Syfy to kick start a new science fiction series - but can we do better?


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The Exchange

Apparently it is a post war setting where a crew is put on a ship by some 'democratic alliance' and sent out to enforce the regime's authority over every little planetary backwater.

Are we up for a Star trek: Andromeda Reboot or can we do better? What is the plot you think would make the best Sci-fi?

The Exchange

1. Rossum's Universal Robots - A company develops robots that take over jobs and push the poor to the fringes only to be used as war machines sent to take even the badlands where they live. Eventually the Robots stop taking orders and slaughter the human race.

Sovereign Court

yellowdingo wrote:
Apparently it is a post war setting where a crew is put on a ship by some 'democratic alliance' and sent out to enforce the regime's authority over every little planetary backwater.

Sounds like Firefly from the Alliance point of view ... just sayin' ...


zylphryx wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Apparently it is a post war setting where a crew is put on a ship by some 'democratic alliance' and sent out to enforce the regime's authority over every little planetary backwater.
Sounds like Firefly from the Alliance point of view ... just sayin' ...

That's what I was thinking.

The Exchange

Xabulba wrote:
zylphryx wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Apparently it is a post war setting where a crew is put on a ship by some 'democratic alliance' and sent out to enforce the regime's authority over every little planetary backwater.
Sounds like Firefly from the Alliance point of view ... just sayin' ...
That's what I was thinking.

Setting aside the cynical complaint that it will be abandoned after 13 episodes...can we do better?

Would you watch a Scifi that is closer to 2011?

2. It is the year 2012AD when a huge 'alien' spaceship drifts in from the edge of the Solar system. The US and Russia have been taken by surprise and must build a new shuttle to send a crew out to the 'alien' vessel before the Chinese notice it is there and can launch an expedition.


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Will it have Bruce Willis?

The Exchange

Shifty wrote:
Will it have Bruce Willis?

Having seen an image of Bruce Willis in the new scifi LOOPER, He looks too old to be an astronaut, though he might qualify to be that last CIA guy with Shuttle Atlantis Astronaut Training. Man the image is scary old - his eyes are receding into his eye sockets...


yellowdingo wrote:
2. It is the year 2012AD when a huge 'alien' spaceship drifts in from the edge of the Solar system. The US and Russia have been taken by surprise and must build a new shuttle to send a crew out to the 'alien' vessel before the Chinese notice it is there and can launch an expedition.

This would work better if it was just placed in a more nebulous "1 year from now." Giving an exact year will seriously date the show, limiting dvd sales and syndication possibilities.

That said, given good writing and an avoidance of "plot twist addiction" any concept can be good.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I'm actualy somewhat interested in the new show - I think it's been a while since there's been a sci-fi show on TV that's actually set "IN THE FUTURE" as opposed to current day or "5 years from now".

Whether it will be good or not, who can say based on the 3 line description. A lot will depend on good plots and characters.

Grand Lodge

My favorite sci-fi show was Firefly. I really liked Babylon 5, Star Trek Next Generation and Deep Space 9. Any new sci-fi would need to rival these. I cannot think of an original SYFY series that has come anywhere near these fantastic shows. With the exception of Firefly, the others were independent syndicated shows. And many of us know how Fox ruined Firefly. So networks typically don't do sci-fi well. And I doubt even a cable network like SYFY can really do much better.

To do it right, it would need to be syndicated or preferably shown on a Starz or Cinemax-like premium channel. Having to suck up to the TV ratings board should be thrown out the window. It may be too late to resurrect Firefly, but who says you can't bring Joss Whedon in to an unfiltered environment and create a new show based on the incredible settings he created with Firefly. He could center the new show around an older Simon and River Tam. Summer Glau and Sean Maher I believe are available. River and Simon could lead a new revolt against the Alliance. Throw in something new like actual Aliens and you have plenty of plots to drive a series.

Later,

Mazra

The Exchange

JoelF847 wrote:

I'm actualy somewhat interested in the new show - I think it's been a while since there's been a sci-fi show on TV that's actually set "IN THE FUTURE" as opposed to current day or "5 years from now".

Whether it will be good or not, who can say based on the 3 line description. A lot will depend on good plots and characters.

As opposed to Space: 1999 which was way off.

Dark Archive

Personally I have wanted to see a television sequel of Independence Day for a long time. Earth's first intersteller vessel, built from technology scavenged after an alien invasion sets out find out what is beyond our solar system and make sure we don't get ambushed again.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would have to say that from what I've seen here, the answer is no.

Contributor

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SyFy has just acquired the rights to George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards superhero shared world anthology series (which I also write for) for a feature film, in partnership with Universal, with plans for more films and possibly television series down the line.

This has been in the works for a while, but the deal has been signed so we can talk about it now.

Note: This is a new feature films division and this is their first project signed.


Two words:

Reboot Firefly

Get as many of the old actors as you can, or entirely new ones.

Maybe a different ship with a different crew, but the same setting.

P.S. Dream idea; Zoe Washburne now has the ship. Mel dead or retired.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

SyFy has just acquired the rights to George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards superhero shared world anthology series (which I also write for) for a feature film, in partnership with Universal, with plans for more films and possibly television series down the line.

This has been in the works for a while, but the deal has been signed so we can talk about it now.

Note: This is a new feature films division and this is their first project signed.

I read about this and was pretty excited. I haven't had a chance to read the books (I know, I'm remiss) and I'm hoping the movie will be an excuse to start reading it. From what I read, no specific plot(s) have been picked (or at least announced). How involved will Goerge and the other authors be in the script/story for the movie?


What if humanity ascended to the stars, only to discover that, while there are plenty of sentient races in the galaxy, they all shared one defining characteristic:

They are all genetically human, even if some do possess hair, eye, or skin colors and patterns not found on Earth. This is a great mystery, as there is no way evolution did this. Genetically compatible species simultaneously evolving on multiple worlds? Not happening. Something else caused this. But what?

A nice twist on Star Trek's rubber forehead aliens, no?


Katrina Sinclair wrote:

What if humanity ascended to the stars, only to discover that, while there are plenty of sentient races in the galaxy, they all shared one defining characteristic:

They are all genetically human, even if some do possess hair, eye, or skin colors and patterns not found on Earth. This is a great mystery, as there is no way evolution did this. Genetically compatible species simultaneously evolving on multiple worlds? Not happening. Something else caused this. But what?

A nice twist on Star Trek's rubber forehead aliens, no?

ST:TNG did that as an episode.

Contributor

JoelF847 wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

SyFy has just acquired the rights to George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards superhero shared world anthology series (which I also write for) for a feature film, in partnership with Universal, with plans for more films and possibly television series down the line.

This has been in the works for a while, but the deal has been signed so we can talk about it now.

Note: This is a new feature films division and this is their first project signed.

I read about this and was pretty excited. I haven't had a chance to read the books (I know, I'm remiss) and I'm hoping the movie will be an excuse to start reading it. From what I read, no specific plot(s) have been picked (or at least announced). How involved will Goerge and the other authors be in the script/story for the movie?

Melinda Snodgrass will be writing the script. She's been George's right hand since Wild Cards started. Right now, the only specifics are that the story for the first movie will be set present day and will involve The Sleeper, Roger Zelazny's character from the first Wild Cards book. Since Roger died, the rest of us authors have been working actively to keep Croyd (The Sleeper) alive. The most recent use of him was in the current volume, Fort Freak, in Paul Cornell's "More!"

The involvement of the rest of us authors depends on the needs of the script. If one of our characters is tapped for the movie, Melinda will of course be consulting with us, getting character details, etc. We also contact each other to remember various characters. John J. Miller just went and tabulated the books and found that we have 450+ named characters with more being written and we often ask about for older minor characters so we won't have to invent new ones for bit parts. It also sometimes makes for a much expanded role.

