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Poll #1: Subgenre prejudice

Quick! Be dismissive of a subgenre!

Urban fantasy
Military sf

Apropos of a passing comment of aliettedb's in the WorldSF Blog's (Global) Women in SF Round table discusion.

UF is very easily dismissed in the debate, and it’s making me quite ill at ease. In “male” terms, one possible analogue of UF would be military SF–which is overwhelmingly written by men–but I don’t see it being military SF being dismissed quite as fast as UF.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:11 am (UTC)
Only because military SF seems to overlap with Serious Manfiction 99.8% of the time (DO YOU SEE MY BROAD DISMISSIVE GENERALIZATION?!).
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:26 am (UTC)
should have been ticky boxes so i could be dismissive of both :)
Jul. 21st, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:32 am (UTC)
With apologies to V Woolf
'This is a book about men with big shiny phallic weapons and hyperphallic spaceships, and is therefore serious; this is a book about ass-kicking women and hot vampires/werewolves, and is therefore trivial'
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Must I? There are good books in all genres, so why?
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)
You are in no way obligated to fill out this poll!

This poll is a specific response to this:
UF is very easily dismissed in the debate, and it’s making me quite ill at ease. In “male” terms, one possible analogue of UF would be military SF–which is overwhelmingly written by men–but I don’t see it being military SF being dismissed quite as fast as UF.

Jul. 21st, 2011 11:49 am (UTC)
There are good books in all genres

Even "large print motivational management guides".
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:35 am (UTC)
I actually couldn't perform the dismissal of either quickly
- I think the fact that 'Urban Fantasy' no longer means what it did when I first saw the term meant I had to immediately think "remember, Urban Fantasy no longer means the same subgenre as it did when you first met the term! " followed by all sorts ofother thiought about how I knew of well written, intelligent stuff that could be lumped under either term, and know people who write stuff that could be lumped under one or 'toher of those terms...
And when it came to thinking - so which one has more utter crap that I marvel at how such things *ever* made it past the slushpile I was already thiningi too long and could only think "honestly , I don't know which one is more easily dismissed than the other. "
I will admit to approaching both with the thought that the vast majority of what is published as *either* is going to be not my kind of thing - but that still leave me with radio button indecision - and by then, it's not a snap dismissal of one more than the other anymore either!
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
p.s. I wrote the above up as I think it might be interesting in it's own right? the tl;dr is I'm inclined to dismiss both - but not entirely dismiss either
(whereas for the former meaning of 'Urban Fantasy' == punk rock elves I was predisposed to expect it to very much my kind of thing and also tended to expect more of it to be writing I would like too - which was a prejudice based on the authors I liked who wrote it, and the editors I liked who tended to edit the anthologies of such stuff, inlcingin me to expect other authors/ editors within the-subgenre-formerly-known-as-urban-fantasy-before- someone-took-the-term-and-applied-it-to-a-different-sort of-story-instead-leaving-me-with-subgenre-label-confusion-issues ;-) to be ssomething I'd like too )
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
i like them both! zomg dilemma!
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
You do not have to answer. Unless you feel you must leave no poll unfilled-out.
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
it was a mostly-non-serious comment (and i did not respond to the poll).
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
I did as instructed and clicked on instinct. Have to admit that if you'd put up Paranormal Romance vs Military SF it's possible I would have gone the other way.
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
I can't escape the feeling that this is a vendetta against Tanya Huff. ;)
Jul. 21st, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
I tried a Tanya Huff and gave up about three chapters in. Not my cup of tea.
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:15 am (UTC)
Tanya Huff is a lovely person! I wonder which subgenre she does better in.
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
i wasnt aware Tanya Huff wrote military SF!
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
The Valor books are mil SF.
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
i did not know this! (the library only had a couple of her Vicky Nelson(?) vampire/urban series)
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
My answer is basically because I have been mainlining Vorkosigan for a couple of months, which has made me rethink the whole not-liking-milSF. So now I need to find the UF equivalent of Bujold to convince of its greatness.
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
Most of the UF I've tried to read features not ass-kicking women, but women who are idiots yet somehow get both the chief vampire and the chief werewolf in town to fall in love with them.

Most of the milSF I've read (admittedly not very much) actually does feature ass-kicking women.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
Not a tough decision at all. I've read urban fantasy that I considered careful, thoughtful, and well-written. I've also read urban fantasy that was just a romp, urban fantasy that involved some fun sex (although I feel the need to point out that there's generally a good bit of sex in milSF too! It's just DUDE sex, and therefore, you know, invisible), urban fantasy that was hilarious. Meanwhile, milSF tends to fit into two categories: 1. Lois McMaster Bujold, 2. Depressingly right-wing with a slavish fetish for the US military-industrial complex even when they're clearly trying not to be, and also a obsessive fancreature need to Show Your Work via lots and lots and LOTS of detail about bows & ammo. And I like some of the latter, even (Old Man's War springs to mind; I have been known to enjoy S M Stirling's work). But it's extraordinarily rare for me to read military SF that I consider more than "fun" reading, whereas it's not uncommon for me to read urban fantasy that is fun + something else. (LMB is fabulous, obviously, and I think she does tremendously interesting things with the military SF genre; but even her I consider more of a romp, because I don't feel like she's introducing me to anything very new. Although I would probably have felt differently if I'd met Bel Thorne when I was 15, instead of when I was 23.) At any rate, if I'm going to be dismissive of either, milSF's in-my-experience limited range and general politics means that I'm probably always going to shaft it.
Jul. 21st, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
Can I please be dismissive of both of them? (though with exceptions obviously, which are to their subgenres as 'proper books' with SFnal elements are to SF).
Jul. 22nd, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
It's nice that she doesn't see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't common.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )