Friday, May 13, 2016

SF (not sci-fi!) and Diversity

Another quote from facebook.
I am clearly suffering from Adult Oppositional Disorder today. I keep reading comments and thinking, "I don't agree." There is a lot of SF (not sci-fi!) that is not about diversity and still has a point. I think Frankenstein is about the industrial revolution and the French Revolution -- and technology, of course. It's also about huge male egos, which is something Mary Shelley knew about. You could argue that it's about diversity because it has (I would argue) a female vision, though all the women in it are dips. The Time Machine is about evolution and class warfare. War of the Worlds is about biology and imperialism. These are all interesting topics and worth writing about. Yes, diversity is important -- especially right now, when we can talk about human diversity, but not -- in any meaningful way -- about class warfare and revolution. SF (not sci-fi!) is a complicated field with more than two centuries of history. I don't like sweeping statements about it.

I also don't like what I hear as a heroic tone, as if the speaker is declaiming a brave and original opinion.

There were people writing about diverse characters and cultures long before the present, including the entire 1970s wave of women writers that hit the SF community like tsunami -- and met with a lot of hostility.

There are more writers doing diversity now. But the current generation did not invent diverse science fiction.


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