To give an example, John Miller wrote a baseball story for Deuces Down, dealing with professional sports in the Wild Cards world. I remembered that in William F. Wu's story "Till I Kissed You" in Card Sharks, there was a joker baseball player "Slugs Maligne" who was on the protagonist's favorite baseball card. John borrowed the character from Bill and what had been a one-line mention in one story was expanded to a full speaking part in another.

Anyway, Melinda is coming up with the script and consulting with Gregory Noveck, the producer, who's a big fan of Wild Cards, and of course with George. The rest of us will be involved depending on the needs of the script.

There've been a few other characters names floated about for major protagonists, but aside from The Sleeper, nothing I can yet report.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
... Roger Zelazny's character from the first Wild Cards book...

You've sold me already. Roger is hands down my all-time favorite author, and I've been slowly tracking down his more obscure works. Somehow I completely missed that he was involved with Wild Cards, so now they're added to my active list of books to track down. Thanks for making my day!

Contributor

JoelF847 wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
... Roger Zelazny's character from the first Wild Cards book...
You've sold me already. Roger is hands down my all-time favorite author, and I've been slowly tracking down his more obscure works. Somehow I completely missed that he was involved with Wild Cards, so now they're added to my active list of books to track down. Thanks for making my day!

The first is very easy to track down because Tor just reissued it, with all the original stories, including Roger's, plus three new stories by David Levine, Michael Cassutt, and Carrie Vaughn. The second volume, Aces High, has also been reissued. The four new volumes from Tor are also available and the fifth, Low Ball, is currently being written. The two previous volumes, Deuces Down and Death Draws Five, have just been released on Kindle and in paperback.

Volumes III-XV, however, are currently out-of-print and harder to find, but should be coming available again, especially with the movie.


I religiously followed Wild Cards through the first 12 books. I read the Card Sharks triad in the library.

I found that starting around the fall of Puppetman, the series had seemed to devolve into "I can make MY character more miserable and cringe inducing than yours..."

Bloat and The Rox and its denoumount pretty much killed the series for me.

The Card Sharks "Evil Conspiracy" plot arc made me sigh.

By far and away, the best of the stories I've read was "Witness" in volume 1.

My second favorite was the flashback story about the detective and Marilyn Monroe from Card Sharks.

Does the new stuff delve as deeply into "I can make MY character more miserable than YOU can?" competitions?

The Exchange

Really...do we need more Cavalry enters the Indian territories to impose order on people fleeing government by others scifi? Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yellowdingo wrote:
Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

No that's what not Democracy is supposed to be. It may end up that way, but at that point it's not a democracy, it might be a dictatorship, a theocracy, a plutocracy, but not a democracy.

Your last question doesn't make any sense. Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives. If you're talking about individuals with no government, you're describing anarchy, or the power of individual force.

Contributor

AdAstraGames wrote:

I religiously followed Wild Cards through the first 12 books. I read the Card Sharks triad in the library.

I found that starting around the fall of Puppetman, the series had seemed to devolve into "I can make MY character more miserable and cringe inducing than yours..."

Bloat and The Rox and its denoumount pretty much killed the series for me.

The Card Sharks "Evil Conspiracy" plot arc made me sigh.

By far and away, the best of the stories I've read was "Witness" in volume 1.

My second favorite was the flashback story about the detective and Marilyn Monroe from Card Sharks.

Does the new stuff delve as deeply into "I can make MY character more miserable than YOU can?" competitions?

The detective and Marilyn Monroe story, "Cursum Perficio," was mine. Glad you enjoyed it.

The tone of the books and the individual stories vary from book to book. Deuces Down is decidedly more upbeat. My character there, Sam, aka "His Nibs," is probably one of the most upbeat characters in Wild Cards. That said, Steve Leigh has a particularly tragic story before it in the same volume.

With the new books from Tor, again, it depends on the individual stories. The Committee Triad (Inside Straight, Busted Flush, Suicide Kings) is more focused on heroism and what it means to be a hero. You'll also get to revisit Nick, my detective from Card Sharks, in the second volume, Busted Flush, in my story "The Tears of Nepthys." Daniel Abraham also borrows him and Cameo for his section of Suicide Kings.

The current volume, Fort Freak, is a police procedural. My story, "The Straight Man," is more humorous, and Paul Cornell's "More!" is even more so. Steve Leigh's story is excellent, but very dark. David Anthony Durham's is dark but hopeful. Mary Anne Mohanraj's is an action-adventure romance. Basically, lots of variety. And you can even read a sample of the book with Melinda Snograss's "The Rook" which is also on the lighter end.

The next book, Lowball, is currently being written, and I know two stories have just been finished, or at least their first drafts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lyingbastard wrote:
Katrina Sinclair wrote:

What if humanity ascended to the stars, only to discover that, while there are plenty of sentient races in the galaxy, they all shared one defining characteristic:

They are all genetically human, even if some do possess hair, eye, or skin colors and patterns not found on Earth. This is a great mystery, as there is no way evolution did this. Genetically compatible species simultaneously evolving on multiple worlds? Not happening. Something else caused this. But what?

A nice twist on Star Trek's rubber forehead aliens, no?

ST:TNG did that as an episode.

Yes, one that proved for all time, if enough hadn't been shown already, that Trek isn't science fiction, but space fantasy.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'd heard about the Wild Cards/Syfy deal, and I'm glad you're excited. Based on Syfy's average movie qualities... I'm nervous.

Plus I'm not sure how some of the topics would do well in the TV medium. (Fortunato and Roulette are more Showtime than Sci-fi, not to mention certain aspects of Captain Trips)

Have the writers ever updated the Wild Cards rhyming for more modern characters?

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

No that's what not Democracy is supposed to be. It may end up that way, but at that point it's not a democracy, it might be a dictatorship, a theocracy, a plutocracy, but not a democracy.

Your last question doesn't make any sense. Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives. If you're talking about individuals with no government, you're describing anarchy, or the power of individual force.

Still comming off the urban pacification drugs I see. Watch some Blake's 7 - it will take the edge off.

In what way is forcing people to sacrifice the right to represent themselves for the expediency of those who would govern over others not Tyranny? What is 'individual force' if not the obligatory act of self-representation in a state of equals? Should we be thinking about consensus of the individuals for the legitimate functionality of a whole state? Are these concepts too alien for the accepted tyrannies of humanity?

Anarchy? No. But i did once read somewhere that consensus of the individuals was considered an advanced form of anarchy and the inevitable conclusion of social development. I say bull to that because every stage in between has required violent overthrow of the Previous.

So why cant our Scifi be about a consensus state going out and requiring petty tyrannies to disperse and return to consensus? The Irony of the many enforcing their desire for equality and self representation on a few? how about the liberation of those at the bottom of any social strata?

Contributor

Matthew Morris wrote:

I'd heard about the Wild Cards/Syfy deal, and I'm glad you're excited. Based on Syfy's average movie qualities... I'm nervous.

Plus I'm not sure how some of the topics would do well in the TV medium. (Fortunato and Roulette are more Showtime than Sci-fi, not to mention certain aspects of Captain Trips)

Have the writers ever updated the Wild Cards rhyming for more modern characters?

It's a partnership between SyFy and Universal and it's for feature films, not made-for-television movies.

If the films do well in the theatres, there's the chance of having a series on SyFy, but honestly the Wild Cards universe is wide enough that you can have a series appropriate for basic cable just by picking which characters and storylines to focus on. Or just picking camera angles.

Dr. Finn walks around without any pants, but you regularly see centaurs in Xena and commercials, and so long as no one does any crotch shots, it's considered perfectly G-rated.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

I'd heard about the Wild Cards/Syfy deal, and I'm glad you're excited. Based on Syfy's average movie qualities... I'm nervous.

Plus I'm not sure how some of the topics would do well in the TV medium. (Fortunato and Roulette are more Showtime than Sci-fi, not to mention certain aspects of Captain Trips)

Have the writers ever updated the Wild Cards rhyming for more modern characters?

