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Ask the Space Command Team About All Things Sci-Fi

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the set-phasers-to-fund dept.

Movies 100

Marc Zicree, Doug Drexler, David Raiklen, and Neil Johnson are the guys behind the fastest funded film project ever on Kickstarter, Space Command. The project will feature a number of Star Trek vets behind the camera and a number of Trek actors are also involved, including Armin Shimerman, George Takei, Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo. The team has graciously agreed to take some time from trying to make a crowd-funded movie, building spaceships, and exploring alien worlds to answer your questions. Ask as many as you like but please confine your questions to one per post.

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What is it about? (3, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209039)

I've seen your kick starter page and even the video but you fail to mention: What is the overarching plot of "Space Command?"

Re:What is it about? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209873)

I dunno what video I saw, but apparently different than the one you saw; it said some space criminal/pirate got exiled to an isolated region of space, and always wanted to go back to Earth. The story's about his kid going back instead. Dunno if that helps.

Re:What is it about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40210969)

How about a link...

Re:What is it about? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216291)

That was Titan AE.

Re:What is it about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40216549)

Huh, that is kinda similar. I thought Titan A.E. was okay, but would have been a whole lot better if the (boring) aliens had managed to completely wipe out the entire human race so they could go home and we could have had a movie about the interesting alien characters without those dull-as-paint-drying human protagonists getting in the way with their Attack-of-the-Clones "romance".
  Maybe this will feel like Titan A.E. done better. (But probably not.)

Re:What is it about? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216581)

Considering the font of the word "Space" in Space Command [spacepatrolmovie.com] matches that in Space Patrol [jezner.com] , I'm guessing a remake/remix of the old series, especially given the DNS name of the first link.

Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209047)

To each of you, what is your opinion on the current state of science fiction in today's films? Obviously, there's been an increase in all film categories with more movies coming out but what do you like and dislike about films in this era? Care to comment the remake of Total Recall? Or 3D in blockbusters like Avatar?

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209683)

There are a lot of really good sci-fi films that have come out in the last 10 years or so. Peculiarly, rarely do they do well in the theater. So, if the community isn't willing to back the product why cater to it? Hell, a cheesy-looking Snow White/Conan mashup just dominated last weekend because the target audience supports their genre.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210435)

Several of my favourite sci-fi films of recent years were only distributed on a limited release around my neck of the woods. For both Moon and A Scanner Darkly, none of my local cinemas were showing it and I had to travel an hour and a half by train (and book a day off work) to see them. It's no surprise that neither of them had record-breaking results at the box office.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209729)

What films? Seriously, how many sci-fi films involving space travel have there been in the last 5-10 years? Not many. Most "sci-fi" films these days are more like "Source Code", which I liked, but it didn't involve space travel in any way, and "Hunger Games", which again I'm pretty sure didn't involve space travel, but instead was just about how much the future is going to suck (didn't bother with that one myself). The only ones I can think of offhand from recently are Avatar of course, Pandorum, Moon, and that's about it, except maybe for Prometheus which isn't out yet. And "Moon" didn't really involve much space travel either; we've already been to the moon, and it's not very far away in the context of "space travel". Compared to the 70s and 80s, there's really not much in the way of sci-fi on the big screen these days.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210403)

Sci-fi does not need to involve space travel. Source Code was an excellent bit of light sci-fi- the fact that it's "fi" was focused on "sci" of dimension-hopping, time-travelling brain-in-a-jar escapades rather than rocket ships doesn't make it not sci-fi. You'll be telling me that William Gibson's seminal Neuromancer isn't real sci-fi next...

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210529)

Yes, you're right that sci-fi doesn't have to involve space travel, I never said it did. That's why I added the phrase "involving space travel", because I'm lamenting the lack of sci-fi films involving space travel these days. Dimension-hopping sci-fi is nice and all, but I really like space travel sci-fi, and I'd like to see more of it, and for some reason (unlike the 70s and 80s), there's a severe lack of it now.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40211927)

Sci-fi does not need to involve space travel.
GOOD sci-fi always involves space travel. With technical details, and icky aliens.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (2)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210505)

What films? Seriously, how many sci-fi films involving space travel have there been in the last 5-10 years?

Serenity (Although that's more than 5 years now...)
Sunshine? (OK if you ignored the plot and watched the pretty lights)
Star Trek 90210?
John Carter?
Wall-E? (OK, scraping the barrel now... you may have a point)

On the other hand, how many have there ever been - especially if you rule out alien invasion flicks?

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210939)

Good point on Serenity, though yes, it's been more than 5 years. There's also Clooney's Solaris, but that's pretty close to 10 years I think. The last Star Trek movie was surely at least 10 years ago (Nemesis).

On the other hand, how many have there ever been - especially if you rule out alien invasion flicks?

There were tons of them in the 70s and 80s. Silent Running, Outland, Alien, Aliens, Star Wars (4-6), most of the Star Trek movies, 2001, 2010, Dark Star, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Black Hole, Moonraker, Enemy Mine, Dune, Last Starfighter, Ice Pirates, Starman, Starchaser, Flight of the Navigator, Spaceballs, Moontrap, and I haven't even gotten into the 90s where there were tons more (including the terrible Event Horizon).

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215531)

The last Star Trek movie was surely at least 10 years ago (Nemesis).

YUNOLOVE JJ Abrams?

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215685)

Whoops... I'm not sure how I forgot that one. I guess I was a little disappointed by it.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216371)

I thought it better than 3/4 of the TNG films, and at least one of the TOS films.

Oh, BTW, it looks like the 10th anniversary of Nemesis is this December.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216319)

Apart from a few character names, that was not Star Trek.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216361)

It was a lot better than Nemesis, Insurrection, The Final Frontier, and probably Generations as well.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216647)

It was a lot better than Nemesis, Insurrection, The Final Frontier, and probably Generations as well.

They were all fairly painful. For Nemesis, I would have had the Federation prevent a Klingon takeover of the crippled Romulan Empire, re-igniting Klingon/Federation hostilities, and having the Romulans be grateful, but still bitter that they are once again squeezed between two enemies. Picard would have been a Commodore, in much the same way that Janeway should not be an Admiral.

For the latest Star Trek, I would have ditched the whole Red Matter nonsense, and used the Guardian of Forever to do the "reset". During the course of the movie, Nimoy's Spock would have died. I'm not sure what else I would have done with the plot. Of course the Enterprise would have been built in orbit instead of on the ground, and the Spock/Uhura thing wouldn't have happened.

Re:Opinion on the State of Sci-Fi in Film? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216631)

john carter isn't space travel it is astral projection. it is more of sword and sourcery than scifi

Going Forward (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209135)

When do you think that the human race will realize the need to harvest materials from extraplanetary sources rather than trying to lift them out of the gravity field of earth?

Re:Going Forward (0)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209351)

When do you think that the human race will realize the need to harvest materials from extraplanetary sources rather than trying to lift them out of the gravity field of earth?

You can't harvest materials from extraplanetary sources until you have lifted up enough infrastructure to extract and refine said resources and deliver them planetside.

Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209165)

Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? There are no hard sci fi movies, at least from the past 20 years, or at least soft sci fi outnumbers hard sci fi by about 200 to 1. In books I'd dare say the ratios approach 50:50 or at least not as intensely skewed.

Your kickstarter page lists Asimov and Clarke as partial inspiration implies hard sci fi, yet also has PR stuff about how people "like the look" which implies ultra-soft sci fi.

For people who don't know the difference, just Fing google it, or wikipedia it, and the reason why its important is people who like one genre invariably can't stand the other genre and even make comments about how they can't imagine why someone would like the opposite genre. Sometimes the trash talking is the easiest way to understand the perspectives.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209341)

There are no hard sci fi movies, at least from the past 20 years

While I agree that soft scifi is much more popular than hard scifi, I would point out that there are still plenty of hard movies being made. Pitch Black, Moon, Gattica, Sunshine, and Prometheus are pretty hard science fiction. Even the new Battlestar Galactica was pretty hard (most of the time). You can still get a movie made in about any genre if you have a good story to tell. You're not going to get the same budget for a more serious story as a popcorn blockbuster, of course. But that comes with the territory.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209759)

BSG was by no means hard science fiction.

Yes, the writers avoided some soft science cliches like bumpy forehead aliens, space anomalies and time warps and stuff. There's still plenty of soft science to go around. What's even more damning, they were inconsistent with their own soft science in the show.

To put it another way, it would be like someone saying "I didn't like the simplistic morality of Lord of the Rings with dark lords and fairy tale thinking" so he comes up with a low fantasy conflict between human kingdoms with a smattering of dragons and magic but then goes and brings in an Arthurian predestined king that fits squarely with traditional high fantasy. I thought that's the sort of stuff you wanted to avoid to make it feel like a grounded fantasy.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212699)

BSG was by no means hard science fiction.

The "new" BSG was merely remaking the "old" BSG, and I used to be able to find a link explaining which world war 2 aircraft carrier movie each old BSG episode was ripping off. There was the WWII movie about the carrier that caught fire after the kamikaze hit it, then there was the WWII movie dramatization about the battle of midway, and they even got that weird pink submarine movie in there wedged in kinda sideways. The ultimate example of soft sci fi, we'll just rip off someone elses movie, and add laser pistols so they can't sue us for directly ripping them off. If only copyright was used to get rid of shovelware like that... Look, its my little pony but it has photon torpedos therefore its really sci fi.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216411)

The weird pink submarine movie was Operation Petticoat [imdb.com]

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209917)

Huh? I haven't seen Pitch Black or Sunshine, but the only one in that list that's "hard sci-fi" is Moon, and probably Gattaca (which doesn't really involve space travel, just genetics; a few shots of people getting in spacecraft really doesn't count). If there's anything in the story that's beyond current physics, then it's not "hard sci-fi", and that includes artificial gravity (except that made by rotation), FTL jumping/warp drive, etc. It also pretty much rules out most travel to other star systems, unless there's some kind of generation ship involved.

As for Sunlight, just reading the IMDB page shows that it's full of simple physics errors about the sun, so it's disqualified. It also appears to have artificial gravity, which again is not hard sci-fi. Pitch Black appears to involve interplanetary travel, which again can't be hard sci-fi unless it's a generation ship that rotates to generate gravity, and while I haven't seen the movie, I doubt that's the ship they depicted.

Prometheus probably isn't very hard either; the ship depicted doesn't generate gravity by rotation and is quite small, meaning it probably uses magical artificial gravity fields.

There's very, very few "hard sci-fi" movies in existence that I can even think of. Even 2001 didn't really count; it had the magical monoliths.

Note however that I don't actually dislike movies/stories for not being "hard sci-fi", but if you're going to throw the term around, use it correctly. Personally, I find most hard sci-fi a little boring since it's too limiting in scope; if you can't travel to another star system, or can only do so with "hyper sleep" (which again is really pushing the boundaries, since we don't have any such thing yet) and it takes centuries, that seriously limits what kind of stories you can create.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (4, Insightful)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210369)

"If there's anything in the story that's beyond current physics, then it's not "hard sci-fi", and that includes artificial gravity (except that made by rotation), FTL jumping/warp drive, etc. "

I think your criteria for hard SF is too restrictive. Traditionally, the difference between hard and soft SF is that hard SF focuses on a realistic and logical application of science and technology, while soft SF focuses on social or non-scientific issues in a fictional setting.

While some authors prefer to restrict themselves to a rigorous application of known-science only, others allow notions such as FTL and/or artificial gravity to creep in to enable their stories to be told. Peter Hamilton, Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova, Isaac Asimov, Robert Forward, James Hogan, and many others have written arguably hard science fiction stories that break the rules you've defined.

I'd argue that hard/soft sf exists on a continuum ranging from the extreme of authors who would meet your criteria, to the extreme of authors like Ray Bradbury who prefer to write social commentaries with murky applications of science at best.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210553)

According to the purists here on Slashdot, you're wrong. Anything that violates currently-known rules of physics is "soft sci-fi" or even "fantasy", and therefore "bad". Just wait, you'll see tons of posts from the hard sci-fi purists espousing this very viewpoint.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211867)

Oh, you're right about that ... there's always a few vehement objectionists on any issue, and the "nerdier" the subject, the louder--

BAZINGA!

they can get. Have you ever read Godwin's "Cold Equations"? I think that's one of the hardest SF stories I've ever read, given that the characters involved were very tightly restricted in their actions by (some would say carefully crafted) limitations of technology. It's a classic of SF literature, and yet, at the time it was written, many of the subjects directly addressed were years away from possible and even unproven. Indeed, the setting implies the existence of an interstellar civilization, and the actions of the characters even imply artificial gravity. I would be very interested to know why someone would consider that story to be soft SF.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211997)

Again, I'm only speaking from what I've read posted by the self-proclaimed hard sci-fi fans here on Slashdot, but basically it boils down to: is the technology possible according to our present-day understanding of physics? If so, then it's kosher. If not, then it's forbidden and that makes the whole story "fantasy" on the level of Lord of the Rings, as any technology which can't be explained by present-day physics is nothing more than "magic". So if that story has artificial gravity and an interstellar civilization (which generally implies either FTL travel, or at least some kind of FTL communication; it's pretty hard to have a human civilization spanning a distance so great that it takes lifetimes to communicate), then it's not "hard sci-fi" according to these people. According to our understanding of physics, after all, there is no way to create artificial gravity other than making a big structure and rotating it (which isn't true artificial gravity anyway, but if the structure is large enough, it's a good enough substitute as long as people don't detect a difference between the gravity at their feet and at their heads). Of course, the fact that we presently don't even know what the heck gravity is makes the whole thing seem pretty silly to me; once we figure out what gravity is, and how to manipulate it the way we do with electricity and magnetism, then maybe creating artificial gravity fields (without needing a planetful of mass) will be perfectly feasible.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212555)

I understand where you're coming from. I grok. We reach. Etc.

Back to "Cold Equations", I don't think there's anything in it that says "we have FTL" or "here's artificial gravity", but there's discussion about a colony on a world that isn't in our solar system, and at one point, the way one character walks on the deck of a small space boat is described.

Anyway, if you have time and an interest, give it a read: here's a copy. [spacewesterns.com]

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40212701)

Nah....

Hard Sci-fi: Jules Verne
Soft Sci-fi: H.G. Wells

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210411)

If there's anything in the story that's beyond current physics, then it's not "hard sci-fi"

What about unconfirmed theoretical predictions of current physics, like wormholes?

Pitch Black appears to involve interplanetary travel, which again can't be hard sci-fi unless it's a generation ship that rotates to generate gravity, and while I haven't seen the movie, I doubt that's the ship they depicted.

Pitch Black has aliens in it, so I'd assume that disqualifies it harder than the magical gravity -- especially since you could easily re-write the movie with the magical gravity removed, but without the aliens there's no plot.

Unless going beyond current biology doesn't count?

There's very, very few "hard sci-fi" movies in existence that I can even think of. Even 2001 didn't really count; it had the magical monoliths.

Huh. And all this time I thought the term "hard sci-fi" was relevant to my interests. But if 2001 and Contact don't count then, well, it turns out whether something is "hard sci-fi" is meaningless to me. :/

What's the term for Sci-Fi that treats all elements that are related to known physics and technology in an accurate and rigorous way, but is also allowed to speculate on the unknown or incorporate other unexplained elements?

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40211359)

What's the term for Sci-Fi that treats all elements that are related to known physics and technology in an accurate and rigorous way, but is also allowed to speculate on the unknown or incorporate other unexplained elements?

Good sci-fi.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218519)

What fails 'Pitch Black' in the Hard SF category for me is the ecology of the aliens; as in: there is none.

Otherwise, it's fairly far on the Hard scale. Especially considering that orbital dynamics is a major plot point.

Mart

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40289379)

if memory serves pitch black and also chronicles of riddick both use the concept of "cryo sleep" while traveling long distances. I did notice however that it is not all of the editions of both films. some have edited out for some reason the internal dialog that riddick uses in the film describing it. here is the quote "They say most of your brain shuts down during cryo-sleep. All but the primitive side, the animal side. No wonder I'm still awake"

cola

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211165)

Might be useful for discussion. Search Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness at TVTropes, I'd direct link it but I don't want to be a dick.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215569)

Might be useful for discussion. Search Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness at TVTropes, I'd direct link it but I don't want to be a dick.

I don't mind [tvtropes.org] .

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215837)

Hard SciFi is not "dark sci fi." It just means that it is more about the science than about the fiction. So how does Prometheus fall into hard sci fi?

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Mr.Radar (764753) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209435)

There are no hard sci fi movies, at least from the past 20 years

Moon, which came out in 2009, is a good hard sci-fi film. If that isn't hard enough for you, check out 2004's Primer which is by far the "hardest" take on time travel yet (warning: you will need a guide to understand what's going on in most of the film).

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209811)

Absolutely second Primer, but Moon is -- well, there's no denying it's a hard SF flick, but it's just depressing that it gets so much (well-deserved) praise for both the hardness (from geeks) and the cleverness of the plot (from non-geeks), when it's nothing to write home about on either scale by literary SF standards. The fact that it's so damn notable is just proof that the state of SF films sucks harder than a Hollywood-sci-fi "black hole".

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210063)

Your kickstarter page lists Asimov and Clarke as partial inspiration implies hard sci fi, yet also has PR stuff about how people "like the look" which implies ultra-soft sci fi.

For people who don't know the difference, just Fing google it, or wikipedia it, and the reason why its important is people who like one genre invariably can't stand the other genre and even make comments about how they can't imagine why someone would like the opposite genre.

Lots of people I know (myself included) like things that are well-executed across the whole hard-soft scifi spectrum. So, I think its far from the case that people who like one of those invariably can't stand the other.

There's obviously a noisy loud contingent that only likes one extreme, or which (however much they like things across the spectrum) demands that only one extreme (usually, the hard scifi one) be called "scifi" while preferring some other label or set of labels for the other side, but you shouldn't confuse the level of noise with the degree to which that approach is common.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210531)

... and the reason why its important is people who like one genre invariably can't stand the other genre and even make comments about how they can't imagine why someone would like the opposite genre.

Invariably my left butt cheek. I like both. My favourite two sci-fi authors are Arthur C. Clarke (who brought hard sci-fi to the big screen with 2001 arguably for the first time) and Philip K. Dick (one of the true great writers of the soft sci-fi subgenre).

There probably aren't many sci-fi fans who could say that they didn't like at least one of: Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who. And they're all soft as over-ripe banana compared to literary hard sci-fi.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212619)

Philip K. Dick (one of the true great writers of the soft sci-fi subgenre).

Sorry for the spoilers but he's pretty hard sci fi:

Scanner Darkly - What happens to society if a "illegal" drug were invented / produced that was optimized for industrial profit, more or less. You could soft sci fi it by simply redoing scarface with shakey cam and lasers.

Blade Runner - What happens to society when you can build robotic slaves that are almost indistinguishable from humans? You could soft sci fi it by redoing pretty much any of the slavery epic stories, lets say the start of "Roots" but the dude's got robot legs and techno music.

Total recall - What happens to society when you can operate on people's memories just like you can remove and implant kidneys? You could soft sci fi it by doing pretty much any old psychological horror movie but the evil doctor is in full steampunk costume.

Minority report - What happens to society when google search can predict when I'm about to commit a crime? "Google how do I make chloroform" typical florida story. You could soft sci fi it, by redoing "tombstone" aka the shootout at the OK Corral, but now they all hold laser guns instead of pistols so that makes it sci fi.

Basically soft sci fi is created by adding science to the props or as a replacement for magic. Hard sci fi is created by adding science to the story and see what happens. Its like the difference between sewing a gear on your coat and calling yourself a steampunk, and building a steam powered car that you ride on while wearing victorian era clothing.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217403)

You seem to be using "soft sci-fi" as synonymous with "crap sci-fi", which isn't correct. Soft sci-fi is sci-fi that focuses on the "soft sciences", such as psychology, sociology, political sciences; a heavy focus on character an society. Hard sci-fi focuses on the "real" sciences- fiction about the implications of physics, chemistry and engineering.

What you describe as "soft sci-fi" is not sci-fi- it's space opera. That is, where science isn't really involved, but technology is just a fantastical plot element. If you're desperate to call it sci-fi, it's worth pointing out that you can have crappy, lazy hard sci-fi too- where some interesting aspect of a hard science is used as a prop for some shallow-as-a-puddle action flick.

PK Dick is definitely soft sci-fi. His books were more concerned with psychology, society and questions about real vs unreal, shifting realities. They were only tenuously related to anything to do with hard science- but were fantastic.

And to be pedantic- Blade Runner and Total Recall are not PK Dick books. They are films very loosely based on them (but only very loosely indeed). The originals were the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". The film Minority Report is even less to do with the story of the same name.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211027)

Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? There are no hard sci fi movies, at least from the past 20 years, or at least soft sci fi outnumbers hard sci fi by about 200 to 1. In books I'd dare say the ratios approach 50:50 or at least not as intensely skewed.

Well, its quite hard to do hard sci-fi without either (a) assuming the audience understood their high-school science or (b) having huge chunks of exposition (which is easier to get away with in print).

The problem with hard SF films is that you need a popcorn-blockbuster budget but you'll only get arthouse-sized audiences. The best bets are things that you could do on a small budget - like Gattaca, Moon or The Man From Earth - but I'm not sure whether people would agree that they were "hard SF" (however, they all take a "what if..." idea and explore it).

I think if you tried to film hard SF you'll either get Star Trek (thinks its hard SF but just doesn't "get" it) or 2010: 2001 is the proverbial "hard SF" film (mainly because it was the first to depict plausible space travel pre-moon landings), but 2010 dropped most of the hard SF from the book (the exploration of Jupiter's moons), save the ending, in favour of cold-war thriller elements.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212435)

but 2010 dropped most of the hard SF from the book (the exploration of Jupiter's moons), save the ending, in favour of cold-war thriller elements.

Good example of hard sci fi vs soft sci fi.

Hard sci fi is where adding technology makes the movie better. Primer, not OK it was mostly treated as a magic black box. If a magician puffed into existence and gave them a magic lamp instead of their little box it wouldn't change the story at all. Pretty much everything in the "Red Mars" series of books would count. Several John Ringo novels, like the posleen series are at least plausible. I've often wished for one of his railguns to shoot down seagulls. The doomsday planet eater star trek TOS episode would be pretty stereotypical, without the concept of a planet eater of mass destruction, it would have been a pretty dull episode. If the facebook movie were made 20 years ago, it would be pretty hard sci fi.

Soft sci fi is where removing technology makes the movie better because all that techie stuff was merely distracting the director from his remake of a love boat / 90210 / Shakespearean play, it was just scenery for the same old remake. Maybe they won't notice we ripped off every good episode of Gunsmoke if we give them lasers. Any star trek DS9 episode involving the home life of the ferengi would qualify, any tech just gets in the way of subtle? social commentary.

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212157)

Pardon my ignorance, but what's the difference between soft and hard scifi?

I just couldn't figure it out from your post or the people's replies to it

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212201)

oh, got it, nevermind

Re:Hard sci fi or Soft sci fi? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215855)

For people who don't know the difference, just Fing google it, or wikipedia it, and the reason why its important is people who like one genre invariably can't stand the other genre and even make comments about how they can't imagine why someone would like the opposite genre.

Maybe for some people. I for one love all kinds of scifi, and most of the people I know also like all kinds of scifi. In fact I don't know anyone who can't imagine/stand the opposite genre.

Hollywood accounting (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209193)

Comment on how "hollywood accounting" and "kickstarter accounting" interact with each other, if at all.

mod parent up (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214565)

how can you shave points off the backend and do favors for everybody if its all out in the open? Anyone whose seen Barry Primus classic film "Mistress" (Robert Wuhl) will laugh thinking about this.

