Main Sci Fi Ghetto Discussion

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08:52:16 AM Apr 16th 2017
I feel like this page could benefit from some serious restructuring. Over time it seems to broadened from the Sci-Fi Ghetto, to the Sci-Fi / Fantasy Ghetto, to the Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Horror Ghetto, to the Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Horror / [Insert whatever genre of fiction the Troper feels a bit disgruntled doesn't get the respect he/she thinks it deserves] Ghetto. Also, some of the examples seem slightly overly defensive / combative or slightly over-general. At very least, I'd suggest it would benefit from a rename (Genre Ghetto, perhaps?) and a rule that you'd have to support examples with a link to an outside example to avoid all the generalised "Bookstores do this! Critics say that!" type-examples that don't really seem to have a lot of backing behind them beyond a slightly annoyed Troper.
11:38:49 AM Dec 20th 2016
Isn't the term "ghetto" a little misleading? Genre status isn't really a ghetto that some genres are in and others are out of, it's a sliding scale. Porn is probably at the bottom, romance novels and fantasy maybe at the next rung, sci-fi one step above, then horror, then thrillers and detective novels, then maybe historical novels, and so on. And that's just literature; the ladder of genre respect isn't the same for movies, comics, tv shows etc.
01:50:19 PM May 4th 2014
Removed the Gravity entry simply because, to the best of my knowledge, it does not actually meet the science fiction criteria. There is no futuristic technology, no phenomena not accepted by current mainstream science etc. Even the entry in the tropes page admits that it has purely existing technology and purely current actions in space, and does not give a reason for why it should still be considered science fiction despite that.

"* Some critics (such as the writer of this article) have been arguing that the Alfonso Cuarón film Gravity, a thriller about two astronauts trying to survive after being stranded in space, is not science fiction simply because it uses existing technology and focuses on actual activities performed in space. The fact that it's one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2013 has absolutely nothing to do with this, of course. This does become somewhat ironic when you consider the premise is somewhat similar to Ray Bradbury's short story Kaleidoscope."

If someone wants to put it back, alright, but please first explain why you would want to do so. Simply because something takes place in outer space does not mean it is automatically futuristic.
02:12:05 PM May 4th 2014
Well, there was the whole thing with the wave of debris as "something that theoretically could happen", and the fact that it's been nominated for a Hugo Award (not the first time something with no obvious SF elements other than being set in space has been nominated, though - precedents include The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, and news footage of the Apollo 11 mission!
02:43:50 PM May 4th 2014
Not sure that the debris would really count. We've already got people causing debris to be created by leaving old satellites up or testing anti-satellite weapons on them.

As for the Hugo Award, that seems to be just the fact that it involves spacecraft. Overall I don't see more reason to call this Science Fiction (which Wikipedia does) than Space Cowboys (which Wikipedia calls a Space Drama).

Still having spacecraft may be enough of a gray area for us (or the world might just be too close to turning science fiction into science that it's all a gray area now) that if you want to replace it I won't remove the entry a second time.
09:35:20 AM Nov 11th 2013
Would we be able to change the name to the "Sci-Fi/Fantasy Ghetto"? Honestly the two are represented equally in the article, but I, as a fantasy fan, feel left out.
02:32:24 PM Dec 13th 2012
Would anybody happen to know a credible site that basically discusses the same things as this trope?
07:50:28 PM Apr 26th 2012
edited by DoctorNemesis
Okay, so my justifying edit on the subject was probably rightfully deleted, but is it possible to do something about all the "Author X has written Y genre as well as science fiction, yet all his/her works are located in the Y section" style entries? That doesn't seem like the ghetto to me, that's standard bookstore operating procedure for people who don't want to trail all over the store to find different books in different sections by the same author. It happens whether the author's written science fiction, mysteries, horror, romance or literary works, so to keep singling it out here as an example of the ghetto seems like a bit of a persecution complex.
05:10:28 PM Feb 27th 2012
I was wondering if it would be okay to add something like this to the blurb about Horror. Bolded text is my addition.

"This can also link to Horror as well; especially when it overlaps with Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It's been a little more accepted than Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but you'll rarely seen awards given to horror works. Horror authors are also thought of as being creepy, at least before people actually meet them and realize that most of them are perfectly normal people. Horror is actually often put in with the rest of the non-genre literature in bookstores.*"

I am not sure whether to add this or not, the main article is already really long.
07:21:50 AM Feb 28th 2012
I don't see how that adds to or is related to the trope. It's not about the authors being "creepy".
08:32:23 AM Feb 28th 2012
All right, I will leave it out.
09:46:42 AM Aug 1st 2011
edited by DaibhidC
Pulled the Pratchett bit from JKR; he wasn't missing the point, he was criticising a UK newspaper article which was, and which wanted to "rescue" JK from the ghetto at the expense of both misquoting her and dismissing everything else classified as fantasy.
"And the BBC website put a nice little spin on thing on things with a headline suggesting I'm directing a tirade at J K Rowling, rather than expressing annoyance at the habits of journalists and specifically one telling phrase *clearly used by someone else*."
Terry Pratchett, Usenet.
11:06:38 PM Jan 26th 2011
edited by exia
I think I understand why the Ghetto exists, and it's quite simple. In general, after they reach a certain age, Males don't read Books anymore unless it's their profession.

On the contrast, Girls are likely to continue reading Books well into their Old Age. Not to insult any girls, but usually they prefer thing's that are more Character Driven, with more Emotion, Character Depth, and Interpersonal Relationships then Hard Speculative Explanation of So and So along with what's usually a Plot Driven Story. There are exceptions to these, of course.

HOWEVER, there is a market, especially among Geeks that enjoy Science Fiction in Literature, but it is wholly separate from the "Mainstream".

