Template talk:Science fiction

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WikiProject Science Fiction (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Science Fiction, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of science fiction on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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This template is really large and obtrusive, due to its vertical format. The template could be made smaller and easier to incorporate into articles by using a horizontal format, e.g.:

Science fiction

Media : Anime  · Artists  · Authors  · Comics  · Editors  · Films (List)  · Magazines  · Manga  · Novels (List)  · Short stories  · Television  · Webcomics
Genre studies: Definitions  · History
(Scientific Romance, Pulp, Golden Age, New Wave, Cyberpunk)  · Subgenres  · List of topics (Politics, Religion, Sex)  · Extraterrestrials  · Planets  · Journals  · Awards

There are better ways to format it but that's the basic idea. RandomCritic 09:55, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it had quickly gotten larger. A similar thought had occurred to me (horizontal format). Compactness is highly desirable. Hu 09:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we should split it through the middle, and have a full listing of genres and themes too? Please excuse the Sailor Moon stuff - this template is modelled from {{Sailor Moon}} - and I'm not sure what would be so overarching that we'd like to put it at the top. (Nor am I absolutely sure how to remove the overarching part...) - Malkinann 23:30, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Nuvola apps konquest.png Science Fiction
Codename: Sailor V | Manga | Anime | Episode list | English adaptations | Musicals | Video games | Live action
Actors | Story locations | Sailor Moon R movie | Sailor Moon S movie | Sailor Moon SuperS movie | Parallel Sailor Moon
Anime  · Artists  · Authors  · Comics  · Editors  · Films (List)  · Magazines  · Manga  · Novels (List)  · Short stories  · Television  · Webcomics

Genre studies
Definitions  · History (Scientific Romance, Pulp, Golden Age, New Wave, Cyberpunk, Postcyberpunk)  · Journals  · Awards
Hard  · Firm  · Soft  · Social  ·

Themes and Topics
Politics  · Religion  · Sex  · Weapons  · Extraterrestrials  · Planets  ·

Working on the previous:

Nuvola apps konquest.png Science Fiction
Media Anime  · Artists  · Authors  · Comics  · Editors  · Films (List)  · Magazines  · Manga  · Novels (List)  · Short stories  · Television  · Webcomics

Genre studies Definitions  · History (Scientific Romance, Pulp, Golden Age, New Wave, Cyberpunk, Postcyberpunk)  · Journals  · Awards

Subgenres Hard  · Firm  · Soft  · Social

Themes and Topics Politics  · Religion  · Sex  · Weapons  · Extraterrestrials  · Planets

Subculture Fandom  · Conventions (List)  · Organizations  · Trekkies and Warsies (Star Trek versus Star Wars)

Categories Science fiction  · by Country  · Themes

Cross-genre Speculative fiction  · Fantasy  · Science fantasy

RandomCritic 14:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

That looks nicer. :) I'd prefer to have it a bit more condensed length-ways, because it scrolls off the edge of my screen, but I guess other people don't have that problem. Also, I'd like to have the view-talk-edit button-thingy embedded in the template, so that we can add more stuff to it. There are quite a few more themes, genres and topics in science fiction (nudity, women, pregnancy, world government) that we could add to the template now that it's going across the bottom of the article - I just picked the "Big Three" to begin with. - Malkinann 21:35, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Fixed a couple of those problems. RandomCritic 00:05, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

That looks good. :) Do you want to replace the current with this? I'll lend a hand in changing the placing of the template in the articles it links to when you do - it should probably go right at the bottom of the page, below stubs. If you put a stub under a bottom template like this, you don't often see it, I find.- Malkinann 01:07, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I added the last three categories from the existing list, without alteration of content. But I think some reorganization changes might be made (though I don't want to do them unilaterally); I have doubts as to whether "Trekkies vs. Warsies" is important enough in sf terms to be in a list of major links (twice); and there are quite a few important genres that have been overlooked, like Space opera and Planetary romance. Nonetheless, if this form replaces the existing template, it won't, I think, add any defects to it. RandomCritic 12:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

You should decide on what's important and what's not in terms of the Trekkies and Warsies - I'm not such a buff (I just don't get the SF vs Sci-fi debate...) - but I do agree that the Genres section needs expanding. Again, it was a case of the "Big Four". I'm not going to be able to access wikipedia for the next month or so, so if you want to change the templates over, you'll have to do the re-organising of where the template fits in the article yourself, sorry. - Malkinann 10:38, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

size of text[edit]

i saw this template over at Cyberpunk. it is a big space taker when it could be 'reference-small'; any reason the text shouldn't be smaller? JoeSmack Talk 02:25, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

As you can see, this has been under discussion. Since it seems to be an immediate problem, I went ahead and (1) implemented the last suggested revision of the template, (2) moved it to the bottom of the pages where it's transcluded. RandomCritic 05:03, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you thank you! Cheers! JoeSmack Talk 06:45, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

too many links[edit]

There should absolutely not be more than two lines for any section, not more than one line for most sections. Some of these ("Trekkies v. Warsies" is not a burning question in the community) are not signficant. Avt tor 23:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Then go ahead and delete those you think are unimportant! Be bold! RandomCritic 02:57, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Heh, not to worry, I will put this on my list of things to do. As this is currently on several pages, and can be added to many more after a bit of cleanup, I just wanted an opinion check before proceeding. Avt tor 06:18, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Regarding recent additions to this box: The box is too big. It can't possibly be a comprehensive index; these kind of boxes can only be practical as pointers to reference pages which in turn may point to smaller categories of information. Adding links to this is the wrong way to go, IMO. I'm not going to immediately revert, but I do plan to tighten this box up at some point. Avt tor 16:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Some attention should be given to the current quality and comprehensiveness of the articles linked to. For instance, Energy beings is just two sentences; probably not something that needs to be linked to at this level just yet. RandomCritic 17:24, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Image/icon: please read b4 removing[edit]

Please argue here first, before removing the image/icon. I've read the entire WP:MOSICON page, this image/icon does not break any rules, actually abides by them, displays proper "alt=" tag, comment/explanation, has been resized, and is in the public domain.
Here are my "pro" arguments (not necessarily in this order):

  • Philip K. Dick classic
  • classic fanzine cover
  • a good encyclopedia is also a visual aid
  • helps promoting SF among those not familar with the concept.

The only "against" argument I can think of is either (1) I don't like this particular image/icon or/and (2) I don't like to see images/icons on wiki pages [insert reason here...]. As you can see, that's just another opinion. ;-) Now please weigh this opinion against the 4 arguments listed above, and then draw your own conclusion.
BTW, this image has been added almost 1 year ago [January 8, 2010], and during this time nobody found it unnecessary, until now.
If you think it should be removed, please make your case here, so others can see why, and eventually get the chance to post their opinions/comments.
Thanks for listening, and happy editing [no edit wars, please]. ;-)
MDGx 11:00, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure you've read MOSICON correctly if you think this sort of usage is permitted , pure decoration Gnevin (talk) 14:01, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Image, redux[edit]

I have added an image, File:Gortray.jpg, but i started working on using it just before User:Richard BB uploaded File:Isaac Asimov on Throne.png, and i found it there before i uploaded mine. Just prior to this, there was no image, and before, as seen above, a debate about a magazine cover, which i think was a bad choice. I like Richard's choice, but i also like mine. anyone else care? If Richard or anyone else reverts to his, i will not re-revert, as long as there is minimal discussion.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:45, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

PS:I get obsessive, so here's other images that might work: File:Culture's orbital2.jpg, File:Spacecolony3edit.jpeg.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
My personal view is that either File:Isaac Asimov on Throne.png would work best (Asimov being one of the "big three" writers: the image is very symbolic of not just his own work, but of science fiction as a whole, what with the various images displayed on his throne), or File:Culture's orbital2.jpg (as the narrow dimensions of the picture fit very nicely into the edge of the template; the shape seems quite snug in the corner at 130px). – Richard BB 02:15, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I feel similarly about Culture's orbital2.jpg, as its dimensions work well. I also agree with the iconic quality of Asimov on a literally figurative throne (wow, a correct use of literally AND figuratively. that is literally blowing my mind (figuratively speaking). Dimensionwise, maybe if we could put the good doctor on a diet?:)Mercurywoodrose (talk) 03:35, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
The Culture image is hard to make out in the template. Im going with asimov. theres a nice Ringworld image, but its rotated wrong. ill try that later.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:02, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Complete revamping of Template[edit]

I have just revamped this template, removing links to categories (except for one link which i plan to remedy shortly by creating a "list of sf publishers"), removing less notable links (sf opera for example), and adding "works" and "people". I hope this is good work, its the most extensive reediting ive ever tried. I know its my "baby", but I also know i dont own it. changes and critiques are welcomed, even if they end up being a little painful to take. I will WP:AGF to my utmost ability. This was fun, and i hope it shows.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 08:56, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm trying to figure out the criteria for inclusion in this template of specific magazines, people, works, etc. Before the revamping, it covered more general topics; now most of that is removed and replaced by an apparently random list of the above. Thoughts? ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 08:25, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
The selections are by no means random. i ran through the entire category tree for sf, and looked for authors, books, films, genres, themes that i knew from my knowledge of the field were considered important, and then checked the articles to see if they were themselves fairly well documented. the previous list was not just general topics, but a list of some major, some minor lists and themes, with lots of links to categories, which is really not what templates are for. How can you have a template for SF and not include links to asimov, clarke, heinlein, wells, star trek, campbell, dune, while including links to obscure subgenres that are not even well defined here? both the prior set of inclusion criteria, and mine, are ultimately subjective, but I dont see how we can avoid subjectivity for a template like this. a person who doesnt know the field, using this template as it existed before, being linked only to a list of authors or list of novels, would have no way of determining which are the more important works in the genre. and some works and authors are "more equal than others" to quote orwell. its like the Wikipedia list of 1,000 essential articles. the decision process was complex and involved multiple criteria. in this case, also, i listed seminal works from which whole genres or franchises sprang from (and thus skipped multiple repetitions of a single subject, as with star trek the tv show and star trek the film franchise) , thus Superman spawned all superhero comics and movies, and Star Wars jumpstarted the sf action genre. ET moved it even more mainstream, as did Avatar the most successful film in history, and pure sf. my selection i beleive shows the progression of sf from a marginal sideshow in pulp literature to , for better or worse, a major venue for expression. I do hope that people edit out, or back in, topics that they think matter, but i didnt see much discussion here of what already existed, and would like to see discussion of what we add/subtract now. I am happy to explain my reasons for each entry, and have listed below, my choices, from my additions and from ones extant from before, of further cuts that could be made and the reasons for them, even if i disagree with some of the arguments that i have imagined could be made.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 07:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


I am not sure if Earth Abides is notable enough. Since I have put titles in the template for the first time, i will stop adding them and let others consider changes to the section. Rendezvous With Rama may be considered a more notable novel than Childhood's End, also.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 19:08, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Related articles[edit]

to keep this list smaller, I will probably create a category, Science fiction tropes, which parallels the category Fantasy tropes, make sure all the "related articles" have that category, which will link to the article on themes, etc.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 19:21, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

never mind, we have Category:Science fiction themes, which works. the name Fantasy tropes as a category and article i will discuss elsewhere.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:48, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Articles not included in template[edit]

Here's the articles i declined to include in the new template, based on my running through the entire "Science fiction" category tree:

