Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: Statutory Exemption: From YKTTW

  • FTL travel in science-fiction.
I'd make this more specific and say "FTL travel in idealistic space fiction", or even "space opera". —Document N

Gattsuru: Trope description only says practically required. You can manage without it, but in practice...

Document N: I've heard that before, and I don't buy it; it's like saying that without FTL nothing interesting could ever happen in space. Also, is good Earth-based or planet-based SF really that much harder to write than good space SF?

Gattsuru: I've seen a few decent written works that avoid FTL, but even there, I think the exception is very rare, and often limited to the *punk or specialized motifs. That's not to say it's hard to write good works that avoid the trope. The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ghost in the Shell, Firefly — many of the best science fiction works leave FTL on the wayside. But it's such an inherent trope to the genre that it's an uncommon exception to the rule. You have to go very far down Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness before you stop seeing FTL. Even a lot of fairly hard science settings toss it in toward the end of a series or to explain where the villains are coming from.

You can have a successful slasher film without Gorn, and you can have a have a fairy tale without wish fulfillment and Marty Sues or Mary Sues. Allegedly, there's even such a thing as Porn With Plot, though I've yet to see good evidence of it. I don't think it's about a trope that the genre can not live without, but merely a trope that's been so connected to a genre that it's surprising when the setting doesn't use it.

Document N: I prefer the more optimistic Intuitor view: the public eventually does reject nonsense, even if it seems like nobody cares at the time it's being made. Also, I must be a lot less easily surprised than you are.

(Edit:) As a side note, 2001 definitely had FTL if you take the novel as canon; TMA-2 was a Star Gate. I could start talking about better examples, but I prefer to just wait til someone starts a YKTTW about it. Too bad The Ocean of Years is taken.

I do think Weasel Killer has trope potential, though: a work in a genre that throws out the weasel and ends up better for it, at which point other authors start waking up and doing the same thing. Or maybe that'd be Trope Enforcement Rebel.
Adam850 removed:
  • Actually, this troper finds it annoying when porn doesn't make sense. If there's absolutely no plot or characterization, then logic isn't an issue, but often a pornographic work will have an Excuse Plot that doesn't make sense. Seriously, what's wrong with "Hey, let's make some porn!"? Other than having to face up to the fact that you can't honestly call your out-of-character fic "original flavour"...