Current background image is also nice. But, it looks like something magical, old & religious. The tech touch is missing or overwritten. The image is full of interstellar space & two planets. But, this drawing around surface of planet makes everything creepy..
religious drawing
Such type of drawings were used to calculate future & interstellar distance in deep past (The Astrology touch). It makes me think that the interstellar space doesn't belong to Star Trek type canon, but something from old primitive fantasy or magic canon.
So, nothing is picked from fast track & future science fiction. Why is non-science fiction based fantasy part dominating?

Please support if you're fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Andromeda, Terminator, Transformers etc.

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    It looks like the site design has been discussed already - meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/554/… I would guess there would have to be a large consensus to change at this point. – NorbyTheGeek Jan 26 '12 at 20:20
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    While I agree that the site's design does appear to weigh heavily on the fantasy side in some aspects (at least in some general shapes and the background color palette), a site redesign one month after leaving beta would likely be harmful to the identity of the site. But I could support a redesign at some point, perhaps in a year or more. – Xantec Jan 26 '12 at 20:42
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    @NorbyTheGeek What this mean: The design innovation should be stopped for next hundred years?? – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:44
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    @Xantec That doesn't make sense.. Its the quality (with site functions), involved people & content which is real identity! Google's identity is intact even when it changes its LOGO (main identity) on several occasions.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:53
  • @Xantec This site's function & layout will atleast be same... Google changes its search result layouts, left navigation menu etc. every month.. but, still its identity is same.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:55
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    To all down voters: If you're not agree, you can point it in your answer.. Down votes on meta questions are reasonable when its not clear or misleading.. But, it still has gotten down votes.. Do you know what this mean: You may be smarter & open-minded on main QnA site, but here.. you're in your denial mode.. with narrow-minded thinking.. to stop changes... – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 5:06
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    @SachinShekhar down votes on meta questions are commonly used to indicate disagreement with a proposal, even though this is inconsistent with how the parent site works, and often (not in this case) unclear. – Tony Meyer Jan 27 '12 at 6:42
  • @TonyMeyer Thanks for introducing to meta culture.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:54
  • But, down voters must give atleast 1 point to indicate disagreement so that it could be resolved.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:55
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    Google is a very poor comparison to make in this case. Google has been around for years. It has an established name, location and identity, regardless of what it looks like. When it first launched rarely did the front page or the search result layout change. Now, even the changing logo is part of the site's identity. Unless we intend to do something similar, for our site to have a new color scheme or background image every day (or week or month etc), it is a better idea, IMO, to avoid a redesign at this time. – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 13:26
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    Its the quality (with site functions), involved people & content which is real identity! This is easy to say when you've been a member of the site or the StackExchange network for a long time. For someone only just discovering the site it will invariably be the layout and appearance of the site that they identify with initially. – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 14:30
  • @Xantec For your kind info, Google's doodles exist from 90s.. Plus, the point when Google started this, it could harm identity (according to you), but it didn't. Anyway, we're going out of the topic.. The main thing: A pure sci-fi oriented theme can attract more new visitors to join if they are sci-fi lover.. So, new design can give benefits to site tomorrow.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 14:49

As other users has mentioned the line between science-fiction and fantasy is often a very grey, blurry one. With mental based sciences and technology based magic the two genres can, and do, frequently cross.

As to the question, "Why is non-science fiction based fantasy part dominating?", I do not readily agree with this belief. It is true that strange symbols and flying, angel-esque creatures may predominately feature in fantasy, but this does not preclude their use in, or their application to a science-fiction based motif.

So then one might ask, why not add something more readily recognizable as science-fiction to the graphic (ex. retro style science-fiction rockets, robots, ray guns etc)? This is a valid question. In my opinion the graphic adequately represents both science-fiction and fantasy as it is (in the broad, general definitions for both). Beyond which, if more hard science-fiction themes are added to the graphic then people who have a predilection for fantasy may begin to feel that the graphic is too tilted toward science-fiction. They will then ask to have more traditional fantasy themes included (wands, unicorns, dragons etc). This sets the stage for a never ending back-and-forth struggle.

As it is now, the graphic keeps it simple. It requires the user to use their imagination a little and make it what they want it to be (as any good science-fiction or fantasy story should). It strikes a difficult balance between two worlds that would be all too easy to tip to one side or the other. At this time I feel that a redesign is not necessary and that as it is now lends itself to the design of the site very well.

  • Great... its smart answer.. a single spaceship can remove fantasy part from theme.. thanks... – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 18:26
  • But, can you please vote for removal of that creepy drawing of image in question.. it steal planet from astronomy.. At least, it can be moved to another location.. one planet should belongs to sci-fi.. :) – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 18:30

I am a fan of more than half of the things you cited, but on a site that I feel is already heavily dominated with science fiction and unrepresentive of fantasy I like the rune symbols that are used throughout it.

From a design perspective it is hard to find the perfect balance between fantasy and science fiction.

