3

It's a vast media universe (super big comic strip, TV animated series) that has talking intelligent animals (Dogbert, Ratbert), imaginary futuristic technology (advanced AIs and robots), people being resurrected from death and most fantastical, Dilbert getting dates.

Seems like it is on-topic based on the above?

||||||
  • 1
    Ehhh... Probably. I think Talking Animals has been discussed in Meta before and deemed not enough, but other things fall under sci-fi. Like other borderline works that are "mostly modern w/ a splash of wierd", if a question's not including the sci-fi elements (like a question about the corporation, or that boss' hair products), it's probably off topic. – Radhil Oct 11 '16 at 1:39
10

Sometimes

When it comes to works with some science fiction and fantasy elements, this answer lays out our general policy. It is possible for a work to have a minor sci-fi or fantasy element, but still be off-topic for most questions.

Let’s see how Dilbert fares according to the criteria in that answer:

  1. If it’s marketed as SF, it’s on-topic.

Dilbert is not marketed as science fiction.

  1. If magic, futuristic science or technology, alternate history, or other sf-nal concept is an important part of the overall plot, it’s on-topic. (Alice in Wonderland, Clockwork Orange, etc.)

I think Dilbert fails this test. By and large, Dilbert is a mundane office comedy. It has occasional talking animals, which has by itself not been deemed enough to make a work fantasy or science fiction. In particular, the talking animals simply play out American corporate culture. There’s no weird talking animal society. The occasional appearance of a robot or time travel as a one-off joke does not put the whole strip into the realm of speculative fiction. The main plot is one where the status quo is God, and does not depend on the speculative technology that occasionally appears.

Basically:

  1. If there is a minor supernatural element (e.g. a fortune teller’s prediction comes true, or someone sees a ghost, or a story for children involving anthropomorphic animals) but it’s just a throwaway plot element that’s not particularly relevant to the question, it’s off-topic.

That said, we should remember this:

  1. If the question is specifically about an sf-nal element, even if it’s only a minor part of the work, it’s on-topic.

A question about a speculative element of Dilbert will always be on-topic. If someone wants to know how Asok’s psychic powers work, or how Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light is related to the Pointy-Haired Boss, that should be allowed.

||||||

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .