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View Full Version : Do you prefer to read or watch Sci-Fi/Fantasy?



Major Clanger
April 27th, 2004, 11:30 AM
Any preference? Or is it dependent on your mood and/or what's currently available.

I have to admit that I prefer to read any day, although often if the 'Sci' is too real for me in a book, I put it down and reach for the TV remote.

Shipperahoy
April 27th, 2004, 02:48 PM
I prefer to read it because then I can project my own visual images of what I think the places and people described in the books really look like. I love a good original Sci-Fi or fantasy movie but if they make a movie based on a book I really love then I'll usually skip the movie because it's almost always a huge disapointment. Case in point. Dune. It was a pretty good movie and I probably would have loved it if I hadn't read the book but the book was so much better.

SeaBee
May 1st, 2004, 06:16 AM
I prefer reading, mainly because few of my fav. stories have been made into films yet, and when they are they are nearly unrecognisable. A case in point is "Running Man". The book is dark and disturbing, and involves a man playing a game show for money, and who eventually dies. The film, however has Arnie in and is, IMO, junk.

Likewise I love the James Bond books but, apart from a few of the earlier ones, can't be bothered with the films.

I think a lot of the problem is that film makers have to try to fit several hours of story into a couple hours of film, and they either rip the guts out of the book (Dune or Battlefield Earth) or they completely re-write the story until it bears no resemblance to the book.

Sorry to go into a rant about this, but the entire suject has bugged me for years!
:mad:

Major Clanger
May 1st, 2004, 09:47 AM
Up until very recently I've never ever found any way of reconciling what I've read with what I see on the screen (James Bond being a really god case in point). I avoided LOTR because of that, it being my favourite novel and all, but eventually curiosity got the better of me.

I deal with that by seeing them as two separate things (that, and the fact that the Aragorn and Gandalf they cast are the spitting image of the Aragorn & Gandalf who live in my head)

But in general, I'd rather stick pins in my eyeballs than watch the dramatisation of a novel.

angsty_otaku
May 1st, 2004, 10:51 AM
i guess it really depends. stargate and xfiles books are generally disappointing but peter david trek books tend to be better than the shows. asimov books are definately books that i could not see as a movie...and lotr well...they have hot guys >.<

xathras
May 1st, 2004, 01:18 PM
I generally prefer to read- mainly because there is far more intelligent sci-fi/ fantasy in print than has been created for either the large or small screens.

For watching, I prefer material that was NOT originally a book. The adaptations are rarely done well. Peter Jackson's LotR was the first acceptable adaptation of those books. I'd like to see if he could do as good a job with other classic novels of the genre.

aAnubiSs
May 1st, 2004, 03:08 PM
I like to watch :P

Mostly because I am such a VFX geek, I love those nice looking spaceships in B5!

Chookgate
May 1st, 2004, 04:13 PM
I prefer reading, but mainly because there is more available to read than to watch. The trouble with the majority of sf/fantasy is it is expensive to make a good believable film from a book, and for some reason film makers always feel the need to change the story. Eg Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep was barely recognisable in Blade Runner - and the film completely missed the point of the book. Soylent Green was almost a parody of Make Room, Make Room, and who could follow 2001 A Space Odyssey without having read the book.

I enjoy original SF on TV and Film though - ie stories that were made into film before the book was written - eg Star Wars, Stargate, Farscape etc.

bcmilco
May 1st, 2004, 04:29 PM
I really enjoy reading books because my imagination is wonderful :) Plus there is so much more that can happen because there is no SFX budget to worry about, nor is there a time limit of 2 - 3 hrs. ;)

For what ever reason I never got around to reading Dune until after I saw the SciFi version. After I read the books I got the movies and watched them again and my reaction this time was one of disapointment.

I really liked the LOTR movies but it's been years since I read the books.

So I do enjoy a good movie, but I prefer a good book most of the time. :)

Norlioness
May 2nd, 2004, 07:48 AM
I like to watch, then read the Sci-fi/Fantasy books. Watching the original Star Trek series got me started reading the ST novels, oh way, way, way back.

I'm glad I saw the LOTR movies, then read the books. The movies were fantastic, and then reading the books after, made the stories even better, as events and characters were described in more details that were not in the movies.

