Hi everyone.

Yesterday, I opened a question "Talk about the Doctor Who episode 'The Impossible Astronaut'".

It was promptly down-voted and I was pointed to the FAQ. I was left in disbelief that talking about sci-fi was off-topic on this site. But it was, so I deleted the question.

I understand the rule for StackOverflow which is based in reality, where everything is hard and factual, but this site's very realm is the fictional and fantastical. It sounds like you've built a site where the only thing that's on topic is the systematic removal of all joy out of the genre.

I suggest that the topicality rules be expanded to allow subjective free discussion within the genre.

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  • In addition to Gilles' answer below, a question about the first part of a two-part episode is going to become outdated as soon as the second part (and subsequent episodes of the series) airs. I would hesitate to ask any questions about the specifics of the new series that could potentially be answered by a subsequent episode. – Nellius Apr 26 '11 at 13:17
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    it just needs to be more focused than "let's discuss..". Asking this doesn't mean you are wrong, but it is a bad fit for our engine. We've said from the get go that we don't know which topics will and will not fit on our engine.. so some of the topics the community voted into existence on Area 51 -- like this very one -- are in fact ongoing experiments. – Jeff Atwood Apr 28 '11 at 4:24

This site is still a Stack Exchange site, a questions and answers site. While we may be a little more tolerant towards subjectivity than Stack Overflow, due to the “soft” nature of the subject, some limitations remain, like on all Stack Exchange sites:

  • The format of all threads is one question, several answers, and comments only for minor remarks. There is no provision for extended discussion.
  • The section of the FAQ titled What kind of questions should I not ask here? is the same as on all other Stack Exchange sites. While questions about SF are not always “practical” questions, the basic requirements remain:

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. If your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK.

There's plenty of room for asking questions about Dr Who and other SF topics, it's just that since this is a questions and answers site, we expect that a question can have answers and is not just a discussion starter. Here are a few examples of questions:

If you'd like pure free-form discussion, we have a place for that: the chat room. On the chat, there are no rules other than civil behavior.

I'm sorry if your first experience with this site was not a good one. Please stick around, ask good questions and contribute good answers!

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