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NEWS: Japanese Science Fiction Con's Seiun Nominees Posted [2011-04-24]




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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Kick Ass?

Really?
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:08 pm Reply with quote
Full-Metal Alchemist? That's not science fiction, that's fantasy.

What's next? Guin Saga?! Seriously.

Shoot, let's throw in DBZ, not only is it nostalgic but it has far more "science" than FMA. Capsule cars/houses/etc, the dragonball scanner, the gravity fields, space ships, the power meter... The list goes on.

Where's the science in FMA again, because all I see is the occult masquerading as psudeo-science? Are the pickings for good scifi really that slim that they have to allow such in? They must be, for as was mentioned, the rather non-scifi Kick Ass was allowed in.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:19 pm Reply with quote
I'd say that transmuting things certainly is science, though of course FMA transmutations are certainly beyond the scope anything conceivable (hey, science fiction!).

That said, go Tatami Galaxy. I was highly entertained and Yuasa definitely deserves all the credit he can get for directing that.
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Egan Loo



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Full-Metal Alchemist? That's not science fiction, that's fantasy.


Seiun Awards are similar to the Hugo Awards; even though the World Science Fiction Society awards the Hugo Awards at the World Science Fiction Convention, both science-fiction and fantasy works are eligible. Recent Hugo Awards have gone to Stardust, Pan's Labyrinth, The Incredibles, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Quote:
What's next? Guin Saga?! Seriously.


As mentioned in the article, it already happened — albeit one year too late, sadly. Kaoru Kurimoto won a Seiun Award for her Guin Saga novel series posthumously.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I'd say that transmuting things certainly is science, though of course FMA transmutations are certainly beyond the scope anything conceivable (hey, science fiction!).
Transmutation as presented in FMA is not science; when it is first "explained" in the series, they technically state that what they are calling transmutation is NOT what you described in your link. They originally state that all they can do is reshape an existing element, with some extensions, such as the ability to separate elements in a compound. (ie separating hydrogen from oxygen in water). The show decides to break its own "rules" for transmutation, which is a hallmark of how magic typically functions in fantasy stories--a nebulous force which works the way the writer needs it to--and state that they can somehow then actually convert one element to another, which is closer to your link. To cover up this rather egregious contradiction of their setup, they throw in this bit about "equivalent exchange" to "limit" alchemy's power, and further BS like some elemental conversions will magically revert after a certain time period. (eg: dross to gold)

Oh, and this magical ability to convert elements, an ability originally said to not exist, is powered by the life force of our world. A special ability powered by the spiritual life force of beings in a linked world. That sounds quite fantastical to me. Especially with all their occult references thrown in.

Even if we were to pretend that the "transmutations" are scientific, that still does not explain the original ability of the alchemists to reshape elements. A nuclear transformation would allow Al to turn that broken radio into silver, not magically cause it to reassemble itself. In fact, the alchemists' ability to shape elements functions uncannily like the "bending" featured in Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is a purely fantasy series. As the saying goes, if it barks like a dog & smells like a dog...

But we can't even pretend that, as FMA doesn't even try to give a token explanation as to how the purported "science" behind its transmutations works. If they're not going to give us that much, then we can't entertain the notion that it is science fiction. The franchise felt as though it started out with the intention of being scientific, but due to a combination of ignorance on the part of the creator & difficulty in maintaining the scientific premise (especially when it is obvious that the shounen audience doesn't care about such), the franchise decided to take the easy way out and go fantasy.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Egan Loo wrote:
Echo_City wrote:
Full-Metal Alchemist? That's not science fiction, that's fantasy.


Seiun Awards are similar to the Hugo Awards; even though the World Science Fiction Society awards the Hugo Awards at the World Science Fiction Convention, both science-fiction and fantasy works are eligible. Recent Hugo Awards have gone to Stardust, Pan's Labyrinth, The Incredibles, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Quote:
What's next? Guin Saga?! Seriously.


As mentioned in the article, it already happened — albeit one year too late, sadly. Kaoru Kurimoto won a Seiun Award for her Guin Saga novel series posthumously.
Well there's a buzz-kill. While it's true that fantasy and science fiction tread close to each other, when a high fantasy novel containing not one iota of science can win an a prize allegedly for excellence in the scifi genre, the award is cheapened. With qualifications this lax, I wouldn't be surprised if quality of the writing & story were the only things preventing Twilight from gaining a Hugo. Heinlein, Asimov, Meyer. One of these things is not like the others.:mad;
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Egan Loo



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:09 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
While it's true that fantasy and science fiction tread close to each other, when a high fantasy novel containing not one iota of science can win an a prize allegedly for excellence in the scifi genre, the award is cheapened.


Despite the name of their related conventions, neither the Seiun nor the Hugo Awards have alleged that they are only for the science-fiction genre.

Quote:
With qualifications this lax, I wouldn't be surprised if quality of the writing & story were the only things preventing Twilight from gaining a Hugo. Heinlein, Asimov, Meyer. One of these things is not like the others.:mad;


Quality of writing and story aside, both Heinlein and Asimov have written fantasy. We don't have to be mad about awards that have a tradition of honoring both science fiction and fantasy for decades, especially when authors such as Heinlein and Asimov have worked in both genres.
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skafreak51



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 199
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:10 pm Reply with quote
While I don't quite understand why FMA is on there, I'm absolutely confused at Kick-Ass's inclusion.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:26 am Reply with quote
Kick Ass should win, just for Hit-Girl alone. Then we'd get Kick Ass 2! Laughing
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amarielah



Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:41 am Reply with quote
@ Echo City

I've had this very same discussion with somebody on another site, who was insisting that the FMA manga was fantasy, while the FMA anime was science fiction (because it included parallel universes, of all things - as if fricken' Narnia counts as science fiction).

The person you're responding to was probably referring to the manga, however, where the magic system works a little bit differently. For example, in the manga it turn out that spoiler[geothermal energy] is what powers alchemy. But - for some reason - human souls can still act as either a tool of amplification, as seen with the philosopher's stones, or as a means of dampening alchemical power, which is an important point towards the end of the series. And then of course there's the fact that the entire system is reliant on seemingly arbitrary symbols that would have been pretty much impossible to discover through any sort of experimental procedure. So yeah, the manga's fantasy, pure and simple.

That said, this looks like it's more an award for "speculative fiction" as opposed to pure science fiction. Kamen Rider isn't exactly what I'd call hard SciFi, myself.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:21 am Reply with quote
In Japan, it's probably simpler to just think of "SF" as standing for "speculative fiction" instead of "science fiction." I wish a stronger distinction was made (both in Japan and when it comes to English-language awards like the Nebulas), but anyone who delves into Japanese "SF" will soon run into many things that are by no stretch of the imagination science fiction (and many other things that are). Nozomi Omori, who edits a yearly anthology of the best Japanese SF is a huge fan of the late Judith Merril, and her choices often seem to be driven by a "What would Judith do?" kind of logic. It is what it is, unfortunately for those of us who prefer John W. Campbell's ideas on what SF is (and isn't).
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