Why are there wings in space? (3, Interesting)

Tim12s (209786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209225)

Hi,

Why are there wings in space? Surely we should have ships without wings and we should have a LOT more robotic mining & self replicating mining factories!

Thanks,
-Tim

PS. From a humanity inspiration perspective the self replicating mining factories just make sense. Mine it, melt it, print it = new space ship; new factory.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209297)

Why are there wings in space?

I recently watched the "Star Wars" hexology or 6-ology or whatever and noticed all the spacecraft have jet engines, both stylistically and audibly. Which is a little weird in space. Then again the whole point of the series is "knights in shining armor fighting with swords over princesses" so its not the most anachronistic feature of the movies anyway.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (3, Insightful)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209539)

I recently watched the "Star Wars" hexology or 6-ology or whatever

Did you mean trilogy? There are only three, right?

Re:Why are there wings in space? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209803)

He must have watched them twice. In any case, the fucking moron confused Star Wars for Star Trek. What a dweeb.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209965)

last time i checked there were only three...

Re:Why are there wings in space? (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209593)

There are engines being built that are air breathing while in the atmosphere, but run off of on-board oxygen when in space. I think they are for the Skylon rocket-plane.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209379)

Heat radiators

Re:Why are there wings in space? (4, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209561)

It's based on the principle of a lever. To maneuver in space, to turn a craft on its axis, it is easier to place smaller engines far away from the center of mass. Consider the Babylon 5 Star Fury, or the X-Wing fighter, or even the nose thrusters on the vipers in the recent Battlestar Galactica. Now, if you have a craft that is going to be doing "interface operations", ie working both in space and in the atmosphere, then having wings makes sense. While in atmo, the wings act like wings. While in space, they act like pontoons to hold the maneuvering thrusters.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210133)

The X-Wing's engines are pretty close to the main body, and it's just the weapons that are on the end of the wings IIRC. Which is okay since Star Wars operates under the principle that Space Flight Is Just Like Atmospheric Flight... But in Spaaaaace!

The Star Fury though perfectly demonstrates the principle, as do the battle scenes it's involved in. Its weapons are close to the body and the engines spread out. It's not designed for atmospheric flight, though, so the only reason to have "wings" is for maneuvering in space.

The Vipers are designed to fly in an atmosphere, so there it makes sense that they look more like a jet fighter with maneuvering thrusters.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210593)

The Star Fury though perfectly demonstrates the principle, as do the battle scenes it's involved in. Its weapons are close to the body and the engines spread out. It's not designed for atmospheric flight, though, so the only reason to have "wings" is for maneuvering in space.

I'm not disagreeing with you, but one problem with this design is that having the engines spread out makes your ship a bigger target, and easier to hit and disable or destroy. On a ship designed purely for peaceful purposes, this isn't a problem, but if the ship is meant for fighting and comes with weapons, it'd make more sense to keep the engines as close to the ship as practical, even if that reduces efficiency.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210905)

A lot of combat vehicle engineering trades safety away for effectiveness. Combat aircraft were the first to depend on fly-by-wire automation to overcome relaxed dynamic stability; for instance, without computer control, an F-16 is always on the verge of flying itself out of control and tumbling into pieces, but because the airframe isn't inherently keeping itself stable, it also doesn't resist maneuvers and consequently had the highest G onset rate of any warplane in history (i.e., most responsive and maneuverable).

I always thought the "wingtip" placement of the engines of the B5 Starfury precisely analogous: a risky engineering decision made in order to enhance maneuverability and combat responsiveness.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211195)

Yes, combat vehicles frequently trade off efficiency and safety for combat effectiveness. However, making your craft harder to hit is also an effective tactic in combat, but obviously there's a trade off there in maneuverability, which can be partly compensated for by making your thrusters bigger (which of course means less efficient, as you'll need more fuel for them). Perhaps a compromise could be made by locating the engines centrally, and then directing their thrust through the "wings" to the "wingtips", so that if the "wing" gets hit by enemy fire, it won't be a catastrophic loss, and thrust could even be redirected to alternative (more inboard) ports, at the cost of efficiency and effectiveness.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211363)

A lot of combat vehicle engineering trades safety away for effectiveness. Combat aircraft were the first to depend on fly-by-wire automation to overcome relaxed dynamic stability; for instance, without computer control, an F-16 is always on the verge of flying itself out of control and tumbling into pieces, but because the airframe isn't inherently keeping itself stable, it also doesn't resist maneuvers and consequently had the highest G onset rate of any warplane in history (i.e., most responsive and maneuverable).

I always thought the "wingtip" placement of the engines of the B5 Starfury precisely analogous: a risky engineering decision made in order to enhance maneuverability and combat responsiveness.

