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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Science Fiction

March24

If you asked me about ten years ago what my favorite genre was, I’d have told you right off the bat, no hesitation, “fantasy.” The truth is, though, I’ve always been hugely into science fiction. Ahh, sci-fi! You had me honestly believing that I’d see actual colonies on other planets, hoping that I’d have the option of being a Bold New Settler– and if not me, then my children. That I’d be able to see my children launching themselves into the unknown, Boldly Going. Books involving The Future (whether bright and shining or dingy and dystopic), aliens, robots, Space, exploration, etc were my bread and butter. I’ve read approximately fifty thousand post-apocolyptic dystopia books (current favorite apocalypse: zombie outbreaks, replacing the nuclear holocaust survivors with awesome mutations genre from the 70s and early 80s).

So why list fantasy as my favorite, instead of sci-fi? I mean, you know, sure… I love magic and fairies and vampires/werewolves/etc as much as the next person who came of age in the 90s and fell in love with White Wolf’s World of Darkness games. Or, possibly, more. So why the falsehood?

Frankly, because science fiction is the realm of boys. It’s a male realm, the books populated with male scientists and male inventors and male adventurers, written primarily by men for male readers, and marketed toward males. Until very very recently, it was assumed that only men enjoy and like sci-fi, and the only female touches are heaving bosoms and slightly parted lips sighing after the hero… or some vampy female who betrays the man but not until they’ve had hot sex. I mean, for crying out loud, the sci-fi channel changed its name to SyFy to attract female viewers. Instead of addressing the content of their shows, their advertising, their staff, they… femmed up the name.

A friend of mine sent me some really good books for my birthday and another one sent me a gift card for amazon.com. So I’ve been reading and enjoying a lot of new stuff lately, but also looking at it a little critically and thinking about my reading habits as a younger person, and how I identify as a reader now, and just how much sexist training and indoctrination I had as a kid about what is and isn’t appropriate for someone who was born with a vagina. It’s kind of depressing.

One Comment to

“Science Fiction”

  1. On March 28th, 2010 at 2:58 pm Reasons why you should watch (and love) Star Trek – Part 3 Says:

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