Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sharon Lee Comments on The Blending of SF & Romance

There are several posts I'd like to share with you in light of the many conversations we've been having about science fiction romance this past week, both here and at SF Signal.

Sharon Lee (Of Liaden Universe fame) responded to Bruce Sterling's post about science fiction romance and the SFR "must-read" list that we've been compiling here at TGE:

If there is only a single male author of SFRomance on the list compiled by Galaxy Express, does that mean there are no men writing SFRomance? I confess that I can’t think of a name — ref. lack of caffeine — but perhaps someone else can?

And! If there are “no” men writing SFRomance, does that automatically make SFRomance an Inferior Form, as Mr. Sterling’s commentary seems to suggest?

Sharon Lee also wrote a recent article about the HEA factor in On Living Happily Ever After:

At that time, Romance was pretty much all relationship, all the time; and SF was pretty much action-adventure with some cool shiny things tossed in for squee, and relationships both few and shallow. Obviously, this over-simplifies, but grant that the past is a distant country and we did things differently there.

What I found as a reader, ‘way back then, was that each genre was wanting in something that I did want — more action in the love story, and more love in the action story. It could, as I said, have gone either way when I finally uttered that Fateful and Explosive Sentence “I can do better than that!” which graduates Readers to Writers. But, when I landed, I came down on the side of SF, and have ever since plotted to include relationships (not just romantic relationships) in my work.

Although Ms. Lee stated she'd read stories where "...the mandated HEA warped the entire shape of the story and negated everything that the characters had achieved," she concludes the piece by stating that "I'm interested in the shift toward a middle ground, as Romance woos SF and SF tries to commit to relationships."

In related news, Twelfth Planet Press editor Alisa Krasnostein blogged about The Invisibility of Women in Science Fiction (thanks to Lisa Paitz Spindler for the link).

In her post, Ms. Krasnostein states

Over the last couple of years, there has been increasing discussion online about the ongoing gender disparity in science fiction (SF). We still see low representations of women in science fiction magazines and anthologies, many awards shortlists, and in criticism of the genre. One of the issues that has become apparent is that those who commentate and review the genre wield much power in directing what works get read and recognised. To me, this seems like a significant wall that needs to be broken down in the quest to see women equally respected and represented in this genre.

She also mentioned Sandra McDonald's recent project, 75 Years of Fabulous Writers:

Last week, links to the Periodic Table of Women in Science Fiction: 75 Years of Fabulous Writers was floated around and has become a meme. It says most succinctly just how many “Giant” women have been influential in this genre. And just how many are so quickly and easily ignored.

Joyfully yours,