  • Soft science fiction - unrefd stub
  • Social science fiction - poorly documented
  • Biopunk- too new, subset of cyberpunk
  • Mundane science fiction-poorly defined
  • Spy-fi-poorly sourced
  • Gothic science fiction-unsourced, short
  • Science-fiction opera-not well known enough
  • Science fiction Western too narrow
  • Space Western again
  • Slipstream (genre) not well used
  • Bengali science fiction one source
  • Croatian science fiction too short
  • Norwegian science fiction too short
  • Romanian science fiction-poor qual
  • Serbian science fiction
  • List of Canadian science fiction and fantasy authors
  • List of stock characters in science fiction
  • Extraterrestrials in fiction too short, covered by list above
  • List of films featuring extraterrestrials bare
  • Slipstream (science fiction) unsourced
  • World government in fiction too short
  • Religion in speculative fiction
  • Reproduction and pregnancy in speculative fiction
  • Fictional technology
  • List of fictional computers
  • Space dock
  • Weapons in science fiction
  • List of electromagnetic projectile devices in fiction
  • Resizing (fiction)
  • Simulated reality in fiction
  • Space warfare in fiction
  • First contact (science fiction)
  • Speculative poetry
  • List of science fiction sitcoms
  • Science Fiction Poetry Association
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
  • Science in science fiction
  • Materials science in science fiction
  • Science fiction libraries and museums
  • List of fan conventions by date of founding
  • List of science fiction conventions
  • Edward E. Smith Memorial Award
  • BSFA Award
  • Saturn Award
  • John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Rhysling Award
  • Parsec Awards
  • Philip K. Dick Award
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • Theodore Sturgeon Award
  • Robert A. Heinlein Award
  • Writers of the Future
  • Space rock
  • Supernatural fiction
  • Future history
  • Anthropological science fiction
  • List of social science fiction writers and stories
  • Single-gender world
  • List of cyberpunk works
  • List of military science fiction works and authors
  • Lost World (genre)
  • This is to provide transparency and to show my work. If anyone feels some of these do belong in the template, i may agree, as many bordered on inclusion.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 06:36, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Paring down[edit]

  • This template needs drastic paring down. It can obviously not contain all SF writers or novels, for example, but the current selections are idiosyncratic and eclectic. (Forry Ackerman one of the three most influential editors? Really? William Gibson on the same level as Heinlein? And my favorite: Superman, apparently a major work of SF...) This is just somebody's personal selection, not one based on objective criteria. Hence the proposal to pare it down to the minimum of things that everybody agrees upon. --Crusio (talk) 04:56, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is my personal selection, based on 35 years of reading and watching science fiction, working as a bookseller, and studying science. Each selection was made based on the level of influence of the subject, based on the WP articles for the most part. I agree that FJA is not a major editor, but i didnt want to place him with the "related articles", but that could be a better option. Gibson is credited with founding Cyberpunk, the most significant genre of SF in modern times. Is he a better writer than heinlein? yes. is he more famous? no. is he a better selling author? no. Superman the comic book creation was admittedly not a great work of SF, but its influence is incalculable, and the storyline is pure sf (or science fantasy, if you like). I do want to point out that prior to my editing, the template didnt include ANY authors, novels, or films. it was mostly a bunch of links to categories (not appropriate for a template) and to lists, and subgenres, some of which are quite obscure. If others agree it needs trimming back, thats fine, but I'm not sure we could ever come up with a criteria that everyone would agree on. someone just added the tv show stargate, which i removed. is the stargate film notable enough? it was the first big film for roland emmerich, whose pretty important in the field. Here's some of my selections (some my own idea, some inherited from the previous version of the template), which i feel are reasonably questionable:
  • Sword and planet: no major works in this list, and its mostly a list of works. part of the history of sf, more a subset of science fantasy/scientific romance.
  • Comic SF: mostly just a list of works, not well documented.
  • Dying Earth: not very well documented, mostly a list
  • Steampunk: if cyberpunk doesnt even have a single author who qualifies for the list, does steampunk belong here? isnt it a subset of cyberpunk in some ways?
  • Tor Books. just cause they publish a lot, doesnt make them seminal. Ace was the most important single publisher, maybe one is enough.
  • Science fiction comics. obviously more directly sf oriented than superman or superhero fiction, but pretty minor in the scheme of things, unless this is to be a template of sf in various media, which was what it was mostly before.
  • Phil dick and william gibson. maybe we only need the 3 greats, clarke/asimov/heinlein, and the 2 major pioneers. maybe one could argue for some other writers, like orson scott card, theodore sturgeon, brian aldiss, dan simmons, michael moorcock. there are a lot of second tier authors to consider.
  • Forry ackerman. more important for the horror genre, perhaps a just a side note in sf fandom.
  • miyazaki. not really sf but fantasy. I was very ambivalent bout him being here, decided to be inclusive, could easily remove.
  • True history and somnium. proto sf, not really in the genre. perhaps only list genre specific works, so leave frankenstein for a horror template.
  • Buck rogers and superman. juvenile, more superhero/space fantasy/space opera, not seen as either important (buck) today, or as sf (superman).
  • last and first men. obscure work, not very relevant to readers who want to see the really big links.
  • 1984. really political allegory, not sf. Brave new world uses sf tropes to talk about bigger issues, too. marginally sf.
  • childhoods end. instead, rendezvous with rama is a more seminal work of hard sf, which is what he is most known for.
  • stranger in a strange land. more a philosophical novel. his future history series may matter more as pure sf.
  • left hand of darkness. literary sf, not very popular, is it really that seminal?
  • neuromancer: not that great a novel, maybe the genre has no standout work yet.
  • dr who. really just a soap opera/thriller series. critically, and in terms of its actual sf content (not sf imagery), its a piece of shit.
  • hitchikers guide. more of a cult phenom, no real sf content, just sf tropes and in jokes.
  • et. again, sf tropes over a traditional film story. no "what if" consequences of a scientific idea content. juvenile.
  • myst. not even described at its article as sf, maybe thats stretching, even though the storyline (like superman) is sf.
  • campbell award. the big 2 awards may be enough.
  • hall of fame. like most awards, more a promotional tool. is it really notable?
  • locus. more of a bibliographical source for other articles, not really well known outside the field.
  • encyc of sf. is this really THE standard reference?
  • Sf in other countries. aside from perhaps france and russia, how notable is this work?
  • first contact. poorly documented stub article
  • hyperspace. no documentation, just a list books that touch on it.
  • libertariann sf. poor documentation, minor part of its history perhaps
  • parallel universe. poor documentation, article tagged as problematic.
  • planets in sf. fun list, but maybe we just need a link to sf themes, leave it at that.
  • political ideas. no references. could be a good article, but right now its unsourced.
  • religion in spec fic. stub article, nothing to see here. again, a list of themes could suffice.
  • magic realism. no science content, more closely related to fantasy instead.
  • superhero fiction. sf tropes used, but usually not considered sf related by everyone.
  • robot. just cause the term was invented in fiction (not really an sf work), doesnt mean we need a link. robots in literature is a stub.
  • future. sort of broad, the section on sf is almost nonexistent.
  • time travel. mostly about the real thing. time travel in fiction, again, a stub, maybe we only need a link to themes in sf.
  • the multiverse. not sf at all, just a trope used in sf.
  • kurt vonnegut, l ron hubbart. they are related, but are they related enough to bother mentioning, if we only mention less than a half dozen sf authors?
  • chesley bonestell and moebius. again, if we only mention freas, why mention artists that are not solidly sf?
  • remove the image to make the template smaller. manual of style for templates seems to discourage it.
  • jack kirby and tezuka. more comic people not that related, esp. if the sf author list is trimmed down.
    • I would ask, what is the purpose of this template? before i edited it, it had limited use, mostly helping to navigate easy, no judgement required links: genres, esp. peoples favorite genres, media: a real mishmosh. Do we even need an SF template? are templates better for better defined things, like hugo award winning novels, or major franchises? there is a side template that also exists, with a similar focus to this template prior to my editing: maybe its better to have a side bar that just has the most basic links: history, list of novels, a few genres, and a few others, with a link to the portal.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 06:52, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
This template should not contain any links to articles about specific works or to individual authors, artists, or editors. Rather, it should link to articles that deal with sf in general terms, e.g., themes and genres. It cannot be any editor's list of "favorite pieces". RandomCritic (talk) 04:32, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
"Sf in other countries. aside from perhaps france and russia, how notable is this work?"
Just because some of us are not (or less) familiar with SF other than English language (and perhaps French and/or Russian), doesn't make others insignificant.
Every language with a dedicated page at Wikipedia concerning SF literature (maybe exists because it is notable enough to be mentioned) is important, because it brought its own contribution to the overall SF genre. Example: have you heard of/read (the novel)/seen (the films) Solaris by Stanisław Lem, Polish SF writer? Please do not confuse trimming with oversimplifying or omitting. Thanks for listening. ;-)
MDGx 10:39, 13 December 2011 (UTC)