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Thread: Women and SF

  1. #46
    Originally posted by Pirate Jenn
    I still re-read the first two harper hall books.
    Me too! They are my favorite McCaffrey books and two of my all-time favorite SF books. The other books of hers that I re-read often are The Ship Who Sang, The Ship Who Searched, and Pegasus in Flight.

  2. #47
    Senior Member Pirate Jenn's Avatar
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    The Ship books were good... I don't re-read them because I don't own them. (one of the reasons why I don't check out books from the library: they aren't around when I want them!) (The other reason being that I can't seem to turn them in on time...and, at a dollar a day, I might as well buy the bloody book. )

  3. #48
    I feel strongly for it! I'm a filmmaker who personally wants to see more women filmmakers in the SF film world. And also just more diversity of women characters in the SF TV and Film world at large. I'll gladly take a stand and do what I can!

  4. #49
    Registered User EricaW's Avatar
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    I'm female and I enjoy SF. When I was a kid, I stole my brother's Robert Heinlein books to read, but I was always disappointed with the female characters (they were smart but always primarily interested in getting the boy characters to notice them-very 1950s). Some of my favorite writers in the genre over the years include C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, David Brin (especially his Uplift books), Connie Willis, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vonda McIntyre, Ursula K. LeGuin and on the feminist Sci Fi end of things, Sherri Tepper. I consider myself a feminist, so I don't get offended by things taking that approach if it's done well and doesn't resort to the old 'men do bad things to women just because they are bad' cop out.

    I guess my list is weighted towards female authors, but I don't look at the gender of the author when I decide whether or not to read something by an author who is new to me. I want the female characters in books (whether main or supporting) to have the same characteristics as male characters-intelligence, resourcefulness, resilience, interests I can relate to, and most importantly, believable and complex motives, thoughts, emotions etc. Of course ones' gender influences ones' perceptions and the way they interface with their society, but people of both sexes can be complex and interesting and overall we have a lot in common.
    Last edited by EricaW; November 5th, 2011 at 06:15 PM.

  5. #50
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakhya View Post
    Another interesting aspect of this conversation is how men have incorporated female characters in their own stories. It is not uncommon anymore for a woman to be the captain of a ship or the leader of a world. I have read many novels by men that effectively use female leads or co-leads (that is, without making them some ultra woman, sex goddess of Heinlein fame) in recent years.
    When I first read Star Trek's Prime Directive novel (Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens), I was singularly impressed with the depiction of Anne Gauvreau, a former Star Fleet Captain, who left Star Fleet in order to command her own freighter and work for herself. She is attractive (naturally), but hardly an Amazon, smart, level-headed and compassionate, and though she plays a minor character in the novel, she left a major impression on me.

    The character inspired me to create Carolyn Kestral, a commander of a Star-Fleet-like service, who leaves after exposure to an alien virus results in her being blacklisted from commanding her own ship; she also purchases a freighter, hires a crew and goes it alone. The Kestral novels have been a hit with my audience, my most popular stories, and the characterizations are most often cited as the reason why.

  6. #51
    Has anyone had the opportunity to go to WisCon? Here's a description of the conference from their website:

    "This is the world's leading feminist science fiction convention. WisCon encourages discussion and debate of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon welcomes writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes as well as their many fans. We have panel discussions, academic presentations, and readings as well as many other uncategorizable events. WisCon is primarily a book-oriented convention... with an irrepressible sense of humor."

    I'd very much like to go, but haven't yet had the opportunity.

  7. #52
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    Though I am not as voracious a reader as many of the members on this site I must say that for me at least, the best feminine author and female pioneer for the Science Fiction genre is Alice Sheldon (perhaps better known under her pen-name James Tiptree Jr.). I find her stories original and challenging, forcing us to look at things from a decidedly female point of view. Her life story is also quite fascinating. The recently published volume of her short stories, Her Smoke Rose up Forever is highly recommended.

  8. #53
    Registered User Marigwen's Avatar
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    I'm a female reader of both SF and fantasy, and one of the things I really like are books with strong female characters. All sorts of varieties of strong work for me, including Amazon women. C.J. Cherryh's stuff is always good, and I think Signy Mallory may be my favorite character in all SF. SM Stirling does good female characters also. I'm a sucker for some pretty bad books if they have a powerful female lead.

  9. #54
    Registered User Marigwen's Avatar
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    BTW - I didn't mean to imply that either CJ Cherryh or SM Stirling wrote bad books!

  10. #55

    Cool

    Mallory was my favourite character in Downbelow Station.

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