I recently asked this question about The Truman Show. There are three close votes saying it’s off-topic. Is The Truman Show a work of science fiction or fantasy?

  • 1
    The comments there explain it all, it's definitely on-topic. If someone's up to copy-paste them into an answer...
    – Jenayah
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 22:50
  • 5
    Three close votes, and a general consensus in comments that it's on-topic? Come back when it actually gets closed :-P
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 4:59
  • 2
    I'd be interested to see who voted to close it though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 7:06
  • 7
    @Randal'Thor I wanted something to ping the close voters with, so I wrote this. Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Valorum: Your wish is my command (although, frankly, I'm not entirely clear on what you plan to do with that information...).
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 5:06
  • 2
    @Stormblessed You're missing my point, which is that it wasn't really necessary to write a meta post when the discussion had already been had in comments with consensus against the close-voters, and the question was never actually closed. It's just a way to get free meta points ;-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 15:40
  • 4
    @Randal'Thor Meta is the place to get site policies ironed out. It is a place visible to the whole community, rather than just in context of a single question. Comments are for clarification of the question/answer and can be deleted at any time, they aren't meant to be long-term storage for off/on-topic discussions. In fact, given this meta exists the comments there should probably be purged now.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 5:50
  • @Randal'Thor agreeing with Robotnik—people don't seem to care about comments. Valorum's question, posted after there were a lot of comments posted on mine, still got two close votes on it very quickly. As you know, moderators love to delete comments. Meta stays a lot longer. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 14:09
  • 4
    @Stormblessed - There also seems to be a hard core of 'Truman = Not sci-fi' users who're busily downvoting any question about the film and close-voting. Having a Meta consensus means that unsure users can post their Truman Show questions with confidence.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 16:00
  • 3
    @Randal'Thor There is no such thing as "free meta points", since meta sites don't grant any reputation.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 18:21
  • @IMSoP Well technically you get "meta points" as in badge progression.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 8:22

1 Answer 1



Many things make this film on-topic. A few:

  • The giant dome built that a whole (fake) city fits in.
    • It is shown that real lighting storms can be created in it.
  • It’s pretty dystopian.
    • Truman is effectively owned by the company making the show, and they have gotten away for it for 30 years.
    • Even without tech like the dome, dystopias are on-topic here.
  • According to Valorum’s answer to my question on Main, a magazine is shown out of the dome as having a date of 1999—the movie is from 1998—so it obviously takes place at least a year in the future.
  • Wikipedia describes it as a "satirical science fiction film".
  • 14
    Yeah agreed with most of that except for the last point. "One year into the future" isn't really sci-fi per se. If I write a police investigation novel set in 2671 there will most likely be sci-fi elements, if it's set in 2020, meh. My point being​, a single year gap doesn't seem enough to guarantee SFFness
    – Jenayah
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 23:21
  • @Jen I guess so. Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 23:59
  • Wikipedia describes it as a "1998 American satirical science fiction film", so yes it's on topic
    – fez
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 8:00
  • 5
    @fez - Fan0edited Wikipedia says whatever you tell it to say. I could just as easily edit it to say that the Truman show is a "1994 pudding cup with extra sprinkles"
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 8:04
  • 5
    @Valorum - fan edited yes, but in my experience an edit like that would get reverted back pretty quickly. Additionally, IMDB has it as: Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi. Googling "the truman show genre" shows Science fiction and fantasy among others. So it's not just coming from Wikipedia. Rotten Tomatoes does only describe it as Comedy/Drama though
    – fez
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 8:13
  • @Fez - I've found a much better way is to look to see how the makers describe it and how it was marketed
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 8:24
  • @Valorum - fair enough, I agree that trumps any website that could describe it as anything they want
    – fez
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 8:26
  • @Valorum the source is a Popular Mechanics article, so I guess it's correct. Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 14:18
  • 1
    @Jenayah does a story that takes place in 2671 ,but not use any science fiction elements at all, as if it was in 2019, guarantees SFFness? Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 8:31
  • @atayenel probably not. Depends on how it's presented I'd say. Not sure why a writer would set up a story so far in the future, not too have society evolved a tad bit. That'd seem like an odd choice of writing
    – Jenayah
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 8:42
  • 2
    @Jenayah - If a story was set hundreds of years into the future, but had an entirely contemporary (2019) setting, the fact that it's an anachronistic setting would raise a whole bunch of entirely on-topic questions.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 22:57
  • 1
    @Valorum RE: Wikipedia could say that The Truman Show is a pudding cup. We should be careful not to make overly exaggerated claims. While the accuracy of information on Wikipedia is still hotly debated, outright ridiculous claims are caught very quickly. When editing an existing article, that becomes even more hastily rectified. Your argument was probably intended to be "just because it's on Wikipedia doesn't make it true", which was perfectly meritorious on its own without any embellishment.
    – Brian R
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Stormblessed - Why in particular would you expect a journalist with no connection to the film to have anything more than a relatively informed opinion on the subject? You say "Popular Mechanics" as if it's more than a glossy mag with clickbait articles.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:48
  • 1
    @Valorum well I’m saying that it’s not something one random person just put on the article with no source. Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 18:00
  • 6
    the intense storm they manufacture in the climax alone could count as sci-fi
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 18:00

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