Monday, June 10, 2013
No More Jurassic Park
The bottom line is, no one has the right to tell a writer what we can write.
SF authors from bygone eras need to grapple with the reality that their books and their style of storytelling are not the be-all and do-all for the ages. New writers, new voices, and new ideas are emerging as SF continues to evolve on the crest of forward-thinking writers and SFR gains greater popularity by including human sexuality in the equation.
As a character in Jurassic Park once said, "The dinosaurs have had their day."
I understand there was a "golden age" of SF and the old-timers want desperately to cling to their (so-called) glory days by acting as if the social norms of that era were alive and well in the twenty-teens. Just like the failed attempt to bring back the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park--by cloning them and introducing them into a modern environment--was a disaster, so too has been the attempt to clone the SF Golden Age.
For one thing, we know better now. (Or at least most of us do.)
We've evolved as a species and SF/SFR have evolved as genres. Diversity is alive and well, and we understand future worlds or alternate universes would be greatly influenced by human relations, not devoid of them. And to further counter the claims we upstart writers don't understand the genre, most of us who are writing modern SF/SFR have read the classics. So it's not that we don't understand what "real" SF is, it's that we saw what the classics lacked.
I hope that's become painfully apparent by the enormous backlash from the combined communities to the sexist and dismissive articles, bellowing rebuttals, and the failed attempts by others of their ilk to justify or sympathize with their colleagues' ill-conceived diatribes.
To summarize one such awkward defense blog in paraphrase: "It's just their opinion so they are allowed to make it and it's okay."
Spare me. Everyone is allowed a personal opinion, yes. But force-feeding that opinion and accompanying misogynistic remarks and graphics in an organizational bulletin published for ALL members of the SWFA--a good percentage of which are the targeted group--is not okay. It's rude, offensive and belligerent.
And who in the end gets the blunt of the blame? Why, the female bulletin editor who "allowed" the dinosaurs to run amok, of course. She has resigned.
So let me speak to these prominent SFWA members in language from the decades they understand. It's time to straighten up and fly right. The times, they are a-changin'.
IF YOU MISSED THE WHOLE DRAMA...
You can find links to the many, many, many to the nth responses including my co-bloggers' former articles:
Of Square Pegs and Round Holes - Donna S. Frelick
I'm a Girl. I Write SF and SFR. And I'm Not Going Away - Pippa Jay
Dear Romance Readers - Sharon Lynn Fisher
Or this summary of blogs and responses by name to thwart the claim of "anonymous attackers" by the Good Ol' Dinosaurs, here:
Round Up of "Anonymous" SFWA Protesters - Jim Hines
Or takes by a few review blogs and authors (in their "so-UnBarbie-like" ways):
This Week in SF - Ann Aguirre (includes uncensored follow-up hate mail received by the author)
Genre Wars: Why is SFR the Outcast? - C. E. Kilgore
SFF Old Guard - Dear Author
Out With the Old (Boys Club), In With the New (Generation of Progressive Genre Fans) - The Galaxy Express/Heather Massey
And if you really want to get a take-on-a-travesty-in-a-nutshell (with a LOL or two) from one new SFWA member, you simply have to read this:
>>>> SFWA - Housebreaking a Puppy or Abusive Behavior? <<<<
LET THEM EAT TITLES
In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan motion picture, the title character responds to the Enterprise's request for communications by saying: "Let them eat static."
This may be our most effective rebuttal of all. Refusal to engage 'the enemy' in verbal debate (because we aren't going to change their misguided minds, Lord knows) while we quietly action our next strategic move.
Publish. More. Books.
There are hints that the outcome of this controversy may well be an upsurge in sales for SFR and SF with romantic elements. Maybe there is justice in the universe after all.
Readers who might not have been aware of SFR as a genre before may have stumbled happily on its existence through this web-wide outcry, especially with articles heralding--or decrying--SFR as "The Next Big Thing." (And it's pretty cool when even SFR detractors admit it's on the rise in popularity.)
So, my fellow writers, there's no time like the present. It's show, don't tell time. Get your work out there.
Let them eat (SFR) titles!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Jacqueline Lichtenberg recently posted a comment in a discussion about SFR that really got me thinking. In effect, she said SFR is not a "sub" anything, it's its own genre.
I realized she was absolutely right. By tagging SFR as a "subgenre" we've been effectively diminishing its importance.
SFR is its own genre. It's a hybrid of Science Fiction and Romance. It's both. And it's neither. It doesn't clearly fall within the category definition of any one established genre. Therefore, it is its own -- the Science Fiction Romance genre. There is no sub.
Unlike some of the other blogs and sites weighing in on this debate, this blog is OPEN for comments, and we'd love to hear yours.