See this video, where some effects guys rework the first fight scene from Civil War to be more realistic. (Actual reworked clip about 12 minutes in; they then replay it for some of the stuntmen who worked that scene, which is a hoot.)Well, the great truth is there's a fine old tradition of superhero media, especially comics, seriously underselling the lethality of attacks in general. Its virtually a genre convention. In the modern period with all the deconstruction, reconstruction and de-reconstruction it varies more, and obviously things like the Netflix shows with their heavy focus on street-level action have a slightly different dynamic, but I actually thought one of the jarring things about the first season of the Flash TV show was how many of the villains ended up dead.
Heck, people with some prominence in the field continue to make the same argument to this day, that works like Lem's promote a nihilistic anti-knowledge outlook fundamentally incompatible with what sf is/was/should be all about.Tangential to the uncertainty-ambiguity conversation, I just came across a new one related to that.
Well, an old one. My dad's been reading through a stack of old copies of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and came across a review of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris when it came out. The reviewer hated it, and insisted that "it wasn't even science fiction", because – the reviewer claimed – science is about understanding the entire universe, and Solaris is about this big thing that can't ever be entirely understood.
My dad and I kind of look at each other and roll our eyes in unison. That's exactly Lem's point in the book, that one can't grok it all.
The one I remember was asking for how much XP for wiping out Faerun. It was a Spelljammer game where they said for one reason or another, they'd detonated their gnomish ship right as it was going through the gate of the crystal sphere, destroying the gate and flooding Faeun with aether, killing everyone.Wasn't there a reader who claimed their character had caused the apocalypse, and wrote in to demand that every D&D player ever handed in their character sheets so he could calculate how much XP he earned for the act?
And a reasonable one. I mean, there's a lot of little questions we simply can't answer, like "why are atoms?" - that is, yes, we can describe the processes that bring them about, but why the universe is made of these weird little particle things that congregate as opposed to something else is hardly even a conceivable question, scientifically, even if we can invent a fiction that is otherwise.The interesting thing is that Lem was not antiscience, or went into one of those mystical bullshits that many go as reaction to science.
He was very much "yes, science is the best tool for understanding the universe we have. That DOESNT mean it will let us understand ALL the universe. And there is no other source to get knowledge, so, in the end, we are limited in what humans can understand about it"
Which is very much a position in philosophy of science.