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  • #31
    As for B5, yes it did a better job portraying space physics with the Starfuries and spinning Earth Alliance ships, but I find JMS' comments that he thinks science is "boring" to be a dead giveaway: ----- It's NOT science. It's just JMS' personal future fantasy. He does not care about the science... only telling a good story.
    I don't remember his saying that at all. Would you find it and post it please? If anything, I think he'd have been referring to tedious explanations of how the science on the show worked and how he avoided techno-babble.

    What I *do* remember his saying is this post from 1993:

    Glad you liked the CGI. We are, as you note, working *very* hard to get
    the science right...and discovering that what I assumed from the start is
    correct: that if you take the time to do it accurately, it doesn't limit your
    possibilities, it gives you MORE possibilities, and it looks better.

    jms
    ...as well as numerous posts about JPL doing checking for them and even that some of the novel writers had submitted questions that the B5 folks ran by JPL.

    Which isn't to say that every single thing possited by B5 was scientifically possible or even plausible by today's standards and nobody would claim that the show was error free. B5 was as much speculative fiction as science fiction, though and treated the scientific aspects of living in space carefully.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • #32
      I suppose I could look it up, but I'm at work and don't have the time. JMS was speaking in reference to the lack of technobabble in B5 Season 3. He said he thinks science is boring and doesn't see any reason to include it in dialogue. No doubt that's why JMS gave the job of double-checking science facts to JPL.

      And in any case, that wasn't my point.

      My point is the B5 concentrates on creating a world of future fantasy not science fiction. It's based upon JMS' imagination, not a science text.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by RCmodeler
        I suppose I could look it up, but I'm at work and don't have the time. JMS was speaking in reference to the lack of technobabble in B5 Season 3. He said he thinks science is boring and doesn't see any reason to include it in dialogue. No doubt that's why JMS gave the job of double-checking science facts to JPL.

        And in any case, that wasn't my point.
        Perhaps. But before I posted my request, I did look for what you claimed JMS said and couldn't find it. There were only 2 posts that contained both the words 'science' and 'bored' or 'science' and 'boring' that I could find. Many others discussed JPL or technobabble but I couldn't find any that indicated lack of a sense of wonder for science. (Math, on the other hand...<g>)

        My point was that most of us had agreed several months ago not to 'quote' JMS without actually quoting his post.

        My point is the B5 concentrates on creating a world of future fantasy not science fiction. It's based upon JMS' imagination, not a science text.
        And again it's a matter of definition, isn't it? JMS refers to B5 as Science Fiction or Speculative Fiction. Can you name any actual fiction based on a 'science text' or do you mean to say 'currently accepted science'?

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

        Comment


        • #34
          <<Glad you liked the CGI. We are, as you note, working *very* hard to get
          the science right...and discovering that what I assumed from the start is
          correct: that if you take the time to do it accurately, it doesn't limit your
          possibilities, it gives you MORE possibilities, and it looks better.>>

          And he isn't talking about the science of physics there...just the science of CGI. "Get the science right."

          But I think writers should be given dramatic license. There are more people who don't mind than there are Capt. Montoyas out there.

          And to think that we understand everything about science is just crazy. Imagine looking back when we are 80 years old at what we know now as opposed to what we will know then.
          Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

          Comment


          • #35
            "'Welcome to Babylon 5, the last best hope for a quick buck.'"
            "Commander."
            "But it's just demeaning. We're not just some .. deep space franchise. This station is about something."

            -- Ivanova and Sheridan in Babylon 5:"There All the Honor Lies"
            Thank you bakana! I always LOVED that bit of dialogue...so sly how JMS totally disses Trek in passing dialogue.

            As for the rest of you...you're giving me a headache.


            Trek sucks..period. B5, as Ivanova so aptly stated, "is about something."

            CE
            Anthony Flessas
            Writer/Producer/Director,
            SP Pictures


            I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

            Comment


            • #36
              <<As for the rest of you...you're giving me a headache.


              Trek sucks..period. B5, as Ivanova so aptly stated, "is about something.">>

              Oooooooooh...

              ::Holds head in pain a la G'kar::
              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
                <<As for the rest of you...you're giving me a headache.


                Trek sucks..period. B5, as Ivanova so aptly stated, "is about something.">>

                Oooooooooh...

                ::Holds head in pain a la G'kar::
                Exactly....
                Anthony Flessas
                Writer/Producer/Director,
                SP Pictures


                I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                Comment


                • #38
                  <<Exactly....>>

                  That's it, I'm showing up at your party wearing shoes.
                  Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Babylon 5 IS science fiction, even hard SF!

                    And he isn't talking about the science of physics there...just the science of CGI. "Get the science right."
                    Z'ha'dum Dweller

                    I think JMS was talking about getting the science right and reflecting that on the CGI... CGI is technology not really science.
                    And don't misunderstand me nor misrepresent me: I think that writers should be given dramatic license. But what Trek does is not dramatic license, is silly technobabble, which as many pointed out isn't even trying to be self-consistent.
                    You have to understand something: I approach B5 and other film SF as a Science Fiction reader and a scientist. I have read SF from the 1930s (a few compilations), the "golden age" (way too many compilations and novels), through the New Wave of the 1960s (which proposed the recasting of the SF acronym as Speculative Fiction), and onwards from there. I do prefer "hard" SF, the one that uses real science as a basis and a framework for the writer's imagination (which is why I love B5). There will be artistic license in the extrapolation of scientific ideas and in many more things, and some apparent contradiction to existing knowledge that either the writer explains by technological and scientific advances or shows to be an illusion but in hard SF the writer does try to use real science in the background (in some of the classic "golden age" SF science was in the foreground but this is rare now). Assuming that "hard" SF is dry prose more concerned with technology than character may have been true for the "golden age" but is now a misunderstanding. Most of contemporary hard SF has great character development, just like Babylon 5 or any other great dramatic story. Hard SF is also much better when it comes to writing style than in the 1940s and I wouldn't have it any other way (I read a bit from James P. Hogan and gave up on him, since his writing style and characterization is stuck in that "golden age").
                    Hope that makes it clear Z'ha'dum Dweller... else I'll have to post another lengthy explanation.

                    I think that JMS said a great truth: being accurate to known science doesn't limit possibilities, gives more possibilities (by providing a framework for the artistic creation) and it does look better.

                    RCModeler:
                    Science Fiction's definition is elusive but no one has ever claimed that SF has to be based in a science text... that's a straw man argument (unless you meant that as a metaphor which you may want to expand on).
                    To say that B5 is not Science Fiction is contradicting JMS himself...
                    I have no problem calling it a science fiction, or SF (which also includes speculative fiction) show. I know a number of writers in TV who hate the term, deny that what they're doing is SF, but I'm proud that it's SF, and would definitely classify it as such.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-15507

                    If you have any doubts that JMS considers himself a Science Fiction writer just look through the archives. I think he has said that B5 is Speculative Fiction mostly because many people have a wrong idea about what Science Fiction is, forming their concept of SF from media SF (movies, TV), a subgenre that is sometimes best called "sci-fi" and even JMS has made that distinction.
                    Sci-Fi vs. SF...the former is flash-n-dazzle, monsters eating people, ID4, lots of action and not much thought. SF is Blade Runner, the first Alien movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Seconds, Charley, others. Science Fiction means it examines the impact of technology on people, or in some way extrapolates to the future in new and interesting or innovative ways.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-2787

                    It's completely fair to say that B5 is hard SF, because they try to stick with real science whenever possible:
                    BTW...flew back this morning from Houston, where on behalf of B5, I received the award from the Space Frontier Foundation for Best Vision of the Future. Based in part on our attempt -- within the confines of dramatic TV -- to stick with real science...ships that move the right way in space, commercial use of space surveying, civilian ships, the use of an O'Neill-type
                    station for the first time in TV or movies, and so on. At my table was co- recipient astronaut Pete Conrad. (I commented to him that, as someone who *writes* about space, to sit across from someone who LIVED there, was like being a lay priest called upon to say High Mass at the Vatican, before the Pope, on Easter sunday. He laughed.)