I wouldn't even call it that risky. You're making your ship a bigger target, but it's not uniformly bigger. The wings are thin as compared to the body, and there's a lot of empty space if you try aiming for them, especially when you take the extra maneuverability into account. If they do manage to take out an engine, it's unlikely to take out multiple engines on the same shot, and you're still functional with less than 4 engines, if less maneuvable. Furthermore, if the enemy is targeting your engines, they presumably want to disable you (since targeting the pilot cabin is easier and will also result in getting you out of the fight). With the engines far from the pilot cabin, that makes it more likely the pilot will survive such an attack.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211345)

one problem with this design is that having the engines spread out makes your ship a bigger target, and easier to hit and disable or destroy.

I don't think that necessarily follows. Spreading out the engines into multiple smaller targets seems like it would actually make them harder to hit than making the main body, which would still be the natural target, commensurately larger. Plus it would decrease the chances that multiple engines are damaged at once. Sacrificing maneuverability in a fighter for an unclear advantage in target profile seems like a bad tradeoff.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211513)

You have a point there. If the ship is designed so that it can still function with one engine knocked out, albeit with somewhat decreased effectiveness, then this is probably a better design. However, you'd probably want to make sure that the engine is designed robustly so that it being hit by enemy fire only results in it ceasing to function, not exploding and destroying the whole craft.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215077)

Which is still silly. Why would you spend the energy to rotate the entire spacecraft just to aim the weapons or change the view of the pilot?

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215941)

Who said anything about weapons or pilot view. (I suppose, indirectly, I did, because my examples were all fighters.) Anyways, the point is to change the orientation of the main engine(s). Maybe Serenity might be a better example?

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209689)

we should have a LOT more robotic mining & self replicating mining factories!

thats just what we need replicators (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicator_%28Stargate%29)

Re:Why are there wings in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40210385)

Most current existing spacecraft have wings. It is a handy structure on which to place solar panels.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212027)

Why are there wings in space?

Ignoring the unrealistic nature of having small, one-manned fighters in space at all, if I was piloting a ship that had super-powerful guns that had the potential to overheat and explode, I would want them as far away from the cockpit as possible.

Re:Why are there wings in space? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40215875)

Why are there wings in space?

Perhaps you saw the trailer? Perhaps you saw the "space" ship take off from the planet?

Release plans? (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209267)

it will actually allow us to MAKE the first of our four initial SPACE COMMAND films

So you've got the bills paid... that means you release to a torrent site and make profit off tee shirt sales or signed movie posters or ?

If you're not willing to CC license, then how much more would the kickstarter have to be to CC license?

Is product placement in the financial picture as per above (like they happen to use ipads as tablets, or whatever they use as a computer interface boots up with a Apple logo?)

Re:Release plans? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209723)

more likely subway hey their budget for product placement is open now that chuck off the air

How do you sustain it? (4, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209323)

What is your sustainable funding and distribution model, and do you see any potential interaction with commercial spaceflight endeavors?

Have you asked Bear McCreary for the soundtrack? (1)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209463)

As being very impressed by Bear McCreay as soundtrack componist: Have you asked or are you planning to ask Bear McCreary for writing the sound track for Space Command?

Writing intentions (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209505)

Looks very promising. Interested to see what comes of it.

Short question: How will you keep this show from ending in suck?

Longer version of question: see here [cracked.com] . The Lifespan of a TV Show.

Good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Wasted stories start out good but then get stretched out to the point that the writer simply loses interest and is phoning it in. Television suffers from this disproportionately because network execs are selling viewer eyeballs to advertisers and don't really give a damn what goes between the commercial breaks. They'll keep a show going until it's no longer profitable and cancel it. Hence you get what's depicted in the Cracked post above. I can think of a lot of shows that started out strong, ended terribly, and don't hold up for a rewatch.

Do you have a plan? Something better than the Cylons because they said they had a plan and most certainly didn't.

Video game? (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209571)

Will there be a video game?

evil overlord list (1, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40209789)

please read the evil overlord-list before finalising the script. there are so many stupid villains it would be refreshing to have one that doesn't make stupid decisions all the time

Re:evil overlord list (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211487)

Like Ozymandias, whose only mistake was his choice of Meaningful Name.

But if they're like Ozy, then that means the villain might have to win.

Question.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40209841)

Of all the things that have to be done to make a good movie (Script, acting, cinematography...), when it comes to Science Fiction, probably the most important is creating a consistent universe. How did you go about trying to do that - did you consciously set down an write a "Bible" or did you just wing it?

Submitting ideas (2)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210031)

Will there be a way to volunteer new ideas? For example... new alien species, planets, technologies, etc.

There might be some great new concepts "out there" by people who are not involved with the movie industry.

regarding the movie (1)

flok (24996) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210135)

- will the soundtrack be dubstep?
- will Jery Rian be in the movie? (any role is ok)
- will it have soundeffects, even in space?
- art house or hollywood style?
- can I sponsor anything in the movie? e.g. that someone logs into the internet and opens my website vanheusden.com

Will there be auditions? (2)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210143)

If one were interested in acting on the show, how could he or she get involved?

YOmU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40210231)

future at aal CorporaOte

Will it follow recent trends? (3, Interesting)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210425)

I've noticed that scifi shows these days tends to come in two categories: those that make fun of themselves to be funny and those that try to be realistic by being dark and miserable. Will Space Command conform to these recent trends? Or will we finally see a return to a plot that doesn't toy with the viewers emotions?

Re:Will it follow recent trends? (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210637)

I'd like to see a show that's a lot like Star Trek: TNG, showing a future where humans have a healthy, strong society, everyone does what they're supposed to most of the time, people aren't all a bunch of greedy selfish fucks, and they spend their time exploring the unknown and making contact with interesting civilizations.

Yes, I know it's completely unrealistic and totally contrary to human nature, and that "Hunger Games" is far more realistic, but it's fun to watch and fantasize about instead of everything being dark and miserable all the time.

Could fans support their favourite shows? (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40210891)

In your case you put together a proposal for a film and found the funding for it, but do you think this sort of technique could be used to fund existing franchises that are in danger of being cancelled? Personally I would love to have been able to fund another series or movie of Stargate Universe. Would it be best for the fans to start such an effort, or should it come from the producers of the show? It might be a hard sell if the fans were just asking for another series without any hint of what it might contain, which could only come from the producers.

What themes will be dealt with? (2)

briester (1031918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211005)

What is the premise of your story? What universal human themes will you deal with? What questions are you asking about life, the universe, and everything? And how is the setting 'in spaaaace!' going to help you ask these questions? I've read that some notable sci-fi writers are providing inspiration for the show, so I'd love to hear what sort of message your show will ultimately turn that inspiration into.

What Science Fiction or Fantasy are you reading? (3, Interesting)

Cragen (697038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40211447)

Is reading SFF is a factor in the SFF Movie Industry producers such as yourselves? If so, what Science Fiction or Fantasy are you reading right now? Or What has been, so far, your favorite SFF book? And (Or) who is your favorite SFF author? Thanks for the great memories of watching your stuff the first time.

Combs' Law (1)

smugfunt (8972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40212617)

The list of actors signed up seems to be deficient. Every Science Fiction series must have at least one role for Jeffrey Combs. It's the Law!

Style? (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214047)

Action & Adventure or Moralizing Emo?

imo - former :), latter :(

Hard Space-based SF is almost impossible to do (1)

Leo Sasquatch (977162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40214527)

except maybe if you're on a James Cameron-level budget. The opening scenes of Avatar and the flight scenes in Apollo 13 are the only time I've ever seen anyone try and do zero-G realistically. One with a lot of CGI and wirework, the other by filming on a vomit comet. Don't want to do that? Then you have to say you've got some form of artificial gravity, to explain why the people are walking around, almost exactly as though they were at 1G. And artificial gravity is a real game-changer.

Don't want warp drive? Then you're stuck in one system, because space is big. Or the whole crew has to go into cryo-sleep for decades at a time to get anywhere. This latter could actually be fun in a TV series, where halfway through the first season, they celebrate the thousandth anniversary of leaving Earth, and realise that by the time they get home, entire civilisations will have risen and fallen.

Don't want aliens? Then humans and the environment are going to have to be the hostile forces. This can work - the RGB Mars trilogy does it well enough, but the books are a bit slow, and any adaptation would have to trim a lot out to get a watchable film into a couple of hours.

I remember being quite disappointed a while back - watching some astronauts working on the ISS on NASA TV. I've been a geek since I was even slightly sentient - I was 4 when Armstrong landed on the moon, and the first word I ever learned to write was 'zero' as it was the word that launched spaceships. So I was a bit peeved to find that watching real astronauts, working EVA on the real space station, was actually boring as hell after the initial 'Wow, they're on a space station!' had worn off. It was just some guys doing careful, methodical work, and being *really* careful not to drop their tools.

Isn't Space Command a Registered Trademark? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216217)

Wasn't Space Command [wikipedia.org] a registered trademark of the Zenith corporation at one time? I wonder if their successors in interest might have a claim or could it be argued that the trademark has now lapsed? Those of a certain generation might recall that this style of television remote gave rise to the term "clicker" in reference to the distinctive "clicking" sound made when a button was pressed. This clicking sound was a combination of the spring loaded release of the miniature hammer inside the device and it's subsequent impact with the internal aluminum cylinders which were tuned to produce the ultrasonic tones necessary to control the basic television functions. Even today this primitive form of remote control still has one advantage over the modern ones, it requires no batteries.

Good guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40216369)

Hi,

Can the at least some of the good guys be good from normal family background/history without being cardboard cutouts, orphans, raised by zebras, incredibly rich, brilliant beyond almost belief, or other unusual stuff?

I get tired of the messed or unusual upbringing family background schtick....

Thanks

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