fiction, fantasy, and historical costuming. The term " relaxacon " is used for conventions which tend to be less about programming, and more about socializing within the fan community; this is quite different from "sercon" SERious CONstructive discussion of science-fiction topics conventions. An important distinction can be made between commercial events often called "shows" — those run by dedicated companies who specialize in con organization, or by local for-profit firms — and volunteer-run cons.

Usually run for profit, commercial events tend to charge for "tickets" or "admission" rather than having "memberships". A primary focus of commercial events is meeting celebrities, such as stars of science fiction TV show and movies, anime voice actors , etc. There are frequently very long lines of people waiting for autographs at commercial events; while famous actors like William Shatner of Star Trek are paid tens of thousands of dollars per convention, minor and obscure bit players pay to set up booths to sell autographs and memorabilia.

The largest cons in terms of attendance tend to be commercial ones. Commercial events tend to be more likely to be about comics, manga, anime, and popular visual media than volunteer cons, and they also tend to attract the younger generation, but this is not absolute by any means. Some commercial conventions have official licences from the company which produces a particular movie or TV show to run a convention about a particular movie or show. They have been known to aggressively go after fan-run conventions via their legal teams. Volunteer cons, on the other hand, tend to be smaller in scope and more intimate in character.

Panels may be more lightly attended; however, it is the fans themselves who mostly take part in the panels. Although there are frequent autograph sessions, they tend to be less of an attraction for volunteer cons. Admission to volunteer cons is usually called "membership", thus emphasizing that the fans themselves are the ones who make up the con, rather than the staff who run commercial cons.

A community of fans who run such conventions has developed, and many of them share their best practices and keep convention-running traditions alive, including at specialist con-running conventions such as SMOFcon. Although wide variations exist between different conventions, there is a general pattern to which most adhere. Most conventions have Guest s of Honor GoH. These guests are to some extent the headliners of the convention. A convention may have as many Guests of Honor as the convention committee wishes. Potlatch , however, has an annual Book of Honor instead.

Conventions provide a forum for fans to see first-hand and meet their favorite authors and artists. They also serve the interests of authors, editors, and other publishing professionals, providing opportunities for networking, promotion, and a convenient location for contract negotiations and other business meetings. At traditional science-fiction conventions, there is little or no distinction made between the "pros" and the "fans. At a small number of cons, there is a category for "Attending Professionals," professionals who are paying full con price to enter but also get a special name badge that proclaims them to be professionals in whatever field they are involved in.

Panel-led discussions, or Panels , usually fill up the daytime hours of most conventions with typically one-hour discussions of topics related to science fiction , fantasy , and fandom in general. Some conventions have well-attended, scheduled panels starting as late as midnight. Panel members even professionals are not customarily paid for their appearance, although many North-American conventions waive membership fees for program participants or rebate them after the convention. Some program items are set presentations by experts. Science speakers are among the most popular program items at many conventions.

Slides either photographic or computer , video clips, or handouts might be used for such presentations. Readings and "kaffeeklatsches" are program items where a single author either reads from their work or has an informal discussion with fans. The first night of the convention "Opening Ceremonies" are often held, where organizers and marquee guests are introduced and speeches might be made.

Sometimes, conventions will have a skits, musical performances, video clips, or other samples of the convention as part of the Opening Ceremonies. A costume contest called a masquerade is often held where persons go on stage and compete for nominal prizes based on their skill in assembling and presenting genre-inspired outfits. This, however, would be more accurately labelled a "talent show" rather than the "fancy dress ball" that the term suggests although British fandom sometimes uses the term "fancy dress". Anime fans might refer to the masquerade as cosplay , but there are notable and subtle distinctions between the terms.

Some conventions feature award ceremonies, in which the best works and most notable individuals are recognized for their contributions to the field. Worldcon has several award ceremonies, most notably the Hugo Awards , but also the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and other awards. Just as art shows display the visual aspect of science fiction, many conventions include concerts or other music-oriented events as part of the convention. Often these are performances by filkers , though other musicians may also appear at a con. A convention may have one or more auctions. The Art Auction is an event where the most popular items from the art show are sold to the most interested buyers at the convention. Evening entertainment often includes a combination of official and unofficial events, including concerts, dances, formal invitational dinners, and fandom-themed room parties.

Additionally, other convention committees hold room parties in order to promote their own convention and to increase their membership. A bid party is a room party held to influence the choice of the location of a future convention such as Worldcon by advertising its advantages. Some conventions have a Closing Ceremony to formally mark the end of the convention. Depending on the convention, this can be a major gathering of most of the membership, or it may be lightly attended or dispensed with entirely as members are occupied with packing up and checking out of the hotel. A Dealers' or Hucksters' Room is available, where merchants sell wares which may be of interest to fans.

These include books, action figures , prop replicas and t-shirts. Similarly, there is often an Art Show where genre-inspired art is displayed and usually made available for auction or purchase. Smaller conventions may simply have an informal Dealers' Row , a section of hotel rooms from which dealers sell goods, while larger conventions may have both an official dealers' room and an unofficial dealers' row. The Art Show is generally an open art exhibition ; that is, it is open to all comers and all art submitted is exhibited for sale. This naturally leads to a wide variety of types of artwork, from professional illustrations to outsider art , with many amateur works.

The subject matter is tailored to the interests of fandom, i. Art shows often permit sales by artists, these sales constituting a significant source of income for some artists. Many conventions have video rooms in which genre-related audiovisual presentations take place, typically commercial Hollywood movies , genre television show episodes, and anime. If there are multiple media rooms, each one may have themed content. Larger conventions may also have a genuine film room, for presentation of actual movies on film instead of video.

Game Rooms are also available at some conventions for attendees to play a variety of genre games, including collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering , role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons , miniatures games like Warhammer 40, , and board games like The Settlers of Catan. Easy, fast-playing card games, e. Apples to Apples , are popular as they don't require a large time commitment or deep knowledge of rules, thus allowing casual gamers to join in. At North American conventions, a Convention Hospitality Suite or Consuite is often provided as a room reserved for light refreshments, a quiet conversation, and a place to briefly rest. The refreshments typically include coffee, tea, juice or soda, and light meals appropriate for the time of day.

Depending on local liquor distribution and liability laws , the suite may serve alcohol.

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