Author Topic: Does anyone associate different types of sci fi with certain decades?  (Read 1049 times)

Offline CmdrShepN7

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For some reason sci fi with aliens, lasers, and FTL starships like "Mass Effect", "Star Trek TNG", and "The Fifth Element feel like sci fi that came from the 90s.





As someone who was just a young child during the mid to late 90s I view that decade through rose colored glasses.

Sci fi with corporate and military themes like "Avatar", "Eve Online", and "Battlestar Galactica definitely feel like sci fi that comes from the 2000s.





Isn't sci fi reflective of the time period they are made in?

"The Expanse" feels like a continuation of 2000s sci fi.

Offline AmigaClone

Not really, even not taking into account sequels/prequels/remakes/reboots.

It gets even worse when considering those four categories.

For instance, Star Trek:TNG is the first live action sequel of Star Trek: The Original series produced in the 1960s. It started in the 1980s.

Battlestar Galactica is the title of two series, one produced in the 1970s and another in the 2000s. The general theme was the same in both series. I would put both firmly in the 'lasers, aliens, FTL' category as well.

TV Series based on books would be even harder to classify - for example Oz is based on a series of novels that started being produced in 1900.


Offline Blackstar

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I think you should go get some books on the history of science fiction and read up on it. You're asking some rather obvious questions (your last one was about the stigma associated with science fiction fandom). The answers are available.

To answer this question: yes, different types of sci-fi have been associated with different decades. The 1950s had lots of alien invasions (reflecting Cold War fears). The 1970s had lots of dystopian sci-fi (reflecting fears of over-population and resource depletion), as well as horror sci-fi. After Star Wars, there was a lot more fantasy mixed with sci-fi. (There's a podcast called "Get Me Another... Star Wars" that went into the movies that copied or happened because of Star Wars.) These things track both with the social issues of their decades as well as following trends--a successful movie leads to lots of copies.

This is covered in the books.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2022 08:19 pm by Blackstar »

Offline Dalhousie

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Aliens, FTL, and lasers (well, death rays at at rate) were staples of SF in the 1930s.  The war of the worlds has aliens and death rays in the 1890s.

Most SF is not to be found in video games, movies, or TV shows, but in novels and short stories.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Steve G

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Thereís been no shortage of sci-fi from the 50s on. What there is a shortage of is good sci-fi. Some of the best movies from the 50s and 60s are: The War of the Worlds (1953), The Time Machine (1960), Day of the Triffids (1962), Planet of the Apes (1968) and of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The better TV series, aside from Star Trek, was The Invaders (1967-68), Captain Scarlett (Yes, with the puppets) (1967-68) and UFO (Also Gary and Sylvia Anderson and youíve got to dig the purple hairdos on the ďmoon maidensĒ.) (1970). Most themes are based on hostile aliens.

The 70s and 80s, of course, introduced us to Space: 1999, Star Wars, Star Trek movies, Battlestar Galactica, Westworld, Close Encounters, Blade Runner, and one of the best: Alien and 1986 sequel, Aliens (Where the franchise should have ended). Iíll pass on Loganís Run and Soylent Green. THX 1138 is worthy of honourable mention. Most themes are action based and weíre getting into a dystopian future.

Most of the current sci-fi, which is brutally hard to find anything good, really focuses on a dystopian future, from Blade Runner to Minority Report and Oblivion. The best TV shows have been the reboot of Battlestar Galactica and The Expanse. Westworld Season 1 (should have stopped there) The new three new Star Treks are an abomination, with Strange New Worlds still missing the cut. The Orville is showing Star Trek how to do Star Trek.

Of the new releases, I really enjoyed Night Sky (with Sissy Spacek and J. K. Simmons (Both Academy Award winners so the talent is amazing) and Halo has great potential. (Even though in the 26th-century, apparently, all vehicles use internal combustion engines) I canít think of a bigger stinker than (Other than New Trek, already mentioned) Another Life starring Katee Sackhoff. The movie Breach starring Bruce Willis is brutal. One of the control panels was a 1996 Panasonic MX-50 AV mixer, which my wife used during her video production days.

The Marvel and DC Universe is an entirely different discussion but thereís so much itís getting watered down.

I wonít get into a hot potato discussion of Woke politics that is dominating the discussion boards.

Overall, the main themes havenít changed much over the decades. Dangerous aliens and a dystopian future. Just that thereís a lot more shows out there with bigger budgets and better special effects, but the worthy binge material is still pretty lean.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 12:39 am by Steve G »

Offline Ole Mo

Since I am a bit older than most posters.  I go back further.  How about "The day the Earth stood still"  or "Forbidden Planet"?
Those stand out in my memory as seeds for thought that drove my interest in science.  The fact that there were "bad guys"  there was not that important.  Likewise the ideas of the book series Ring World and books on time travel  sparked an interest in just what science could develop in the future.  Even Rod Serlings TV shorties were eye openers!

Offline Steve G

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Actually I should have mentioned those two movies. I watched Season One of My Favourite Martian recently and was surprised how good it was with some sobering social contemplations often brought up. If anyone has the chance, check out The Invaders. A Quinn Martin Production, with high production values. Sadly, only two seasons aired.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 06:45 am by Steve G »

Online sanman

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Here's an old time capsule moment, where well-known movie reviewers of the day Siskel & Ebert, debate a NY film critic on Star Wars:


Offline su27k

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I mostly agree with this short video, late 90s is really the golden age of SF TV, unfortunately it has not happened again.


Most SF is not to be found in video games, movies, or TV shows, but in novels and short stories.

True, and I think the best SF is to be found in books, not TV or movie. On the other hand, TV/movie has wilder reach than books.

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