|Prose and Formatting:
||I put Humour comments in with P & F to avoid repeating myself but do score them separately.
- I like "realities which are most realistic than reality itself." To me, though, the first paragraph goes on too long. I'd recommend moving the parts beginning with "because it is extremely rational...." somewhere else in the article, and also shortening this. I think it goes on too much for the beginning.
- "Sci-Fi uses scientifically derived scenarios, such as...." I really like the four types of SF. I especially like the Pop-Tarts joke, and also how it reincorporates "alien husbands" from the attractive aliens in a previous section. This part I find well done. At this point, I would anticipate a very good article.
- I would like a brief nod to Hugo Gernsback, who invented the term "scientifiction" and was essentially the person who got the genre recognized as a genre. You could probably make a short joke about "scientifiction" becoming "science fiction."
- "Science fiction is what science fiction editors publish (period)”--needs a period. Also I love the quote--I don't know that Campbell really said it, but it's about as true a statement as anyone could make up. The rest of this section I though was so-so.
The history of science fiction
- I would cut the first sentence--I didn't find Plato and the wax stars funny. Actually, in spite of the fact I'm the one who suggested Icarus (oops, I wasn't supposed to bring in my IC stuff), I didn't find any of this paragraph funny. It doesn't fit the semi-encyclopedic but tongue-in-cheek-with-a-gotcha-punch line tone of what came before.
- Actually, I don't think the second paragraph (begins with "Throughout the centuries"); or the third (this one about Jules Verne I really dislike); or the fourth (the Well(e)s boys) work; the police box paragraph I found mildly amusing. One problem with most of this is it requires specialized knowledge on the part of the reader. But again, I'd suggest completely rewriting this whole section from scratch, or cutting it out altogether. If you do use the names of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kilgore Trout, and Arthur C. Clarke, I'd put Kilgore Trout, as the punch line, at the end (although of course it won't be a punch line to anyone who doesn't know that's the only fictional character. Personally, if I were to choose one fictional SF character, I would have chosen Lazarus Long, but as you already have Heinlein, Trout is probably a good choice).
Isaac Asimov, the Nerd
- I know the three laws of robotics as well as anyone--in fact I can recite them by heart, but I still don't find the "zeroth law" amusing, so I'd cut it. Actually, I'd cut or completely rewrite this entire section--I didn't find any of it funny or fun to read (although I found the title mildly amusing).
Robert Heinlein, the Dean
- I found this section slightly better than Isaac Asimov, but still disappointing. Sorry but I don't have any suggestions other than major rewriting or starting from scratch.
- Sorry, but again I would like to see this rewritten from scratch.
Kilgore Trout, the Bard
- Venus on the Half-Shell--here I'm ignorant, as I never read it. I know it's supposedly written by Vonnegut's character but was actually written by Philip José Farmer, but quite honestly the only reason I know Farmer wrote it was because I looked it up. In my ignorance, I didn't find this section humorous.
Arthur C. Clarke, the Visionary
- Yes, I get the satellite communication bit which I found mildly amusing (someone who didn't already know Clarke came up with the concept but didn't take it seriously wouldn't get it at all). But what is Waxmen of Jupiter? And even though I know Clarke pretty well, I had no idea what "magic exists" was about when I first read it (I know the actual quote very well--it's one of my favorite quotes of all time) or "all possible things are impossible." These are very inside-jokey, and as an insider I still didn't get them. I'd redo this section too.
- In addition to the above comments, the tone of voice in these sections on the authors sounds completely different than what came before. I think this needs to be rewritten for consistency; otherwise this looks random.
Sub genres of science fiction
- "Hard Science Fiction (I'd lower case, or at least capitalize throughout). I found the first paragraph mildly amusing, but think it could be shortened. I also wonder why you chose A Fall of Moondust as the supposedly first SF novel--that seems random. "...first 200 pages explaining the respiratory system of every being on Earth...."--this seems to me to be pushing a joke too far.
- "See? Clarke couldn't help but bore us and drive us to drink. Heinlein couldn't write...."--again, there's a problem with tone--this doesn't fit the beginning parts of the article. Also I didn't find this paragraph or the one following funny--I'd suggest a complete rewrite. Also I don't get the joke about "The Game" or how that fits here.
- I found the first paragraph mildly amusing; however, to someone who's not very familiar with Ringworld, the beginning references will likely make no sense.
- "...copies of A Fall of Moondust being place at significant points, and the sheer weight of the
the tomes was enough to keep the world in balance."--yes, this works. It reincorporates the references to AFoM being extremely heavy (although I still don't see why you chose AFoM). Also technically Ring World shouldn't be a subheading of Hard SF as there's no point of having only one subheading, but I'll let that slide. Still, I think it would be better if you had two very short ones.
