An Impromptu Survey

This is the sort of thinking I get up to early in the morning when I should be sleeping1.

I am actually going somewhere with this, but you’ll have to trust and watch me slowly building up layers of ideas and opinion into a coherent set of thoughts before it will start to make sense2. There’s a few more question I need to ask after this stage of the thought process. There is however a large amount of zugzwang going on here, and I only have a vague idea of where this is heading.

Yes, some of you will have seen his on Twitter, and this is related to the last note I made here.

SF = Speculative Fiction = Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror.

The questions:

Why do we read / watch SF?

Why do we read / watch any kind of story?

What makes SF special to some of us?

Why does it entertain us?

Ideally I need as many answers as possible. However I am willing to accept none and make my own blind and rash proclamations when thinking later. =)

1. Post originally made to my Facebook account at 2:53am.
2. I know I’ve said this a lot.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Will Ellwood and Chris H., Joseph Robertson. Joseph Robertson said: RT @fragmad: An Impromptu Survey – I asked these questions earlier. I still need more answers. (RT plz) […]

  2. Magnulus May 14, 2010

    1: The few times I actually go “I’m in the mood for some SF” rather than just “I heard this was a good story.” it’s because I’m curious about what the writer thinks will happen in their version of the future, what their answers to certain philosophical questions are, etc. More than with other genres, I read SF for ideas.

    2: I read stories for so MANY reasons. I want to know about the characters, I want to know their struggles and how they choose to surmount them. How do we battle adversity? Do we succeed? Do we die trying? But more than anything, I want to be entertained. If it’s a piss-boring slog, why am I reading that instead of the biography of just some random person on the street?

    3: I have no idea. It can be escapism, tech-love, philosophical interest, or whatever else. There are just as many reasons for reading Sci-Fi specifically as there are for reading any story. Sci-Fi, like fantasy or any other high-concept “genre”, can be any genre in reality. I suppose in that way, SF isn’t actually a genre per se.

    4: See 1-3

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