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  #11  
Old 29th March 2018, 09:18 AM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by SMHFConvoy View Post
Jesus Christ, I'm so sick of the, "Female robots? Same sex relationships? It must be some sort of agenda." argument.
With the exception of Arcee, gender doesn't fit the xenobiology or xenopsychology of IDW's Cybertronians. Yet rather than distancing her own tendencies for anthropomorphism from things, Mairghread Scott publicly and baselessly accused Simon Furman of misogyny. Then she brought female Transformers - and by extension a naturally gendered Cybertronian race into this continuity. A naturally gendered Cybertronian race is at odds with the xenobiology and xenopsychology of the race. Scott did nothing to properly reconcile this massive inconsistency.

Scott has failed to reconcile this glaring plothole. Her scathing attack on Simon Furman could reasonably be taken as evidence that not only has she no desire to fix the glaring genre-based continuity issue, but regards any criticisms of this as "misogyny". As such, it is entirely reasonable to assert that gender being shoehorned into this particular continuity is a clear case of political agendas being put ahead of well-crafted storytelling.

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It has no place here.
Really, because last I checked, people were talking in these IDW threads of late about the downfall of the story and issues with the quality of storytelling. How does criticising bad anthropomorphism which puts story out of its genre, not fit with that.

Just because you're not a fan of an argument, doesn't mean it doesn't have a valid place in the wider conversation being had
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  #12  
Old 29th March 2018, 09:51 AM
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OK mate, this is obviously something that you feel strongly about and have put a lot of thought into. And I did read your post, though I wont address any particular points as it all comes down to as I said:

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There are no rules in fiction
Doesn't matter if its science fiction or fan fiction or erotic fiction - the fact it is fiction means anything goes. Of course that can make it bad fiction and we all certainly know there is plenty of that about. But you assume rules where none exist. There is no rule that Transformers cant have romantic feelings because they are not real. Doesn't fit into your philosophy of how Transformers should act and that's fine, but you must allow for others to feel differently.

You can discuss xenobiology and xenopsychology all you like, they are quite interesting subjects, but once again, you assume rules where none exist as this is fiction. You could argue for instance that greed should not exist in the early Cybertronian empire as there was more than enough energon to go around so greed serves no purpose in their society and as such should not exist, but that removes what is often a driving force for storylines and that is what these are - stories.

And yes, anthropomorphism exists in Transformers and it always will. One could argue that it is almost impossible to have Transformers without it. Readers and viewers need to be able to relate on some level to the characters. Greed, love, hate, jealousy, covetousness, anger, passion, social justice, honor, integrity - these are all for the most part essentially human characteristics. Without them you would just have a bunch of robots acting in such an alien (or perhaps simply robotic) fashion that it would alienate most fans. And most (not all) Transformers resemble humans in their main robot mode (bipedal, 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes, hands with opposable thumbs, head on top etc) because this is what the public can relate to best. If we were to look at Transformers at their core, there is no major reason any of them should appear humanoid - they could have fifteen arms and their heads in their torso's etc - but those toys are hard to put in heroic poses.

So mate, I appreciate your passion and yours is an interesting point of view. But that is all it is - a point of view - much like mine is, so please don't get cross if people don't agree with it and remember that there are no hard and fast rules in a completely fictitious universe. If we were to take fiction too seriously, then The Third Little Pig should not have been able to build his house with bricks as trotters lack the dexterity to handle a trowel

I hope you enjoy the reboot of the IDW'verse when it happens. Maybe it will fit more with your philosophy
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  #13  
Old 29th March 2018, 09:57 AM
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Bowspearer, Scott didn't bring female Transformers into continuity.

IDW and Hasbro did, Scott was hired to, which she did after Roberts and Barber wrote Dark Cybertron.
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  #14  
Old 29th March 2018, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
There are no rules in fiction.
That's not exactly true. There are rules for different genres. If this were Fantasy, then sure, you could take an "anything goes" approach, but with Science-Fiction, you're always going to find that there is a reasonable expectation and a convention that it adhere to the science of that world - even if the science involves things which are purely theoretical. Ergo where you could get away with Transformer pair-bondings period if it were fantasy or general fiction, with Science-Fiction it is going to come down to the xenobiology and xenopsychology of Cybertronians in that particular continuity.

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Doesn't fit into your philosophy of how Transformers should act and that's fine, but you must allow for others to feel differently.
I never said people couldn't enjoy it; if anything the reverse seems to be true. There appears is a complete lack of tolerance in the Transfan community for anyone who dares to take issue with the introduction of gender and relationships into the IDW continuity on the grounds of compatibility with the Cybertronian xenobiology and xenopsychology is somehow automatically a homophobic, transphobic misogynist.

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You can discuss xenobiology and xenopsychology all you like, they are quite interesting subjects, but once again, you assume rules where none exist as this is fiction.
Again, we're talking Science-fiction, not general fiction though and so there are certain conventions there - which in this case includes making sure that behaviours are congruent with the biology and psychology of a race.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
You could argue for instance that greed should not exist in the early Cybertronian empire as there was more than enough energon to go around so greed serves no purpose in their society and as such should not exist, but that removes what is often a driving force for storylines and that is what these are - stories.
Actually in the IDW universe there is a credible explanation for that. All life has a keen instinct for self-preservation and an argument could be made that jealousy is a darker manifestation of that impulse. This is where the concept of a Stage-6er becomes so crucial. In what would be a functionalist society, you have these 'uber-sparks' if you will, vastly superior. In a functionalist society, these will be seen as superior and practically worshipped by that society. Conversely, this will breed feelings of entitlement, superiority and contempt for lesser members of society by the Stage-6ers. This in turn will breed inferiority, mistrust and loathing. This will in turn out of self-preservation lead to things like hate, fear, greed and envy.

So actually even though we know these as human traits, they're something which the xenobiology and xenopsychology of IDW's Cybertron make not only possible, but arguably inevitable.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
And yes, anthropomorphism exists in Transformers and it always will. One could argue that it is almost impossible to have Transformers without it. Readers and viewers need to be able to relate on some level to the characters.
However there's good anthropomorphism and bad anthropomorphism when it comes to sci-fi. Good anthropomorphism doesn't clash with the existing xenobiology and xenopsychology of an alien race; bad anthropomorphism disregards them entirely.

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So mate, I appreciate your passion and yours is an interesting point of view. But that is all it is - a point of view - much like mine is, so please don't get cross if people don't agree with it and remember that there are no hard and fast rules in a completely fictitious universe. If we were to take fiction too seriously, then The Third Little Pig should not have been able to build his house with bricks as trotters lack the dexterity to handle a trowel
As I said, the notion of there being no rules simply doesn't apply to Science-fiction as a genre and there's no getting around that. However that doesn't mean that everyone is going to have the same level of enjoyment out of things, or be bugged to the same level by it. Like I said I'm on the Spectrum, so I'm open to this being a quirk of mine as I could picture Sheldon Cooper doing the same thing. Likewise, there's nothing to say that people can't suspend their awareness of the rules of science-fiction being breached and enjoy romances in IDW's Transformers in the same way they would a human romance or there being naturally occurring genders in a universe which is completely incompatible with it. People's right to enjoy it in that matter should absolutely be respected.

However the same has to be true of those people who are critical of it because it fails to adhere to the rules of science fiction where it once did. That can't happen when people are too busy reading what they want to read and crying "misogyny" or "white supremacist" at every turn - because they're only willing to respect and engage in discussion with those who adhere to their political ideology lock, stock and barrel in an unquestioning manner.
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  #15  
Old 29th March 2018, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
As I said, the notion of there being no rules simply doesn't apply to Science-fiction as a genre and there's no getting around that.
No, I'm sorry but that statement is untrue. There are things that Science-fiction should have in it to make it good science-fiction, but there are no concrete rules stating how science-fiction has to go - except it should contain elements of science/technology and of course be fictitious.