- "The most famous man to write in this sub-genre is Philip K. Dick, mainly because people like to make fun of his name."--I found this very sophomoric, and not funny. Actually, I didn't find any part of this plushy soft paragraph to be amusing.
- "Soft Science Fiction draws much criticism from Hard Science Fiction readers/writers on account that it contains a plot and is readable."--I rather liked this.
- "The differences between these two groups...."--this set up for the reader to learn the differences, but it doesn't say what they are. This only talks about Hard SF fans (and I didn't find it humorous).
Bradbury's Influence on Soft Sci-Fi
- Didn't find this section funny except for "which had been printing faster than Deutsch Marks during the Weimar Republic"--I'd recommend keeping that and cutting or completely rewriting the rest.
- "The Sci-Fi Heavyweight fight of the 20th Century"--sorry, but somebody please knock this section out.
Brave New World
- "Brave New World was a Soft Science Fiction book that supposedly takes place in 2011, in which the two main characters Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio ingest large amounts of Soma and have a shared hallucination."--sorry, but this sounds like the sort of thing written by an IP that gets reverted. I know the Scott-DiCaprio-soma references, but anyone who doesn't know the proposed movie is likely to find this random. This section is very inside jokey. I get the inside jokes (this is one of my favorite SF books and I hope they don't screw up the movie), but I don't find it funny.
- "Cyberpunk sci-fi, like most things now considered passé, emerged in the early 1980s."--I like this. The definition I find mildly amusing, but don't care for the rest of the paragraph.
- "Cyberpunkology"--this would be the study of cyberpunk (I guess), so doesn't fit as it's used in the article.
- "high-tech and low-life" themes (quote marks needed here)"--I like this bit, but not the rest of this paragraph.
- "As can be gleaned from the name, the genre usually relates to dark, oppressive societies...."--this doesn't fit what's said earlier, that cyberpunk's definition is all about sex. Again, there's a problem that one part of this article doesn't fit with another part.
- "Nihilism, post-modernism, and film noir techniques are common themes, often repeated endlessly to a point of redundancy."--I rather liked the redundancy here.
- "If this was a real article you'd all be dead" ~ Hiro Protagonist" --didn't find this funny.
- "It was a cold musky morning in William Gibson's head..."--I rather like this. But if you'll have a quote like this for this section, I'd have quotes--that fit--for some other sections as well.
The Matrix Trilogy
- Like this; tongue-in-cheek, and more-or-less accurate (I guess; I only watched the first movie. It was a little painful for me, because a long-term, overarching SF adventure I ran for a couple of years came to a climax with the characters facing something virtually identical to The Matrix--and I did my version a few years before the first movie came out).
- This section didn't work for me, and I didn't find it funny.
:abducting picking up hookers women"--I rarely find strikeouts funny in articles because they seem to say, "Hey, look at me! I'm a joke, ha ha!" I don't find them funny here. If you want to suggest that the doctor is picking up whores, I'd do it subtly.
- "...and saving the world with a screwdriver."--this is technically inaccurate (most of the doctors didn't use the sonic screwdriver), but I like it anyway. "Largely believed to have started...."--I didn't find the rest of this section funny. There's so much you could do with Doctor Who.
- "He who controls custard, controls the universe" ~ Paul Atreides"--I don't know why (maybe because I read all the Dune books), but I found this somewhat amusing, even though I should probably advise you to cut it because it's out of context.
- "1. What if someone else won a war (question mark)"--What if someone threw out and rewrote this entire section? The only part I found mildly amusing was the bit about becoming your own father being far too Freudian.
Back to the Future
- "Back to the Future is considered to be..."--I rather liked this paragraph, although watch the mixing of present and past tense--or play up the mixed tenses and make it part of the humour. Also "visited by an
- "Due to the social mores of the time...."--I don't think this paragraph is needed.
Apocalyptic Science Fiction
- "Apocalyptic science fiction (again, make it "science fiction" or "Science Fiction" throughout).
- "Before 1945, all apocalyptic science fiction attributed the end of the world to an act of God, but after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki humanity realised that they could do it themselves."--this is of course inaccurate, but I rather like it.
- "use of, viruses, nuclear weapons, weather manipulation and Zombies."--sorry, the Zombie joke doesn't work for me.
- My first reaction is to ask why is this here? The topic of SF is as big as space and as broad as time, so I would tend to avoid bringing something else in as a section that's not SF. If this section was really, really good, I might have changed my mind. The parts of the Bible that could be semi-SF are things like the tremendous electrical charge that built up in the golden Ark of the Covenant (gold is an excellent conductor); the flying chariot that Ezekiel saw; the giant locusts with the faces of men and a sting in their tails in Revelation (which sounds like armed helicopters)--but none of that is here. Even if this section did fit SF, I don't find this funny, and would recommend cutting all of this out.
