Thursday, September 27, 2012

The sf field today

I have one more "starting points" post I want to write, and then I want to dive right in to talking about specific works and specific points of theory, but real quick:

This list of new sf book releases for October is a perfect representation of why I say I'm concerned about the current state of the field...and why I don't think I'm repeating the misogyny of the men of the 1980s when I say so.

Eighteen titles. Between them there are twenty-one authors, only four of whom are women. Twelve of the books--twelve, two thirds--are parts of series, six of which are past "#3" and seem to be "ongoing sagas," several being media tie-ins. Of the remaining....

  • " military science are the tough heroes who throughout time master their own fears and face the very real terrors that haunt existence..."
  • A book by a man that seems to be about a woman who has tragically lost her woman lover, falling in love with a man.
  • Mega-misogynists Larry Niven and Gregory Benford collaborating on a book that sounds like it snoozily repeats what Niven did in his very-good-but-of-course-deeply-problematic Ringworld, but probably not nearly as well.
  • A superhero police squad in space.
  • A young adult novel that seems fairly innocuous, but still...far too high a proportion of new sf is young adult.
  • And a book about a clone military.
Science fiction, my god, is capable of so much more than this. It is not supposed to be this literature of severe curtailment.

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