Just finished reading The Silmarillion - am totally confused at first read with the gadzillion characters and geneologies of Gods, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits and Men. Have re-read many of the chapters again, and it's getting better the second time around.

angsty_otaku
May 3rd, 2004, 01:53 PM
sometimes sci-fil movies and shows can get a tad disappointing, filled with nothing but pointless effects and cheesy characters...then again that happens for books too...but you can read the cheesy books for free and build up on vocab. whereas you have to pay the electrical bills for the tv or money for a movie ticket (cough cough nemesis...what a sad ending >.<). plus i want to see people just try to make asimov books into movies...just try. the beauty in the foundation series isn't just the "scifi" but it's the writing style and the imagery...the ability to think of what everything looks like while reading...>.<

Aadizookaan
May 3rd, 2004, 04:09 PM
Any preference? Or is it dependent on your mood and/or what's currently available.

I have to admit that I prefer to read any day, although often if the 'Sci' is too real for me in a book, I put it down and reach for the TV remote.
I prefer to watch - its the eye candy - vfx and cast. However, if and I say IF, there is no available sci-fi to watch I'll read it - books, fan fic, etc. I've stopped with the reading thing, it makes me fall behind in all other things not sci-fi such as work.

Supreme Commander Thor
May 5th, 2004, 12:57 AM
I like both watching and reading. These days I do tend to watch more because it is much faster than reading and I don't have much spare time. But I DO still love reading and will do it as time permits. As long as I get my fill of Sci-fi/Fantasy in some way I am good to go!

Anthro Girl
May 5th, 2004, 02:06 AM
I like to read sci-fi/fan, but find it very difficult to get good recommendations. Not that the books recommended (or reviewed) aren't good, it's just that I think appeal in sci-fi/fan is very, very personalized...a lot more than in other genres. I love sci-fi/fan movies and prefer ones that are NOT based on novels, but LOTR has got to be one of the best film adaptations I've seen since Silence of the Lambs. If the story in a movie is so-so, I generally enjoy the production and the effects...or shooting the plot holes. :)

It isn't really a read-or-watch scenario...more like read some things and watch others. I believe the written word is so much more expressive than the visual media and the mind is capable of fleshing out a personalized version of the story that may not be explicity written. You just can't get all that is in a written story onto the screen and then the screen is put in the position of having to live up to those personalized expectations. However, since visual representations are so strong, they can "ruin" the mind's eye. (i.e., I will watch the feature version of Cat in the Hat when monkeys fly out of my...oh nevermind.) :p

Speaking of Asimov, I, Robot is coming out this summer and I fear yet another disappointment. :(

KatG
May 5th, 2004, 06:23 AM
I prefer to read it because then I can project my own visual images of what I think the places and people described in the books really look like. I love a good original Sci-Fi or fantasy movie but if they make a movie based on a book I really love then I'll usually skip the movie because it's almost always a huge disapointment. Case in point. Dune. It was a pretty good movie and I probably would have loved it if I hadn't read the book but the book was so much better.

I agree about Dune. At least the version released in the theater. Because they had to cut it to just a little over two hours, there was way too much stuff left out. In fact, if you hadn't read the book beforehand, you were left wondering about a lot of things, as hubs was. I was able to find a book that explained a lot of the background for him, then we went to see it again and it made more sense. It was much better when the Director's cut came out. It was the full length version that was originally filmed, and explained so much more. It's a shame they couldn't have released that one in the theaters.

jenniferhailey
May 5th, 2004, 07:39 AM
Hmm I cheat. I like reading scifi books and teen books like "Wicca" which is a very good teen series. But I usually read the Buffy or Angel novels. I love those!

And when it comes to LOTR, I read them as I watched the films. I didn't read Return of the King so I didn't spoil the ending of the film lol!

But I prefer to watch, generally. :)

And write. Fan fic.

Supreme Commander Thor
May 5th, 2004, 08:38 AM
BTW - Two series of Sci-fi books I have read in the last year are the Otherland Series (4 books total by Tad Williams) and the Hyperion Series (4 books total by Dan Simmons). Both were excellent!

MagnoliaAnaglypta
May 5th, 2004, 03:01 PM
Any preference? Or is it dependent on your mood and/or what's currently available.

I have to admit that I prefer to read any day....


If I had all the time in the world, I would read. I would read all of those books that I haven't had the chance to over the last decade or so. But the bottom line is, a thousand page book (and sci fi/fantasy books do tend to be quite long) takes a minimum of six hours to read - and that's really motoring - wheras a film is an hour and a half. A book demands that you take quiet time to think about it afterwards, a film usually doesn't.