- "Military science fiction...."--the first sentence I found pretty good. "...and hardcore porn..."--didn't find this funny.
- I liked the first paragraph OK, but not particularly the second--and didn't like "craptastic."
- The Space Opera sub-genre...."--please shorten this sentence; I had to read it three times before I understood it. I'm almost embarrassed to say I liked "fat women with loud voices," but I did. Maybe that's because I really do like fat women with loud voices. "The term 'Space Opera'...."--this sentence is really involved, and feels like the article is working too hard to set up a minor joke. I'd split this into two sentences.
- "The sub-genre is know(n) for large, flashy battles (semicolon) main characters with strange speech patterns (semicolon) and music composed by John Williams."--yes, I like the John Williams joke.
- I like the many, many more Star Trek links.
- "Due to Mr. Spock's logic...."--this sentence is so long I don't know what it's talking about. "...male fans would dispute what actually happened until they went on enraged killing sprees"--does this have something to do with Star Trek?
- "The same can't be said for William
ShattnerShatner, whose career has plummeted like a Klingon war vessel."--sorry, but this old and completely inaccurate joke I don't find funny. Besides that, I don't remember seeing Klingon war vessels plummet on a regular basis, so don't think the joke works.
Star Wars, Stargate, The Last Starfighter, etc.
- I think you could get a small joke out of putting the Star Wars episodes in real order; i.e. episodes four, five and...no, one, two...no, three, six....
- "Take one part Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars' princess in distress, two part's Heinlein's militaristic nightmare..."--here's yet another tone of voice and it feels like the reader has moved into a different article. Again, the sentences are so long I kept getting lost. I'd make them shorter, and follow long sentences with short ones for some variety. Also I didn't find this funny.
The dangers of science fiction
- The beginning of this I think is OK, but didn't find it funny.
- "Though most accidents that occur due to science fiction are harmless (such as running headfirst into closed doors)"--this I found relatively funny.
- "The bad new always comes at the end of the party, or in this case, both this article and human history. We are all going to die in 2012..."--again, the style here doesn't seem to fit what's come before. And I find this paragraph confusing and not funny.
- "...nanotechnology came...."--this sounds like it came out of nowhere. I didn't even see nanotechnology in this section until now--in fact there's no reference to it before this except in the very beginning--but this sounds like this is what the article has been talking about. Actually, this ending sounds tacked on (including the "machine gunk" bit), and I didn't find it funny.
- I think the links are fine, but I'd add more.
- I didn't find any of these funny. Also why I might agree that Metropolis is pre-cyberpunk, why change the name to Super-Metropolis? I imagine this is an attempt at a Superman joke, but to me it didn't work.
Remember that in collaboration, getting an article to sound like it was written by one person is critical--unless it's a rare exception where different people actually address the reader within the article. Collaborations require someone to go through and make all the pieces fit together.
||This is a mixed score: 7 for images, 5 for captions. I'll deal with each image separately.
Photonic orgasm--rather like the image and caption.
The Beyond--SciFi Tribute--nice tribute; not funny. Unless the intent is to take the reader away from the article for six minutes and 52 seconds, I'd cut this out--or at list stick it at the end after the article's over. But really, I'd cut it.
Icarus--rather like the photo and caption--except that it references the ending of the article which the rest of the article doesn't. I'd add a hint of the ending to go with this caption--or rewrite the caption to fit this section of the article.
Asimov--nice picture, but I found the caption mediocre. Did you see the one of him wearing the Jupiter Two as a hat?
Ringword--liked the image (yes, I'm a huge Tolkien fan too); found the caption to be so-so.
The Wizard--sorry, I'm rather biased against that wizard image because it reminds me of how a non-article was named one of the best three articles of the month which pissed several people here off. Keep in mind that using this image will likely piss them off at this article. If I ignore the bias, I find the image OK, but don't like the caption.
The Matrix--I found the image OK, didn't care for the caption.
The Doctor and Amy--because of my limited TV right now, I haven't seen this episode, damnit. The idea of the caption might work if the text that mentions the doctor's (until recently non-existent) sexuality.
The car--nice image, but don't care for the caption. Doc Brown's actual quote I found much funnier--don't see why the article couldn't use it. "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" In my opinion, one of the best non-serious quotes in a SF movie.
Apocalypse--nice image, but if there's a joke in the caption I'm not getting it.
Flip flops--I'd stamp out the caption and the image.
Shatner--often I find moving images in an article to be distracting, unless they work really, really well. This one to me doesn't work really, really well--and I don't find the caption humorous.
Data--unfortunately, I've seen this too many times in other articles to find it terribly amusing here. Still, I rather like it and the caption.