It's a partnership between SyFy and Universal and it's for feature films, not made-for-television movies.

If the films do well in the theatres, there's the chance of having a series on SyFy, but honestly the Wild Cards universe is wide enough that you can have a series appropriate for basic cable just by picking which characters and storylines to focus on. Or just picking camera angles.

Dr. Finn walks around without any pants, but you regularly see centaurs in Xena and commercials, and so long as no one does any crotch shots, it's considered perfectly G-rated.

Ah, ok that makes me feel a little better about it.

And there's a difference between Dr. Finn walking around w/o pants and, um, talking about his physical experience.

(And when I read that conversation, I had two thoughts. The first was "He does have a pont." The second was "The author thought about the physical requirements wayyyyy too much." ":-)


yellowdingo wrote:
LazarX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

No that's what not Democracy is supposed to be. It may end up that way, but at that point it's not a democracy, it might be a dictatorship, a theocracy, a plutocracy, but not a democracy.

Your last question doesn't make any sense. Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives. If you're talking about individuals with no government, you're describing anarchy, or the power of individual force.

Still comming off the urban pacification drugs I see. Watch some Blake's 7 - it will take the edge off.

In what way is forcing people to sacrifice the right to represent themselves for the expediency of those who would govern over others not Tyranny? What is 'individual force' if not the obligatory act of self-representation in a state of equals? Should we be thinking about consensus of the individuals for the legitimate functionality of a whole state? Are these concepts too alien for the accepted tyrannies of humanity?

Anarchy? No. But i did once read somewhere that consensus of the individuals was considered an advanced form of anarchy and the inevitable conclusion of social development. I say bull to that because every stage in between has required violent overthrow of the Previous.

So why cant our Scifi be about a consensus state going out and requiring petty tyrannies to disperse and return to consensus? The Irony of the many enforcing their desire for equality and self representation on a few? how about the liberation of those at the bottom of any social strata?

What the US and many other countries have is a representative democracy, not a pure democracy, because everyone gets a vote to elect the people who then represent them in the government. Pure democracy, like pure communism, can never work other than theoretically for large numbers of people.

Shadow Lodge

Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

Two words:

Reboot Firefly

Get as many of the old actors as you can, or entirely new ones.

Maybe a different ship with a different crew, but the same setting.

P.S. Dream idea; Zoe Washburne now has the ship. Mel dead or retired.

I just don't see it working with a different crew/ship. Or a lack of Mal.

Shadow Lodge

Katrina Sinclair wrote:

What if humanity ascended to the stars, only to discover that, while there are plenty of sentient races in the galaxy, they all shared one defining characteristic:

They are all genetically human, even if some do possess hair, eye, or skin colors and patterns not found on Earth. This is a great mystery, as there is no way evolution did this. Genetically compatible species simultaneously evolving on multiple worlds? Not happening. Something else caused this. But what?

A nice twist on Star Trek's rubber forehead aliens, no?

I'll go the oposite route. Humanity ascends to the stars, only to discover that while there are plenty of sentient races in the galaxy, none of them seem to share anything in common with humanity, especially the way they think. Aliens that are truely alien.

That, or a Warhammer 40K series.

The Exchange

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Some crazy thing about seats in parliament for every citizen never being functional

Since when? Because the people in power say so? You do understand tyrants will tell you your freedom is unworkable to keep you enslaved right? As long as you are prepared to enslave yourself Tyranny wins by default.


What I would love to see is a setting in the far future which does not fall into something miserable along the lines of one type of social engineering or other. Unless we nuke ourselves, there will be humans in 50.000 years - what are they going to be like? Utopias make me sick, I want to see humanity spread to the galaxy and changing from Earth stock, all finding their own goals and ways to live. These last few decades have been all about social commentary on our current society, which frankly isn't what we need SF for. Nor do we need aliens who serve to illustrate moralities of fairy tales for us.

