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About Digital Art / Professional Premium Member I. L. JacksonMale/United States Groups :iconrifts-artwork: Rifts-Artwork
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I. L. Jackson
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
Journalist and professional writer and artist in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres with work in the role-playing game, collectible card game and other industries.

Current Residence: Baltimore
Favourite genre of music: trip hop
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Personal Quote: Once the Avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote
Over the years I've seen a push and pull between actual published science fiction writers and artists and those who think more science should be involved in sci-fi story telling. There's been a hugely failed push by some to get sci-fi to really go hard science across the board. 
Two of the best examples is the bad movie science websites and blogs and the never-ending "No Stealth in Space" argument.
Neither has gained any real traction. You still get gobstoppingly nutty concepts like "Red Matter" in Star Trek 2009, and Cylon angel time loop, parallel evolution in Battlestar Galactica.....and Ancient Aliens is in season, what, three? Four?

So why hasn't the push for hard science taken off? Why so few films like "Gravity" (which still had horribly bad science).…

The reason is simple: People don't expect it to be spot on. All film and writing is about story. Its about people. The machines are ALWAYS backdrop. There only needs to be enough science to give the viewer or the reader permission to enjoy what they are watching. The requirement of suspension of disbelief changes from viewer to viewer, but you are safe going just a bit above the science knowledge of the average population. Aim for the disinterested college graduate and you're good. 

Even the Hard Science sci-fi, like 2001 often sets you up for the patently absurd, like monoliths and LSD trips through space-time. By the time you get to the drug-laced monolith trip, you can forgive just about anything after two hours of apes, people walking in slow mo in zero G and rotating rings.

Margaret Atwood, writer of The Handmaid's Tale, once wrote that "if it is realistic or plausible, it isn't science fiction."

I wouldn't go that far. I'd say you need enough to give the viewer permission to enjoy the story. And the truth is the better the story, the better the immersion, the less need for science. By the time most people got to the floating mountains in Avatar, they didn't give a **** if that made no logical sense whatsoever. They were just like "floating rocks! Bring it! I want more alien forest flying beast 3-D!" Had they tried that in a movie with a weaker story, the response would have been far, far different.

That decision on where the line is will not be governed by science, or scientists, or fans of hard science. It will be governed by the fact that J.J. Abrahms Star Trek grossed more than $385 million in foreign and domestic sales, despite Red Matter, mighty morphing Enterprise interior scaling and transwarp beaming or whatever the heck that was.

So how much science do you need to enjoy the story? How much handwavium is too much? How much of it matters if the story and setting are engaging? 


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I love your site!  Awesomesauce!!!
Ultimate-Psycho Mar 29, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Calates Mar 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav
Vince-T Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi there! Thank you for the FAV!
AMDeLand-Baldwin Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for adding "Emperor Karl Proseck and Lady Jo-Anne Proseck" to you favorites.
Thanks for the :+fav:!
Yeah... Please forgive me for my ranting about your tarasque, I was tired and only seeing a SINGLE measurement, not all three as I SHOULD have seen, but missed due to picky reading...
AMDeLand-Baldwin Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for adding "Predalien's Victory Celebration" to your collection.
AMDeLand-Baldwin Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for adding "Undead Rising" to your CG Art Collection.
BikeBoyPunk Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Hi there and thanks for the fave :+fav: it's much appreciated :)
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