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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.



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.