It can be done. And it could be beautiful.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Sissyl wrote:

What I would love to see is a setting in the far future which does not fall into something miserable along the lines of one type of social engineering or other. Unless we nuke ourselves, there will be humans in 50.000 years - what are they going to be like? Utopias make me sick, I want to see humanity spread to the galaxy and changing from Earth stock, all finding their own goals and ways to live. These last few decades have been all about social commentary on our current society, which frankly isn't what we need SF for. Nor do we need aliens who serve to illustrate moralities of fairy tales for us.

It can be done. And it could be beautiful.

Guardians of the Galaxy?

I think the problem with 'far in the future' is how much stuff we'd not recognize.

It would be Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court taken to eleven.


There is enough theory on how things would work to make such a setting more or less believable.

When Star Trek started, the amazing thing about it was that it held a view of the future that people could relate to, in some fashion. If you look through it today, sure, there are things you will see that are obviously wrong, but on the whole, it is a valid idea of a human future.

As to how we'd recognize things, well, a weapon remains a weapon. A spoon remains a spoon. This happens because a human remains, more or less, a human.

But we certainly don't need it to be anything childish.

Sovereign Court

Sissyl wrote:
These last few decades have been all about social commentary on our current society, which frankly isn't what we need SF for. Nor do we need aliens who serve to illustrate moralities of fairy tales for us.

I would have to disagree somewhat with this stance. SF has been a vehicle not only for extrapolation of what technology we might see, but also the way humanity develops both with and without this technology. As such, it has taken a look, and been a mouthpiece for or against, the way society currently is. It has been going on since the inception of the genre.

George Orwell's 1984 (written in 1949), HG Wells' The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds (1895 and 1898, respectively), and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (1818 ... while this work was instrumental in the development of the horror genre, it also fits as an introductory work in the Science Fiction realm as well), all examine various aspects of the society from which they sprang (or take them to dark extremes). This, IMO, does not reduce the effectiveness of the works at all and, one could argue, is what makes them as memorable as they are.


LazarX wrote:
Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives.

I hate to nitpick, but that statement is not quite correct, and it bears mentioning, as it tends to lead to a lot of problematic confusion when that definition is used for democracy. That is actually the definition of a republic. Democracy is when everyone assembles and directly votes on everything; it works fine for small groups, but most civilizations have treated it, with a certain amount of accuracy, as being little more than unstable mob rule, when it is used as a formal governing structure of a large number of people. A republic, what you described, is something else entirely.


sunshadow21 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives.
I hate to nitpick, but that statement is not quite correct, and it bears mentioning, as it tends to lead to a lot of problematic confusion when that definition is used for democracy. That is actually the definition of a republic. Democracy is when everyone assembles and directly votes on everything; it works fine for small groups, but most civilizations have treated it, with a certain amount of accuracy, as being little more than unstable mob rule, when it is used as a formal governing structure of a large number of people. A republic, what you described, is something else entirely.

To nitpick the nitpick: Democracy and Republic are not mutually exclusive terms. In general Democracy is the broader term, covering any form of government where the people hold power and exercise that through some form of voting. A Republic is usually a form of Democracy where the power is exercised through representatives.

Direct democracy, which is what you describe as democracy, is simply another form of democracy.


thejeff wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives.
I hate to nitpick, but that statement is not quite correct, and it bears mentioning, as it tends to lead to a lot of problematic confusion when that definition is used for democracy. That is actually the definition of a republic. Democracy is when everyone assembles and directly votes on everything; it works fine for small groups, but most civilizations have treated it, with a certain amount of accuracy, as being little more than unstable mob rule, when it is used as a formal governing structure of a large number of people. A republic, what you described, is something else entirely.

To nitpick the nitpick: Democracy and Republic are not mutually exclusive terms. In general Democracy is the broader term, covering any form of government where the people hold power and exercise that through some form of voting. A Republic is usually a form of Democracy where the power is exercised through representatives.

