On Fictional Realism

atatI’m currently on the third book of a science fiction trilogy that has started to drag a bit for me, because we’re in a section involving military battles and things keep happening that make no damn sense.  It is sci-fi, and not hard scie-fi, so to an extent one can get away with a hand wave and a muttering about “advanced technology”, but at some point internal consistency breaks down and there just seems to be no reason for the various antagonists in the war to do what they’re doing.

So I was interested to read this breakdown of the various tactical and strategic errors in the Battle of Hoth.  I admit I’d never thought of these problems before (Han Solo bragging about making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs had always bugged me, since that is a unit of distance, but the Empire Strikes Back always seemed a bit more internally consistent).  But all authors should take this as a cautionary tale – if the Empire Strikes Back can be picked apart, what can’t?

Oh, also – if you are riding a tauntaun and find yourself in danger of freezing, don’t cut it open and crawl inside.  It just won’t work.



~ by smwilliams on February 19, 2013.

2 Responses to “On Fictional Realism”

  1. Interesting article over at i09. Frankly, I would have just eaten the tauntaun before it froze.

    • Well, I don’t know that Luke was all that hungry. Apparently, a priest in the real world actually did this with his horse back in 1860, and it sort of worked in that he survived, but he lost a leg due to frostbite (I’m guessing it wouldn’t fit?) One does wonder how he would have fared if he’d just cuddled up with the horse (assuming it hadn’t just keeled over like the tauntaun) – there is a real lack of control in the experiment.

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