I obviously however am going to be unable to convince you of this premise so will not insult you further by trying to change your mind regarding something you have made up your mind regarding. Good luck to you.
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  #16  
Old 29th March 2018, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SMHFConvoy View Post
Bowspearer, Scott didn't bring female Transformers into continuity.
Actually, with the exception of Arcee, she did and Arcee has a fundamentally different origin than Windblade and every single female Cybertronian in IDW. Where Arcvee makes sense in a gaiasexual Cybertron as the product of genetic experimentation, the other female Transformers simply have a "they've always been there" explanation and origin, which is completely incompatible with the xenobiology and xenopsychology of IDW Cybertronians, as compared to say, Sunbow Cybertronians.

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Originally Posted by SMHFConvoy View Post
IDW and Hasbro did, Scott was hired to, which she did after Roberts and Barber wrote Dark Cybertron.
Even if you're going to make that argument, you still have the issue of the way she went about it and her very public statements on the issue. It's not simply a matter that she failed to recognise a fundamental incompatibility between the notions of naturally gendered (as opposed to naturally functioned) Cybertronians and a gaiasexual Cybertronian race. Her attacks on Simon Furman make it clear that she is hostile to recognising the incompatibility to the point where as her tirade against Simon Furman suggests, she clearly believes that Furman and anyone who enjoyed that story, are nothing but a pack of hateful misogynists who must view all women as no different to science experiments from The Island of Dr Moreau.

That makes her a very poor choice to introduce gender into IDW as it requires someone who can set their own feelings and political agendas aside long enough to put the story first and reconcile that incompatibility in a manner which works for a piece of Science-fiction; Scott failed woefully at doing so on every level.
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  #17  
Old 29th March 2018, 11:13 AM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
No, I'm sorry but that statement is untrue. There are things that Science-fiction should have in it to make it good science-fiction, but there are no concrete rules stating how science-fiction has to go - except it should contain elements of science/technology and of course be fictitious.
You've contradicted yourself here a little. Like you said, there are certain conventions that science-fiction needs to adhere to for it to be good science-fiction; the moment it fails to adhere to those it can rightly be criticised as bad science-fiction. That logically implies that there are indeed a set of rules for science-fiction which must be adhered to if it is to be deemed good science fiction. That therefore further implies that there are a set of rules which science fiction writers should adhere to.

You've said science-fiction:
Quote:
should contain elements of science/technology and of course be fictitious.
However that omits one thing. Good science-fiction should always make sure that its story is compatible with whatever science and technology it has present. Those scientific phenomenon might be utterly fantastical to our current understandings of science, however the characters in that universe should be as bound to them as we are by the laws of physics. That means, to bring this full circle, that if the biology of a particular alien race is set up to have certain characteristics, that it should endeavour to portray characters from alien races in a manner which are consistent with those characteristics.

Like I said, the problem with naturally occurring gender and pair-bonding being introduced out of nowhere and to a version of Cybertronians which they are incompatible with, is that it takes it from the realms of good science-fiction, to bad science-fiction, that is trying to be fantasy without realising it.

And btw, you're not upsetting me, I'm actually enjoying having a rational discussion on this without certain parties baselessly villifying me as a member of the alt-right.
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  #18  
Old 29th March 2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
You've contradicted yourself here a little. Like you said, there are certain conventions that science-fiction needs to adhere to for it to be good science-fiction; the moment it fails to adhere to those it can rightly be criticised as bad science-fiction. That logically implies that there are indeed a set of rules for science-fiction which must be adhered to if it is to be deemed good science fiction. That therefore further implies that there are a set of rules which science fiction writers should adhere to.
No contradiction. I'm not making a differentiation between good and bad science-fiction, I am saying that, besides containing science/technology and being fictitious there are no rules stating how it has to go in order for it to be considered science-fiction. Therefore Transformers romance does not break any sci-fi rules.

