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That's So Dated
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1481
Location: America

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
That reminds me of an interview I saw with Cynthia Nixon recently. She said that women come up to her all the time on the street in NYC and tell her that she is the reason they moved there..apparently hoping for the same kind of life she has on show. She said they are probably disappointed that they can't run around in high heels all day, and party every night because nobody does that, and that is only pretend and fantasy.


This reminds me of a review of the movie I read, wherein the male critic was flabbergasted by the thought of two fellow attendees from Canada spending $16,000 just to attend the premiere and moaned that women watch movies and TV shows like SATC as something to aspire for (material wealth) rather than just taking it as a "fantasy" and "just a movie." Rolling Eyes
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a kind of addendum to this topic, we should perhaps mention the very funny phenomenon of the "dated futuristic."

In the mid-1990s, Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle, wrote three connected futuristics called Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid. They had a future setting, paranormal powers, and the idea of a human colony "now" cut off from earth for hundreds of years which had been forced by local conditions to abandon earth technology and develop a new one.

The stated premise was that the original settlers ("Founders") had been from the Pacific Northwest.

The result was that, aside from the premise that the culture's nearly-indissoluble marriages were almost entirely arranged by professional matchmaking agencies, the culture of young professionals in mid-1990s Seattle, from trendy coffee bars to turns of phrase, found itself transplanted, having apparently survived not only the decades from then to the undefined "whenever" at which the colonists departed earth, but a couple of centuries of subsequent cultural trauma, essentially unchanged.

It's fascinating. I'll have to look up her other futuristic series and see if it does the same thing.
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lijakaca



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
xina wrote:
That reminds me of an interview I saw with Cynthia Nixon recently. She said that women come up to her all the time on the street in NYC and tell her that she is the reason they moved there..apparently hoping for the same kind of life she has on show. She said they are probably disappointed that they can't run around in high heels all day, and party every night because nobody does that, and that is only pretend and fantasy.


This reminds me of a review of the movie I read, wherein the male critic was flabbergasted by the thought of two fellow attendees from Canada spending $16,000 just to attend the premiere and moaned that women watch movies and TV shows like SATC as something to aspire for (material wealth) rather than just taking it as a "fantasy" and "just a movie." Rolling Eyes


That critic's response makes me angry. How many guys spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend the Super Bowl? And that happens every year. Why does a one-time high-profile event that's been talked about nonstop and will doubtless have a big red-carpet show going get dissed just because it's a girl thing (which is why I assume this male critic doesn't 'get' it).

I personally wouldn't spend the 16k on this, but wtf? It's their money, obviously this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for them, let them enjoy it.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
As a kind of addendum to this topic, we should perhaps mention the very funny phenomenon of the "dated futuristic."


This is a very common problem in the science fiction genre. Even ten to twenty year old science fiction novels can seem terribly dated, e.g. the 1980s fashions and attitudes in many cyberpunk novels of the time. If you go back further in time, it gets really, really silly with manual typewriters in outer space, the biggest supercomputer in the known universe - which is the size of a small planet - providing the answers to the pressing questions of the universe - on tickertape. Or - my absolute favourite - a spaceship is powered by slaves shoveling radium into an atomic furnace. As a science fiction fan, you learn to ignore these inconsistencies when reading the classics of the genre.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn’t call the Castle “Curtain” books (Psynergy trilogy & more books set on Harmony) “dated” futuristics so much as “nominal” futuristics. The settings are superficially other planets at times in our future, but they are really variations on themes of our present world and culture. I’ve never asked the author her intent, but I view them as an extension of alternate history. I think she wanted a society much like ours with the exception of widespread acceptance and use of psychic abilities, so she came up with the Curtain universe. It lets her play with variations on our world that would stretch plausibility in an alternate history framework—widespread psionics and minor cultural variations in societies otherwise very much like ours.
I would reserve the term “dated” for what I usually call superseded history. Examples include Heinlein’s future history with the road cities and private development of the Moon, Simak’s City with personal helicopters, Pournelle’s CoDominion universe with a history including an alliance between the USA and USSR, or any other SF that includes events dated after the writing but before our present that have not happened in our history. Even Weber’s The Apocalypse Troll, which I really enjoy, is either now dated or about to become dated because the year is very close to now (I would have to pull the book to check for exact dates).
The psy-changeling stories by Nalini Singh are a different variation—futuristics from an altered history. The setting is in the future, but not “our” future, because there are references to events well before our present that are not part of our history.
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