Direct democracy, which is what you describe as democracy, is simply another form of democracy.

Fair enough, but the particular definition being used was definitely for a specific form of democracy, since not all forms of democracy involve elected representatives, and trying to apply that specific of a definition to the wider concept is problematic at best.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yellowdingo wrote:
LazarX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

No that's what not Democracy is supposed to be. It may end up that way, but at that point it's not a democracy, it might be a dictatorship, a theocracy, a plutocracy, but not a democracy.

Your last question doesn't make any sense. Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives. If you're talking about individuals with no government, you're describing anarchy, or the power of individual force.

Still comming off the urban pacification drugs I see. Watch some Blake's 7 - it will take the edge off.

In what way is forcing people to sacrifice the right to represent themselves for the expediency of those who would govern over others not Tyranny? What is 'individual force' if not the obligatory act of self-representation in a state of equals? Should we be thinking about consensus of the individuals for the legitimate functionality of a whole state? Are these concepts too alien for the accepted tyrannies of humanity?

Anarchy? No. But i did once read somewhere that consensus of the individuals was considered an advanced form of anarchy and the inevitable conclusion of social development. I say bull to that because every stage in between has required violent overthrow of the Previous.

So why cant our Scifi be about a consensus state going out and requiring petty tyrannies to disperse and return to consensus? The Irony of the many enforcing their desire for equality and self representation on a few? how about the liberation of those at the bottom of any social strata?

What's a consensus state? What is the mechanism for the type of government you want?

Representative government is the one form of democracy which actually seems to work. If on the other hand you want a government where every decision of consequence requires a referendum, I cite California as an example of a state that's nearly ungovernable because of that structure.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunshadow21 wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives.
I hate to nitpick, but that statement is not quite correct, and it bears mentioning, as it tends to lead to a lot of problematic confusion when that definition is used for democracy. That is actually the definition of a republic. Democracy is when everyone assembles and directly votes on everything; it works fine for small groups, but most civilizations have treated it, with a certain amount of accuracy, as being little more than unstable mob rule, when it is used as a formal governing structure of a large number of people. A republic, what you described, is something else entirely.

That's not exactly true. Democracy is defined as a system of government where all citizens have equal say. This does not neccessarily mean that every citizen votes on every single item. What it means is that my impact on government isn't of any more weight than yours.

In essence Democracy isn't really a system of government but an ideal which can and has been approached using a variety of methods.

There are several varieties of democracy, some of which provide better representation and more freedom for their citizens than others.[11][12] However, if any democracy is not structured so as to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or any branch of government from altering the separation of powers in its own favor, then a branch of the system can accumulate too much power and destroy the democracy.[13][14][15] Representative Democracy, Consensus Democracy, and Deliberative Democracy are all major examples of attempts at a form of government that is both practical and responsive to the needs and desires of citizens.

Many people use the term "democracy" as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government. In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a central attribute, but in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the dominant principle is that of parliamentary sovereignty (though in practice judicial independence is generally maintained). In other cases, "democracy" is used to mean direct democracy. Though the term "democracy" is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are applicable to private organizations and other groups as well.

Consensus democracy is most closely embodied in certain countries such as Switzerland, Lebanon, Sweden, Iraq and Belgium, where consensus is an important feature of political culture, particularly with a view to preventing the domination of one linguistic or cultural group in the political process.[2] The term consociational state is used in political science to describe countries with such consensus based political systems. An example of such a system could be the Dutch Poldermodel.

In Canada, the territorial governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut also operate on a consensus model, unlike the oppositional political party structure that prevails elsewhere in Canada.

Quoted text from Wikipedia links below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_Democracy

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
These last few decades have been all about social commentary on our current society, which frankly isn't what we need SF for.

On the other hand, I consider it one of the few things that gives science fiction any relevance as an art form. If anything that the last couple of decades have proven we need as a people to be more connected to science decisions and developments that shape basic society, which means as a people we need to develop a greater awarness of issues such as nuclear power, climate change, technological investment, and how they impact on us as a society.