It also explains why Lo TR, Harry Potter, and Narnia enjoy considerable success as Literature even though their technically Sci-Fi/Fantasy. The fact the former are hotbeds for Shipping also does not hurt either.
10:38:50 PM May 24th 2011
You're making some incredibly generalized assumptions here, and I'm not sure where they're coming from. The idea that men don't read books after a particular age is frankly bizarre. And, all generalizations concerning the reading habits of girls and women aside, the allegation that sci-fi and fantasy aren't concerned with characterization and interpersonal relationships is exactly the sort of thing that those who enforce the idea of the Sci Fi Ghetto would say.
06:19:09 AM Dec 26th 2011
Yes, this is a bad generalization. You've pretty much said that males don't like books with good literary devices. The idea that fantasy/SF can't be character focused is just nonsense, and apart from certain hard SF fans, people want well rounded characters who drive the plot, rather than characters that just exist for the sake of the plot. The best literature will generally be about character, no matter what the genre. Plot should be secondary (and dry technical explanations are rarely, if ever, necessary). This is why writers like Ian M. Banks, Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Aldiss, are more well regarded as "literature" than, say, Clarke.
01:58:36 PM Jun 25th 2012
I'll admit it is a BAD Generalization, but I think you read my words wrong.

I didn't say that Men don't like good literary devices, but after a certain age they are less likely to read entire Books since they lack the time or desire to do so. That's why I said unless their Profession benefits from reading books.

Usually, Intellectual College Professions tend to promote the reading of Sci-Fi, and actually, the best Sci-Fi Literature are NOT about Characters as people but ARE more about Big Ideas or Mythic Archetypes.

Arthur C. Clarke: Alien Space God Spirituality.

Assimov: Rise of Robots, growth of Humans to a spacefaring civilization.

Dune: The Rise of a Space Messiah.

The most iconic Sci-Fi are not about Normal People, but Big Ideas or Mythic Archetypes. Considering the rest of Literature TEND to be more...Soap Operish, AKA Human oriented, it creates a noticeably contrast in writing style.

That, and if you check the actual bookstore or library, your see girls outnumber the boys, and the boys are more likely to look like Nerds.

But yes, this is a "Bad" Generalization. But the Sci-Fi Ghetto exists for a reason.
07:24:27 PM Jul 2nd 2012
"I didn't say that Men don't like good literary devices, but after a certain age they are less likely to read entire Books since they lack the time or desire to do so. That's why I said unless their Profession benefits from reading books."

That's still a generalisation that's ridiculously huge to the point of being utterly fatuous, though, particularly since your evidence basically stems to "girls outnumber boys in bookstores and the boys all look like nerds". Been to every bookstore / library in the world, have you?
09:15:41 AM Sep 16th 2012
edited by supergod
"Considering the rest of Literature TEND to be more...Soap Operish, AKA Human oriented, it creates a noticeably contrast in writing style."

The entire "New Wave" of science fiction shifted the focus on characters for the sole reason that they though tthe old school of science fiction lacked real literary merit. I think by focus on characters you mean things like romance and teenage drama and such, but there's more to "character development" than that. Why do you think people talk about SF exploring the "human condition"?

Also, I've actually studied Biotechnology and most of my friends I know are in science or engineering (mostly physics), and I can tell you that none of them are interested in sci-fi, apart from the typical mainstream stuff. None of my college professors have ever mentioned a science fiction novel and only ever used the term "science fiction" to mean bad science.
12:28:47 PM Oct 31st 2013
I think the trope is more related to the fundamental err of attribution. Yes, there is plenty of crappy sci-fi out there. But there are also a lot of crappy poli-thrillers or family drama or whatever. When those "mainstream" genre books fail, people will point out the weak characters, obvious plot, or something specific. When a Sci-Fi novel fails, they tend to just say "Well, it's Sci-Fi". It's genre is the first weakness, and any other weakness is linked to the genre.
11:24:32 PM Dec 22nd 2010
I'm confused. At certain points this page seems to imply that Fantasy has it even worse than Sci-Fi. Maybe among academics that is true, since literary Sci-Fi is seen as a way to write about real world problems, but among the general public it is quite the opposite, with great works like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Chronicles of Narnia justifying Fantasy in the public's eye, while Star Wars and Star Trek are still ridiculed and made fun of despite bringing in billions of dollars.
05:40:06 PM Jun 19th 2012
It depends on the level of fantasy, I think. High fantasy is almost always ridiculed in every fashion; Lot R and Narnia are exceptions to the rule (Harry Potter is not high fantasy at all. It's still obviously fantasy, but it's not the Medieval dragon-slaying type of book that people tend to associate with fantasy) . There's also the fact that sci-fi and fantasy tend to work better when targeted towards children and young adults, and more of those franchises tend to be fantasy than science fiction. It's also because fantasy tends to tie into Dungeons and Dragons very well, and we all know what the average person thinks of D&D. Besides, I would actually say that Star Wars itself isn't what's ridiculed, it's more the fandom and the expanded universe. The actual movies were always immensely popular.
09:19:43 AM Sep 16th 2012
"Maybe among academics that is true" - Not even then really. There aren't any science fictional works that are considered to be "classics" in the vein of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard Of OZ, The Wind in the Willows, etc. Though most adult fantasy has it just as bad as any sci-fi, regardless of literary merit.
02:23:10 PM Jul 28th 2013
Isn't Fahrenheit 451 considered a classic?
04:34:17 AM Sep 24th 2010
I don' ghetto what a ghetto has to do with all this?
04:17:57 PM Nov 4th 2010
A ghetto is where an "undesirable" minority is segregated from the rest of the population (Jews in Nazi Germany, poor African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities in inner cities, etc.). Science Fiction and Fantasy are often segregated (literally in bookstores, metaphorically by the reading public) from "real" literature.
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