  • I'll only say: Your sense of design has been corrupted.. "The design doesn't have science fiction touch at all"... those creepy structures drops every planets, asteroids & stars in the domain of astrology.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:42
  • Just tell me one thing: Why do you thing it has touched sci-fi part without involving any ARTIFICIAL OBJECT??? – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:51

I agree, and many of the symbols are from astrology, runes, or other similar fields. while I don't object to that, I know there are SF people who don't believe in those fields. I'd like to add that @SachinShekhar is not the first person to say that he feels the theme, while beautiful, focuses on fantasy and ignores the science fiction aspect (and that was the original theme before fantasy was added).

We also talked about the "Answered Question" image, which has to be simple. It was the biohazard symbol, but was changed to the three hexagons, which really has no meaning at all.

One suggestion I made on that topic was a retro looking rocket ship. That very image has already been used in the Area 51 where there are two images of an old retro rocketship. This could easily be turned into a silhouette and used as a background "Answered Question" image as well as being integrated into something that would add the SF aspect to the overall theme.

  • I hadn't even noticed the bio-hazard changed to hexagons. Are those suppose to be gems or crystals? Pentagons I could understand, but I am similarly confused by the hexagons. – Xantec Jan 26 '12 at 21:22
  • @Xantec: I think the point with hexagons was to make it visually as close to the triple-Goddess themed image on the main theme, with the hexagons looking like the three circles or crescents. – Tango Jan 26 '12 at 21:32
  • Thanks for the first line.. I was missing the words astrology, runes.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 5:10

Although, I do think that the color scheme is a little too dark, I think what @Jin has done is a very good combination of SciFi and Fantasy. I doubt we could make something better and not veer more towards one genre or the other.

I like the symbols as they give a scorcery feel to the site which is very fantasy-esque and I like the space theme as it is generic enough to not be either genre, yet be both.

I vote no on a redesign, at least right now.

  • Just tell me one thing: Why do you thing it has touched sci-fi part without involving any ARTIFICIAL OBJECT??? – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:51
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    @SachinShekhar A counter question: Why does Sci-Fi need to involve artificial objects? – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 13:28
  • @Xantec because fantasy of sci-fi has to do with imaginary applications of science which are fully artificial.. now, my question is in your home.. reply.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 14:58
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    @SachinShekhar For myself (I am sure OghmaOsiris will answer on their own): there are a plethora of science-fiction stories that deal with or include planets, space, asteroids and/or strange symbols. There are even applications of angels or winged people in science fiction. The lack of a rocket, robot, tank, energy weapon or any other typical sci-fi object doesn't preclude the possibility of it being science-fiction. – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 15:08
  • @Xantec No way.. perhaps, you need to Google what sci-fi is... Take an example of the movie "Thor": It has planets, asteroids, aliens, strange symbols & interstellar space, but still its genre isn't sci-fi (see in IMDB)... Its true that sometimes sci-fi canons involve supernatural things, but its the artificial objects which make the canon sci-fi.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 15:24
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    @SachinShekhar Actually, it is the speculative exploration of (usually futuristic) science and its interaction with society that makes up science-fiction. It can be a soft science or a hard science, for example: a story of a man who could teleport by holding a mathematical equation to fold space in his mind and a story of a telepathic alien in a crowded room of humans would both be considered science-fiction. – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 15:56
  • @Xantec For your first example, there's still need a tool to fold space, otherwise it'll be said overrated use of maths in magical world.. its similar to "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" movie in which they attached science with magic (this movie is also not sci-fi).. | For your second example, its not necessary.. Mind it, Thor is full of aliens.. When theme is sci-fi, then such aliens become a part of sci-fi (e.g. Avatar).. Generate more examples & think.. you'll find artificial object involvement in theme.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 16:49
  • @Xantec If you're challenging whole industry like Hollywood for setting genres wrong, then its better to stop discussion here.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 16:50
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    @SachinShekhar I agree that further discussion would appear to be fruitless. However, I was not challenging Hollywood's perception of the genre, as they'll do whatever they want with anything. I am merely pointing out that science-fiction does not need to involve the hard, physical sciences. – Xantec Jan 27 '12 at 16:56
  • @Xantec From philosophy point of view may be you are right, but you'll have to accept that hard science based sci-fi dominates this world & makes it fantastic. Then, what's the problem with my feature request? I want to hear from you.. specially, you.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 17:06
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    @SachinShekhar I have to agree with Xantec. The fact that there is no apparent artificial-ness does't mean that theres no representation of SciFi. Consider the movie Signs. It's about aliens invading the world. There's no spaceship or artificial intelligence, but there is an alien. I would classify this movie as SciFi and not fiction. And if you insist upon there being somoe sort of artificial llife, then I propose that the woman is a robot. – OghmaOsiris Jan 27 '12 at 17:23
  • @OghmaOsiris I haven't watched the movie you mentioned, but you've mentioned woman as robot (possibly with AI) by yourself.. nothing to say more! If I am wrong, tell me.. can you place that woman (100% human looking, I guess) here to give the site sci-fi touch. Look.. dominating factors matter.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 18:20

Actually, if I am a fan of Battlestar Galactica and Stargate, I'd rather be inclined to support those astrological zodiac signs or rune-like symbols, wouldn't I? In fact, in Stargate, the symbols are actually placed in a ring shaped gate, just like in the image.


