Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Girlie Ghetto

A big "You go, girl!" (do people still say that? Am I hopelessly lost in the 90's? Shut up.) to Candy at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. In this post (and a followup), she discusses the hostility toward romance/love stories/actual (gasp!) emotion in the science fiction genre.

In particular she cites a great article by Debra Doyle called "Girl Cooties Theory of Genre Literature" and an obnoxious rant by some guy who calls himself by the humble moniker of Vox Day (get it, as in Vox Dei, Latin for "voice of God"? Such wit!). I could sum up their arguments, but check out Candy's post instead.

This whole unnecessary debate makes me happy to stick to the fluffy-wuffy, flouncy-bouncy genre of fantasy, where girl cooties are quickly becoming the currency of choice. Not because I think I'm not "man enough" to write SF, but because I couldn't listen to the ever-shrinking flock of poorly endowed, gynophobic SF fans--who, lacking any emotional connection in their own lives, regard the experience of such by a novel's characters as proof of the End of the Future--without committing a whole menu of felonies.*

(I don't mean all SF fans, of course; I meant the small but vociferous segment who thinks that women should stay in their "ghettos" of fantasy and romance, forgetting that these genres provide over half of the publishing industry's total revenue. Which makes them pretty well-furnished ghettos.)

*a la Augustus Hill from Oz: "Prisoner Number 05-0421: Jeri Smith-Ready. Charges: Kidnaping, Criminal Mischief, Assault with a deadly weapon (hardcover copy of the works of Robert Forward). Sentence: 15 years. Eligible for parole in ten.


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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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