                    We have worked hard to make B5 as accurate a presentation of a possible future as we can, and the receipt of this award, from a national group of scientists, engineers, astronauts, researchers and others (some involved heavily in the Delta Clipper project) makes it equal to the Emmy, in my view, however much more emphasis the media may place on the former.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-9256
                    1) We do fairly thorough research into the science of our show. We work hard at it. We subscribe to the various scientific journals, we use advisors on stuff we don't fully understand ourselves. We make a concerted, conscious and deliberate effort to get the science *right*, as much as is practical within a TV format.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-13995
                    Read all of that JMS post for an example of how getting the science right gives dramatic possibilities (a body drifting close to B5 due to gravity, is not really a constraint as it can be used in the plot)
                    Notice that the intention to use real science was there from the very beginning:
                    For the better part of a decade, I've been on panel after panel, and gone to convention after convention, and listened to the fans talk about what they'd like to see in an SF series. How they want solid characters, imaginative stories, no kids or cute robots, using science the way it should be used, not talking down to the audience. That desire has been noted.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7700
                    For years, at conventions, I have heard fans lament, and even sat in on panels entitled WHY CAN'T THEY GET IT RIGHT? This, I firmly believe, is a chance to do exactly that...to Get It Right, to take SF seriously, to build characters for grown-ups (not a Wesley in the bunch), to incorporate real science but keep the characters at the center of the story. Over the next 11 months, they will have ample opportunity to voice their desire to finally Get It Right. And I hope they will.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7689
                    Emphasis added, because that part may well be a good definition of the current state of the art of hard SF: character based, and plot driven, but also paying attention to incorporating real science (which is what I love about B5). I have never been to an SF convention, but I would count myself among those fans that yearned for a good SF show on those lines and JMS delivered it with B5.
                    We don't at this time have a science advisor per se, though that's something we're considering when we get to series. There's certainly a solid brain-trust available at JPL, which is practically down the street. (Curious thought...we don't normally expect SF writers to hire science advisors, they tend to do their OWN work...and I think that as much as possible, I'd like to try and hew to that standard. I'm not a major science guy, but I know enough to hold a conversation, and by going to writers who ALREADY ARE SF WRITERS, I think that will go a long way toward taking care of the problem. But one way or another, we're still thinking about it. We already have a visual consultant, and we'll have a creative consultant when we get to series to make sure we don't accidentally duplicate any stories already in the SF literature.)
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7712

                    Nowhere have I said, nor do I believe, the line, "who cares if the science is stupid." We have, as you note, taken great pains to try and get the science right.
                    [ ... ]
                    If it's not a closed issue, resolved once and for all...then we will keep the issue open dramatically as well.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-14059
                    And I entirely agree with that for any SF, dramatic license is important.

                    More on that (and again, I entirely agree):
                    Without character development, no one really cares about the science aspect, because it doesn't affect anyone we care about. Science fiction is composed of two parts: the science, which we deal with where we can, and where it's appropriate to the story, and the fiction, which must hew to the rules of any fiction...characters you care about. To skew the show toward techie and away from plot or character is just to engage in mental exercises about what effect component X might have on tachyon B...and I tend not to find that terribly interesting.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-13609

                    Notice that JMS also makes a distinction between Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, in this post about "Soul Hunter":
                    It manages to take what would normally be considered a science *fantasy* issue, and deal with it from a science fiction perspective, without compromising on the latter at all. It's a very, *very* strong episode.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-10070
                    This is, also, a *science* fiction show; if sometimes we have a touch of science, it's the nature of the show; you can't have SF without at least some measure of tech...otherwise you've got fantasy.
                    http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-13599
                    Last edited by Capt.Montoya; 07-13-2004, 11:19 AM.
                    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      <<I think JMS was talking about getting the science right and reflecting that on the CGI... CGI is technology not really science.>>

                      Well, I pretty much agree with you on all that, but taking what he said there into context, I don't think he was talking about science in general. "Get the science right" is a colloquialism.

                      <<Glad you liked the CGI. We are, as you note, working *very* hard to get
                      the science right...and discovering that what I assumed from the start is
                      correct: that if you take the time to do it accurately, it doesn't limit your
                      possibilities, it gives you MORE possibilities, and it looks better.>>

                      From the context of where CGI was at that time, and the "it looks better" part at the end, I'd say he was talking about the CGI. You can do more with CGI than building tons of models.

                      But anyways, I am tired.
                      Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        CGI effects are based on computer science thus they're a form of SF

                        Not that I want to beat this into the ground but if you want context we don't have the original post answered which could define if the science and the CGI comments (which are in different sentences, and don't forget that the original post answered other question before that quote) were as related as you assume. But consider the context we have available: JMS posts. Here's another, supporting my interpretation that JMS meant that sticking to real science doesn't limit dramatic possibilities:
                        Someone mentioned the positive aspects to building the maximum population
                        of a space station around available supplies and other very real
                        considerations. We're trying, consistently, to ask "How would this work in
                        reality? What are the SCIENCE considerations in doing SF?" In general, we've
                        found that if you Ask The Next Question and try to be logical, you get MORE
                        options, and you get more INTERESTING options than if you just throw all that
                        to the winds. (Often networks say, "Ah, screw the science on it, you'll just
                        limit yourself." Not true.)
                        http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-10358

                        Add that to the ones I quoted above to remark that B5 is science fiction (I've edited it to put some parts on bold), I stick to my interpretation but I can agree to disagree on that.
                        Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                        James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          <<B5 is science fiction>>

                          Yep.
                          Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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