Not every work follows this trope, but many do, including hard science fiction. Symbolism is not restricted to religion and mysticism and personally I find that notion rather limiting and not in the spirit of speculative/science/fantasy fiction or just about anything that requires an active imagination.

There are several specific reasons why I strongly disagree with your suggestion:

  • The design simply isn't too much oriented to fantasy and science fiction isn't underrepresented.
    • The largest part of the background is a view of stars (or an asteroid field) - a common imagery in classical science fiction in outer space setting.
    • There is a planet in the title part of the background image.
    • Fonts are (retro)futuristic. If I ever meet a timecop I expect him to have an ID card with a font like in the logo.
    • Badges look somehow Klingon :)
    • Overall color scheme is a bit dark, which nicely represents the noir aspect common to some of the greatest pieces of science fiction (Blade Runner, anyone).
    • Actually, the only things that remotely illustrate fantasy, are the word Fantasy in the logo, the angel in title background and the runes.
  • If even a small rocket gets added because of described reasons, someone else would ask for a robot. Then someone else, for a mutant, etc. If we were to have every single thing ever mentioned in science fiction in the design, it wouldn't be possible to read anything. This site would be crawling with mutants, evolved AI autonomous weapons, aliens, time travelers, ninjas (42 of them, not more, not less), telepathic trees, genetically altered dolphins and probably ██████ erased in the name of Godwin

Although I don't necessarily like every single tiny detail in the site design, my general opinion is that it is awesome and that it describes topics of the site perfectly. (And looks cool)

  • View of stars etc. falls under astrology too.. You're just matching parts of image with sci-fi canon, but the overall look doesn't have sci-fi touch.. you can feel it.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:34
  • Plus, you're just over-reacting in your last point: I am not saying to add every sci-fi entity.. Only Sci-fi touch is needed.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 4:36
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    Indeed, one of my comments to the proposed design (meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/a/977/108) was that it was predominately scifi with a few tiny runes, a couple of tiny swords, and an out-of-place "fantasy" stamp. I believe Jin added the wing to the woman to emphasise the fantasy aspect. – Tony Meyer Jan 27 '12 at 7:17
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    @SachinShekhar: I understand that you don't like fantasy genre or astrology. Frankly, neither do I. But, avoiding legitimate sci-fi themes, just because they happened to be somehow related isn't doing any good. IMO, the primary meaning of words: star, planet, constellation, etc. is the one from astronomy not astrology so our opinions may differ. – Goran Jovic Jan 27 '12 at 9:53
  • @SachinShekhar: Yes, I am just matching parts with sci-fi. But, aren't you matching similar details with fantasy? The main difference is that I have more bullet points, and that two of your examples are not consistent with your opinion, namely Stargate and BSG. – Goran Jovic Jan 27 '12 at 10:00
  • @GoranJovic star, planet, constellation ofcourse belong to astronomy domain, but look at my question again... those creepy drawings in photo turns everything opposite.. I'm talking about overall touch & feeling.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:47
  • Just tell me one thing: Why do you thing it has touched sci-fi part without involving any ARTIFICIAL OBJECT??? – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 11:50
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    @SachinShekhar: #1 You keep ignoring Stargate and BSG, because they invalidate your point about "creepy objects" #2 Perception is in the eye of beholder, why do you think that "creepy objects" are not artificial? #3 Are you really ignoring valid arguments from this and other answers in favor of your gut feeling in the same context where you confront what you perceive as mysticism? #4 Caps lock, multiple question marks, really? :) – Goran Jovic Jan 27 '12 at 12:21
  • @GoranJovic Now, you're in denial mode.. the main theme of stargate & BSG still don't support it, but if it do, I'll be happy to remove them from my question.. it'll not disturb theme of question.. so, don't make two mere examples your main point.. Plus, those "creepy drawings" are NOT objects.. – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 13:04
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    @SachinShekhar: You either a) didn't read my answer b) didn't understand it c) didn't watch any of these series d) are actively trying to troll e) all of the above. And I really have learn to stop doing this – Goran Jovic Jan 27 '12 at 14:42
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    @SachinShekhar: Also, please stop calling people's opinions corrupted, denying and narrow-minded if they don't agree with you. Difference of opinions is the very basis of intellectual advancement. I am sorry if you don't like it, but not everyone agrees with you every time. – Goran Jovic Jan 27 '12 at 14:49
  • Symbols don't make a sci-fi canon, my dear.. If someone puts a normal car in image and says there are cars in transformers, so it gives sci-fi touch.... then, I'll say it senseless... – user931 Jan 27 '12 at 15:11

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