Whether it is good or bad science-fiction is usually in the eye of the reader, but yes I personally think there are things that should go in to make it good - in my opinion. But it's just my opinion - my opinion is not fact no matter how much I may believe in it.


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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
Like I said, the problem with naturally occurring gender and pair-bonding being introduced out of nowhere and to a version of Cybertronians which they are incompatible with, is that it takes it from the realms of good science-fiction, to bad science-fiction, that is trying to be fantasy without realising it.
Which is your opinion. The opinion of some others here differ. What can be good science-fiction to one person can be bad-science fiction to another. So you think gender and romance have been handled poorly in IDW and that's fair enough. Personally I liked it for the most part, I didn't think it was bad fiction. But then I didn't like the Onslaught/Blast Off romance as it didn't ring true, I know there are others in this thread/on this site who feel completely differently to me.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion - in fiction there are rarely any absolutes.

Anyway mate, I'm taking my kids to their Easter Bonnett parade at Preschool now and then camping tonight so don't take it the wrong way if I do not engage in this debate further as time will preclude me from doing so - as I said, good luck to you.
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  #19  
Old 29th March 2018, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
No contradiction. I'm not making a differentiation between good and bad science-fiction, I am saying that, besides containing science/technology and being fictitious there are no rules stating how it has to go in order for it to be considered science-fiction. Therefore Transformers romance does not break any sci-fi rules.
That's just it. There are conventions with good science-fiction - namely that it adheres completely to the laws of science set up in that particular universe. In other universes, like say, Beast Wars, romance is compatible with it, but not this one. So in breaking continuity with its own laws of science - in this case biology, it is technically bad science fiction for failing to fully adhere to the rules of the genre.

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Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
Whether it is good or bad science-fiction is usually in the eye of the reader, but yes I personally think there are things that should go in to make it good - in my opinion. But it's just my opinion - my opinion is not fact no matter how much I may believe in it.

Which is your opinion. The opinion of some others here differ. What can be good science-fiction to one person can be bad-science fiction to another. So you think gender and romance have been handled poorly in IDW and that's fair enough. Personally I liked it for the most part, I didn't think it was bad fiction. But then I didn't like the Onslaught/Blast Off romance as it didn't ring true, I know there are others in this thread/on this site who feel completely differently to me.
I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, but I'd assert that you're conflating how enjoyable or well written a story is with how well it works as science-fiction. I can think of at least one example going completely in the opposite direction. With IDW, there's no doubt the characters have been well-written, plenty of people have found it enjoyable and there were some well-written plot-points. However it fails as sci-fi for failing to stay within the rules of science it established for itself.

Conversely take 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's hard science-fiction and is absolutely compatible with the laws of science it set up for itself. In that regard, it dots every 'i' and crosses every 't', figuratively speaking. However the scene with Dave being taken through the wormhole, literally put me to sleep when I was wide awake before that.

Essentially how well something works within a genre and things like characterisations, plot, etc, are two different things. Like you said, everyone is going to have a different opinion on things, but that's largely because everyone is going to take something different from it and be focused on different things. However that doesn't mean there aren't objective yardsticks which people can measure aspects of a piece of fiction by and either praise or criticise them accordingly.
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  #20  
Old 29th March 2018, 12:15 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Please don't make me close another comic topic.
Ignore people who don't agree with your personal opinions or won't see your perspective on things.
While I certainly appreciate your concern, I don't see this turning into a repeat of that thread at this point. Yes there's some disagreement, but if anything BigTransformerTrev and I are having a rational, civil discussion where there's absolutely no ill-feeling involved. Unless someone enters out of left field to throw a spanner in the works, I can't see this thread being a repeat of the other one.
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