I was just briefly overwhelmed by sarcasm over on Twitter. Alastair Reynolds (whom I like very, very much) was commenting on stories he’s reading for (I think) a ‘zine, the first 3 of which he’s read have all been grim, dystopic, pessimistic near-future SF, and said, “Hey kids: you can do more than one thing with science fiction, you know?”
But by that time the sarcasm had already seized me. I said, “So does this mean the hopeful aspect of my planned climate change trilogy is Right Out?” and it all went downhill from there, with my nod to the fact that as things stand, as a woman writing near-future SF, I’m doomed to obscurity anyway, and that being hopeful about it will obviously only consign me to the gutter that much more quickly. I mean, it’s one thing for Kim Stanley Robinson, who is Big and Important and Respected, to be hopeful about the future, but me? Pshaw.
My friend Alan/bellinghman said I’d just have to redo it as “fang fucker” urban fantasy (causing me to throw tomatoes at him *laughs*), and, “Hey girlie, lay off them there Big Themes!”
The terrible, terrible thing is that there really does seem to be a great deal of that kind of real attitude out there. And of course I *don’t* believe that the barriers can’t be broken and that the marks can’t be made, whether it’s in gaining respect as a woman writer of science fiction or any writer at all offering a glimpse of a hopeful future, even if wracked by climate change. There’s virtually nothing that gets my back up like being told I can’t do something (even if it’s a generic “I” that encompasses women SF writers in general), and so I by God want to try.
And Al, bless him, said, “Good luck with it in any case.”
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)