BTW, Nuking ourselves is far from the only threat we pose ourselves as a species. Right now, we face far more serious and complicated issues in the matters of resource depletion, environmental management,and climate change.

I would highly recommend a watch of Earth 2100 before making any conclusions that things are that hunky dory for us.


LazarX wrote:

That's not exactly true. Democracy is defined as a system of government where all citizens have equal say. This does not neccessarily mean that every citizen votes on every single item. What it means is that my impact on government isn't of any more weight than yours.

In essence Democracy isn't really a system of government but an ideal which can and has been approached using a variety of methods.

That is quite true, as I have already conceded, but your original definition was very specific in the structure used. Thus, while it is not entirely incorrect, it is not entirely correct either, because you seemed to be referring to the concept of democracy, not any particular form of it. They are not the same thing, even if they are closely related, and the distinction is an important one.


JoelF847 wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
... Roger Zelazny's character from the first Wild Cards book...
You've sold me already. Roger is hands down my all-time favorite author, and I've been slowly tracking down his more obscure works. Somehow I completely missed that he was involved with Wild Cards, so now they're added to my active list of books to track down. Thanks for making my day!

Always good to see another Zelazny fan.

A TV series of the Chronicles of Amber would be cool.

If not that, then a Damnation Alley series.


You know something else I thought would be cool?

Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat as a series. It wouldn't necessarily have to follow the books, just have the same characters.

Other than that, just bring back Firefly.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

A series based on the Mass Effect computer games would be cool, particularly if you go for some depth in character development with multiple point of view characters and really flesh out the planetary locations other than the cursory treatment they got in the game. Go more for the storyline and de-emphasis the shooter aspect.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
yellowdingo wrote:

Would you watch a Scifi that is closer to 2011?

2. It is the year 2012AD when a huge 'alien' spaceship drifts in from the edge of the Solar system. The US and Russia have been taken by surprise and must build a new shuttle to send a crew out to the 'alien' vessel before the Chinese notice it is there and can launch an expedition.

Sounds like Arther C. Clarke's first "Rendezvue with Rama".

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
LazarX wrote:
yellowdingo wrote:
Democracy has and always will be about the few governing the many without their approval. How about the right of the individual to represent themselves? Is that a viable Scifi or would it be painted as 'selfish' and anti government?

No that's what not Democracy is supposed to be. It may end up that way, but at that point it's not a democracy, it might be a dictatorship, a theocracy, a plutocracy, but not a democracy.

Your last question doesn't make any sense. Democracy is the individual being represented through elected representatives. If you're talking about individuals with no government, you're describing anarchy, or the power of individual force.

Still comming off the urban pacification drugs I see. Watch some Blake's 7 - it will take the edge off.

In what way is forcing people to sacrifice the right to represent themselves for the expediency of those who would govern over others not Tyranny? What is 'individual force' if not the obligatory act of self-representation in a state of equals? Should we be thinking about consensus of the individuals for the legitimate functionality of a whole state? Are these concepts too alien for the accepted tyrannies of humanity?

Anarchy? No. But i did once read somewhere that consensus of the individuals was considered an advanced form of anarchy and the inevitable conclusion of social development. I say bull to that because every stage in between has required violent overthrow of the Previous.

So why cant our Scifi be about a consensus state going out and requiring petty tyrannies to disperse and return to consensus? The Irony of the many enforcing their desire for equality and self representation on a few? how about the liberation of those at the bottom of any social strata?

What's a consensus state? What is the mechanism for the type of government you want?

Representative government is the one form of democracy which actually seems to work. If on the...

California isn't ungovernable - it is simply ungovernable by any one individual or minority who require absolute power. That's the point of requiring the consensus of every individual citizen - Tyrants love representative democracy because they can govern without consensus.

A Futuristic space civilization will by virtue of having been something other than a tyranny governing others be a state consisting of people prepared to move together as one. This is done through consensus of the whole, not the whips of the slave driver at the whim of an overlord.

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