Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Considering the mynocks in The Empire Strikes Back predate STTNG by almost a decade “predict” seems like a strong word. : )

I like Star wars and I like Star Trek, I would never accuse SW of something so grand as 'predicting' anything though. You have reminded me of my favourite definition for Soft Sci fi though.

Soft Sci Fi: Han Solo running around around on an asteroid with only a face mask. (can't find the source right now)


>"Hard science-fiction” is defined as “stories in which Han Solo does not saunter around the surface of an asteroid wearing only an oxygen mask and a leather jacket”


That's a terrible definition of hard science-fiction both because Han Solo never does that[0] and because it leaves way too much room on the hard side for things like, well, Star Trek, which is pretty soft itself.

[0] - Han Solo actually saunters around the inside of a creature whose body contains an atmosphere which inexplicably isn't expelled when the creature has its mouth open; which makes even less sense.

Have you watched "The Expanse"? I like that explosions in space does not make sound and inertia look right in this show, how would you classify it?

I havent seen it no.

I've read one or 2 convincing essays that SW is basically fantasy rather than science fiction. You have princesses getting rescued, and 'magicians', etc.

When you start analysing it, that basically holds. Sci fi should be about holding up a mirror to contemporary issues, or imagine what may be. I suppose the hard/soft difference is how rigorously they think about the mechanics of that, but theres a big grey area in there. I supposes theres an element of no true Scotsman in there, but these aren't hard and fast rules.

To return to my original comment, I don't think there was ever an attempt to predict, or realistically portray anything. TNG I would expect to at least check up on the state of the art was at any particular time. If data uttered something about doing the kessel run in 12 parsecs, I would expect that to be in the context of a thought out space folding drive. I'm still not saying that ST is 'hard' Sci fi, as the multitude of things that happen as you approach warp 10, or the many ways to travel back in time evidence.

How about the Klingon disintegrators that stop at the soles of your boots?

Star Trek is "Wagon Trail" in space. Star Wars is, I think, space opera. The Expanse gives a nod to hard science, and I respect them for trying, but e.g. the gravity is always either 1 or 0 g. i'm not complaining, I think realistic sci-fi would be kind of boring. Like the first half of "2001: A Space Odyssey", it was basically Dr. Heywood taking a plane. A freaking awesome plane to space, but still.

I have a "100 Sci-Fi Movies" DVD set with lots of old movies from a span of decades, and it's pretty clear that at least some sci-fi did start as attempts to do a kind of scenario planning, but there has always been "speculative fiction" depending on how you categorize things. Was Plato's Atlantis science fiction?

> e.g. the gravity is always either 1 or 0 g

In the Expanse TV show yes, it seems that way. However I suspect that is more due to keeping production costs down. In the books, gravity varies all over the place depending on what moon/planet/rock/station the characters are on, and even goes into details describing the differences of spin gravity near the center of a station vs outward.

Yes, sorry, that's what I meant: the TV show. Thanks for pointing that out.

At one point they use CGI to show off Coriolis force on the asteroid, and I took that to be a kind of message from the show, "We know about this stuff but it's too expensive to do all day every day, so here's some science "fan service"." Like I said, I respect them for it. :-)

But where does all the water go on the Asteroid belt ships? In the first season water is like a super precious commodity there, making a huge deal about tiny amounts. But a space ship is a closed system. The water doesn't leak into space. They're in space and somehow able to keep a breathable atmosphere, continuously cleaning and recycling the air. But with water this is somehow hard?

Regardless it's a pretty cool series :)

In the books water is used as reaction mass for propulsion.

Oh nice, that makes sense, I guess.

Plenty of original Star Trek episodes with similar plots (1966–1969). Ex: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Immunity_Syndrome_(Star_...

However, just because something is and old idea does not mean inclusion does not represent a prediction.

There's room for all the ST and SW fans here. : )

Which is the one with the little wizard boy?

Ah that would be the one with the magic ring

As long as everyone agrees on the correct answer for Kirk vs Picard

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact