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Author Topic: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi  (Read 9396 times)

Offline BaronVonJ

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Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« on: July 07, 2011, 01:19:10 PM »
I was pondering this after seeing this image:

Seems most SciFi stuff these days skews towards the hard scifi. What happened to the days of John Carter and the old serials when you had lasers and swords? Robots and magic.
Of course you could argue the other way. Why can't Fantasy have lasers?
Anybody know who might make suitable figs (other than Bronze Age's and Tin Man's John Carter stuff)? Otherwise, looks like I'm buying some ancients and grafting blaster onto them.
I leave you with an image of my childhood. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe:

-J

Offline killshot

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 01:33:54 PM »
I think there is a general leaning towards hard scifi, but it doesn't have to be that way.  The Deathstalker series of novels has a hard scifi setting but still uses swords and force shields.  A fantastic series (IMO) and one that I've thought of gaming. 

Offline Inso

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 01:55:41 PM »
Isn't the non-hard sci-fi covered by the Pulp genre?  There is all sorts of stuff for victorian sci-fi, martian stuff and the like. 

I thought that you could make sci-fi what you like...and let's face it...WH40k is hardly hard sci-fi, is it?

Offline Dr.Falkenhayn

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:56:56 PM »
thats why im a Big Fan of the Warzone Games/Universe:Hardsuit Hi-tech next to Sword and Magic next to Retro Sci-fi  :-* ;D

Offline Steve F

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 03:11:00 PM »
Sci-fi fans (who generally hate that mass-media term) have all sorts of subdivisions for their favourite genre.  They probably wouldn't accept the idea of "Hard Sci-Fi": it's "Hard SF", faithfully extrapolated from known science (and many of them would insist that that the "S" stands for "speculative", not "science").  So no faster-than-light travel, no aliens with acid blood, no light sabres and so on.  It seems to me that few Sci-Fi games settings are truly "hard".  Most of them - like WH40K or pretty much all of our TV- and film-derived gaming - is what gets contemptuously termed "skiffy", or more generously "Space Opera".  ERB's Barsoom, being old enough to be venerable, gets the more respectable term "Planetary Romance".

Offline BaronVonJ

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 03:20:42 PM »
Another setting I like would be "Iron Wolf"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironwolf_(comics)
JUst looking up "Sword and Planet" and "Planetary Romance" on wiki, just opened up a whole new bunch of possibilites. Still need to find some figs though.
-J

Offline Heldrak

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 03:38:24 PM »
The "GAFDOZ" line from Killer B Miniatures has a pretty good sword-to-raygun ratio, although they tend to wear more clothes than your average Frazetta hero & heroine...

http://killerbgames.com/

Rattrap Miniatures Kip Kincaid & Sarah Litmus have a nice Alex Raymondish feel to them, although they tend to be rather petite in scale.

http://www.brigadegames.com/Kip-Kincaid-and-Sarah-Litmus_p_2053.html

Supposedly Hydra Miniatures will be releasing "Sword & Raygun" versions of their Galacteer line at some point in the future, possibly in conjunction with their Retro Raygun rules set currently in development:

http://www.hydraminiatures.com/

Their Ace McGuire figure currently comes with the option to give him a sword as well:

http://shop.hydraminiatures.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_32&products_id=44



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Offline BaronVonJ

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 03:55:27 PM »
Thanks Helldrake,
I have most of the GADFOZ stuff,
http://baronvonj.blogspot.com/search/label/Retro%20SciFi
wish I could track down the Dick Garrison line.

Offline Inso

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 04:00:16 PM »
Bronze Age have a martian range with scantily clad heroes/heroines in.

Offline 6milPhil

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 04:06:06 PM »
Why can't Fantasy have lasers?

...and thus W40k was borne on high...  :-I

Offline Heldrak

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 04:06:31 PM »
wish I could track down the Dick Garrison line.

Try Pm'ing "Dick Garrison" here on the LAF. That's how I got mine...

Offline B. Basiliscus

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 04:49:45 PM »
I really wouldn't mind seeing more 'science fantasy' in this board in the near future, I hope that this takes off into a trend.  :D

Offline wolfgangbrooks

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 12:11:18 AM »
I don't think current sci-fi gaming is really all that "hard" at all. It's just that the current trend is Cold War fanfiction with floating tanks. And if all you're doing with anti-grav tech is taking the treads off a M1 Abrahms or a cargo truck and making it float a few feet of the ground, as far as I'm concerned you're doing it wrong. :)

I think that unless you're setting the game in the very very near future just sticking mostly to the current world situation with just a little bit better tech it is ignoring the way the world works, and so is practically fantasy to begin with. And that's before we get to the earth-animal headed aliens...

One definition of Hard Sci-Fi that I've seen basically says that anything that's internally consistent within it's own version of reality is hard sci-fi. In other words you can't just do whatever the hell you want, you've got to own up to the world you've created and make it the games/stories work within it's own logic. So in a weird way this means that something like Thundar the Barbarian can be just as "hard" as the Hammer Slammers books.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 12:13:53 AM by wolfgangbrooks »
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Offline Mark Plant

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 05:43:35 AM »
All the Star Wars gaming is pretty "soft". If not downright soggy.

There's loads of characters in the Expanded SW universe that could come straight from that He-Man picture.

Offline Pil

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Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 09:37:47 AM »
Rick Priestley said something along the lines of "Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a fantasy game set in the far future". I quite like the 80s Science Fiction style that Rogue trader has but I agree that a lot of the SF settings we game is hardly "hard". Star Wars and 40k being obvious examples.

I really like the first pic you posted and it reminds me of the RT style of mixing fantasy with SF, of course you can do anything with your games and I think there are still a lot of options for those that love the more retro stuff 8)
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