I'm usually quite leery about watching adaptations of books that I have read and loved. I thought Dune was pretty bad - and the sci fi channel's attempt didn't impress me much either, although their Dune:Messiah/Children of Dune combined sequel DID impress me, and I can sum up the reason in two words: Alice Krige... anyway... I have to say that there were some visualisations in the Lord of the Rings films which were way better than I had imagined when reading the books. That probably speaks more to my own visualisation skills than anything else, but a really well done film like LOTR sometimes helps to firm up my ideas of what something looks like which can enrich my reading experience if I go back and open the book again.

anubis3355
May 5th, 2004, 03:39 PM
ilike to see...............well is it because im lazy??? well who knows.y en fin....siempre si leo un libro(por lo que casi nunca) luego veo la pelicula y se me ase muy corta y sin un fin que quede aca muy misterioso.....todo se descubre!! :eek:

anubis3355
May 5th, 2004, 03:40 PM
whatever........

Supreme Commander Thor
May 7th, 2004, 12:28 AM
ilike to see...............well is it because im lazy??? well who knows.y en fin....siempre si leo un libro(por lo que casi nunca) luego veo la pelicula y se me ase muy corta y sin un fin que quede aca muy misterioso.....todo se descubre!! :eek:
heheheh... you been watching Dora the Explorer, haven't you!?!?!?!

ReplicatorX
May 7th, 2004, 06:26 AM
They are both as good as each other but if I had to pick i'd have to say Sci-Fi.

As for reading or watching; I'm not much of a reader period. well actually I don't read any novels at all, if i'm going to read something, it'll be comics :)

spg_1983
May 7th, 2004, 07:35 AM
it really depends for me. generally if the books are based on a scifi tv show or movie i dislike the books (with the grand exception of the Star Wars novels, I have read every single one to date) but if the books came first i tend to prefer the books, not to say i dont like the show/movie i just like the books better. im a huge fan of cheesy B scifi movies and shows but that is really more just out of amusement. Geneally i prefer scifi books over movies/shows simply because it is very hard to do sci fi right and not have it sem really corny or unbelievable in the movies'television.

Spaceminx
May 7th, 2004, 10:50 AM
On the whole I tend to watch more SF than I read, mostly because of lack of time and a lack of patience. And a book isn't a shared experience like a film is(unless you go to a book club I suppose).

But books go into more detail and I'm not judging them on anything other than the story. A film could have a good story but if the acting/directing etc is cr*p then I'm too busy thinking about that than the plot. And someone should tell George Lucas that SFX alone do not make a good film. Try having a plot and some decent actors matey. Ep 2 was the biggest pile of poo I've seen in a long time. Anyway, I digress....

Everyone *must* read War of the Worlds. Its absolutely bloody marvellous. ;)

SkyDancer
May 7th, 2004, 11:06 AM
Well... it depends on how well the movie/serie is made AND how well it is cast!!

But i never could put a good book down, and FX and eyecandy is one thing, but it will NEVER replace a vivid imagination. Besides in most movies/series they never get the details right.....

Sela
May 8th, 2004, 11:52 PM
I love to read. I love to watch movies on TV. I can read the book and watch the movie or vice-versa and like both for different reasons.

A great example is the Lord of The Rings. I've been reading those books off and on since I was in high school and was sure the movies would not measure up to the pictures in my mind. If asked, I would have cast the film differently and put more emphasis on Bilbo as opposed to Fordo. But when I saw it, it was great - it was exactly right.

Another great thing is books on tape / CD. With an hour long commute both ways to work, I listen to a look of sci-fi in the car.

joker_smile
May 10th, 2004, 12:12 PM
I like to watch it better than read it. I'm more of a person who needs to see stuff in order to understand what's going on. :cool:

Elwe Singollo
May 10th, 2004, 01:22 PM
I like to watch it as well.

gateslacker
May 15th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Well, I guess I could say both. When I read, it is most often something in the sci-fi genre and when I watch TV/Movies, it is most often in the sci-fi genre. I believe that reading allows you a more in depth view of the character but, at the same time, watching really enhances the visual aspect of a story (naturally).

In my opinion, when it comes to books made into feature film or TV, it is best, if you are able, to read the book after viewing. I know this isn't an option most times but sometimes a feature film can entice me to read a book I had never read. For some reason I am more disappointed in a film/TV show if I have read the book first. I think the only exception I have ever encountered is TNT's telling of The Mists of Avalon.

I forgot to ask.....are we including fanfic in this question? :p

auralan
May 16th, 2004, 05:29 PM
I prefer to read. When I'm watching, I tend to spend too much time focused on the effects. The CGI still looks too much like CGI. Models often have scale issues. Actually, many kinds of effects have scale issues once they're blended into scenes. I notice things like that and it pulls me out of the story as I try to figure out why something looks not quite right. Maybe one day effects will be seamless enough that I won't have that issue, but they're not there yet.

ShadowMaat
May 16th, 2004, 06:19 PM
I read it, I watch it, I write it, I occasionally dream it. ;) Will take scifi any way I can get it. :D Although I have a very low tolerance for dreck, so I won't read or watch anything just because it has aliens in it or something. I have to like the concept or the storyline or the author/director. I've made exceptions, of course, but in general I prefer quality over quantity. :)

As for fics... I'll write 'em occasionally when I'm motivated, but I generally don't read them because I'm excessively anal about things like grammar and characterization and because a lot of fics are written by- if you'll forgive me- non-writers. Sure, there's plenty of great fic out there writen by fabulous authors, but on a general level I just can't be bothered to dig through and find the good stuff. Besides, nost of the really good stuff seems to be shippy, and I loathe ship. :P

Authors I like: Connie Willis, Terry Pratchett, David Weber, Ian Douglas. Oh, and Jasper Fforde and some of Robert J Sawyer.
Fave scifi movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Abyss, Galaxy Quest, Men in Black. Also the Day the Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide.

Shipperahoy
May 17th, 2004, 10:51 PM
I read it, I watch it, I write it, I occasionally dream it. ;) Will take scifi any way I can get it. :D Although I have a very low tolerance for dreck, so I won't read or watch anything just because it has aliens in it or something. I have to like the concept or the storyline or the author/director. I've made exceptions, of course, but in general I prefer quality over quantity. :)

So I guess that means you won't be watching Boa vs. Python just to see a long-haired somewhat buff looking David Hewlitt? I don't like the uber cheesy sci-fi much myself.

ShadowMaat
May 18th, 2004, 04:42 AM
So I guess that means you won't be watching Boa vs. Python just to see a long-haired somewhat buff looking David Hewlitt? I don't like the uber cheesy sci-fi much myself.

Welll... as I said, I DO make exceptions. ;) But in a case like that, I'd probably watch just long enough to see his scene (or a scene with him in it, which will hopefully be near the beginning) and then change the channel again. ;)

If he's buff enough looking, I could tolerate two scenes. :D

Never said I wasn't shallow... hehe

Tok'Ra Hostess
May 18th, 2004, 07:03 AM
Up until very recently I've never ever found any way of reconciling what I've read with what I see on the screen

I deal with that by seeing them as two separate things.


So,... these movies are just fanfics of the books, right? :D


[/QUOTE]
But in general, I'd rather stick pins in my eyeballs than watch the dramatisation of a novel.[/QUOTE]


Ah, yes, I see; you want to create your own drama and special effects.... ;)

Margaret
May 18th, 2004, 10:41 AM
I am so tired of watching shoot-em-ups that I went to the library and got a book. And a copy of Discover magazine. I am so disgusted with television sci-fi these days.

MasterPower
August 5th, 2004, 04:27 PM
I'd like to watch it of course.
Stargate episodes just don't compare to their books.

Mio
August 5th, 2004, 05:17 PM
Scifi I usualy like to watch.

Fantasy, I don't care.

aschen
August 5th, 2004, 05:19 PM
I like to watch scifi cuz I like to see their unique vision. Especially if they put out a movie, I'm always dissapointed.

DownFallAngel
August 5th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Scifi I usualy like to watch.

Fantasy, I don't care.


Same here. I used to read those Star Wars jedi Knight books, but they got boring really fast.

AgentX
August 5th, 2004, 06:14 PM
I think that when both (book and tv) are of excellent quality then they are equally as enjoyable. I can get engrossed equally in a great episode of SG1 or other SciFi TV as I can in a great SciFi Novel. I can sit on the couch and watch 6 hrs of SG1 (9 Episodes) continuously, just as easily as I can sit and read Ender's Game in a sitting. It all depends on quality. That being said I haven't read a SciFi book since March (Reading "The Code Book now"..really good) and still watch at least an hour of SciFi TV a day. Go figure.

Zalax Zal
August 6th, 2004, 02:30 PM
I like to read or watch Sci-fi or fantasy stuff. I like to read more because well...my mind can visualize all the stuff better. Like how magic or fire comes out of something. You know. Crap like that.

Zal