Here is a segment from the 1977 1997 SciFi Channel show SF Vortex, in which Harlan Ellison, J. Michael Straczynski, Herb Solow, and Yvonne Fern discuss the meaning of the terms “science fiction” and “SciFi”.

And the Harlan says: “‘Sci-Fi’ is a debasement.”

For what it’s worth, the original Ellison article that sparked this discussion, Strangers In A Strange Land, is available in the Newsweek archives: “‘Sci-Fi’ is…a simplistic, pulp-fiction view of the world exemplified by the movie Independence Day, which warps our curiosity about the possibility of other life in the universe into an apocalyptic Saturday-morning cartoon.”

I’m not one to haggle over labels, but is this still the predominant sentiment? Personally, I see no derogatory connotations in the term SciFi. Actually, I use the term “SciFi” to refer to science fiction films and I use the terms “science fiction” or “sf” for science fiction books. Sounds like the problem comes not from the people in the field, but the perception from people not in the field.

[via Wandering Attention]

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