Lately I have had some discussions with numerous people about the nature of realism in our entertainment. Some feel that realism, in many ways, is the sole best option with anything, be it portrayal of science or character design. Somehow I feel that the word fiction is lost nowadays to some extent to certain people the same way others wish to remove the cartoon element from their animations altogether. This isn’t distressing as much as it is depressing.
Hard science fiction is a self-contradicting genre to a large extent. It idolises the realism to the fullest length and practically demands the author to stick with what can be proved with scientific methods. Sounds all good and fine, until we get to the point that the genre itself allows to stray path from the realism and allows some plot device to be used despite whether or not it’s plausible or possible. Faster than light travel is the most commonly used device, yet it is by all means physically impossible task and only theories of it are about.
This is interesting as there are numerous things can be made to fall into the whole ‘one allowed device’ approach the hard SF has, which basically undermined the whole premise of the genre; why would you call yourself rooted in realism if you’re allowing complete fiction, even pure fantasy, to be used in the work?
With this speculative approach, a lot of series could fall under the flag of harsh SF. There are number of fantastic franchises that are completely logical within their world while allowing that one device. Something like Dunbine could be described as hard SF, as we could say that the one device it uses is the alternate world of Byston Well. This is playing within the boundaries, even if this is deliberately stretching the boundaries the way the authors won’t admit should be possible.
However, harsh SF mainly loves harsh, realistic science. The portrayal of human interactions and characters can be anything but real in some occasions, and many times I have found myself reading an interesting SF book with a premise holding numerous possibilities to be great, and putting the book down because the characters are idiots and act like puppets for the author to play with rather than normal humans. Sometimes they’re merely named archetypes, and certain events are forced on them simply because certain things ‘need’ to be there, like romance. Romance is, in the end, perhaps the most complained matter on the long and the most forced thing in fiction. Not to say that a SF works don’t usually have well written characters, however the juxtaposition between the science and humans often do clash, and sometimes in a very favourable way too.
Ultimately, hard SF is as much fiction, a fantasy formed in the human mind, as Moomins or FOX News.
Ah, but a Monthly Music post shouldn’t be this heavy handed. These are supposed to be more lighthearted than the usual stuff.
This months has been rather tight with my schedules and I don’t doubt it won’t let go any until the end, so some of the updates may be spastic and come out at an irregular interval. This is, of course, because of the interval where things start and end. Prioritising first things first is something we all have to juggle with. There’s some interesting stuff coming up, namely Muv-Luv Photon Melodies, of which I’d like to do a comparative package review with Photon Flowers. There’s a lot of neat little stuff that both of them design-wise, and that also gives me an excuse to scan most of the stuff for my own archives. Total Eclipse PC saw that pushback, and we can flip a coin if it’s getting another pushback at some point. Perhaps âge will step up their game with this and start working on Kimi nozo Muv-Luv again at some point.
Other stuff that are coming this way are some game releases. Ultra Street Fighter IV was released last Friday, and we really do need to ask whether or not this model of releases CAPCOM uses works nowadays anymore to the same extent. It should be also noted that CAPCOM has been making some updates for the Rockman Xover, which doesn’t amount of anything. The most high-profile thing regarding Mega Man as of late has been the upcoming release of Ruby-Spears’ Mega Man Complete Series DVD set. The Virtual Console releases barely amount to anything on the long run; they’re still the same old games released again.
In better news, the 2014 Godzilla is estimated to have grossed $507 663 953 worldwide at the moment. That’s slightly better than the 1998’s Godzilla at $379 014 294. I expect the sequels to hit similar numbers.