Saturday, September 07, 2013

Science Fiction - The Crazy Year



Sister Time

This is old.

This is new.

Sometime, June-ish, the science fiction and fantasy world blew up over a chain-mail bikini and a couple of old guys talking about science fiction publishing over 60 years ago in which they spoke admiringly of "lady writers" and "lady editors" and mentioned that someone or other was particularly good looking.

The. World. Ended.

This ancient June history is important because World Con just happened and the call for inclusive science fiction is continuing to gain strength with the article from the Guardian stating the dire state of modern science fiction.  Both articles are extremely short and informative concerning events, though I'm having trouble finding something pithy to quote from them.   Mostly, though, it's assertions of fact that are easily disputable.
Science fiction loves a good paradox. Here's one for you: how can a genre that dreams up alien cultures and mythic races in such minute detail seemingly ignore the ethnic, religious, gender and sexual diversity right here on the home planet, here in the real world?
Science fiction also likes a good Fantasy, and this is one of them.   It's such a NICE fantasy.  So CONVENIENT for our science fiction Church Ladies.



Wolf in Shadow
It's easy enough to point to no end of "diversity" in protagonists and easy enough to find the hard numbers that show female authors in SF and F to be at near parity (45% to 53%, IIRC) to male authors.  But in the end we've still got the chain-mail bikinis or black leather body suits.  Right?   Well, I want to say something about that.

I'm a girl.  Right?   Well, who do I want to imagine I look like?   When I design my toons in a fantasy computer game, what do I prefer to look like?    Sure, chain mail bikinis are pretty darn silly, but so what?  So is Mr. Mad Men there to the left.   So is Conan.   What am I supposed to do?   Take my escapism dollars and pretend to be fat and dumpy?

And bitter?   Lets not forget bitter.




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