Ok, so..I don’t get on my soapbox often, but seeing as I am annoyed, I’m getting up here and telling it like it is.
I have been reading reviews of some of my favorite classic Sci-Fi novels and I see an annoying trend.
I don’t like it when people review an old classic and judge it by the current novels of our time. The reviews, I just read, ripped apart my favorite author’s writing style and content as if they were side-by-side with current fiction. It just set me off into a rant of epic proportions.
It’s stupid. Of course it isn’t going to be as good as the books you are reading now, it made the books you are reading now possible. You judgmental bastards!
The science fiction novels of generations ago are more reserved, less sexual, and slightly more tongue in cheek. Why? Because they had never been written before!! They were scrutinized and criticized. Especially authors who decided to add fantasy storylines into the accepted Science Fiction scene. They had to combat two factions. Those who wanted Science Fiction to remain the same (slightly geeky and dominated by male readers) and those who criticized the romantic aspects of this new genre against existing romance novels of the times (slightly girly and dominated by female readers).
Science Fiction Fantasy was definitely made to meld two types of readers and they succeeded fantastically. I freaking loved them.
I had never felt comfortable with romance novels whereby the female lead character was “taken charge of” by the strong, overbearing, yet secretly loving, male lead character. I often felt a strong desire to kick the female characters butt for putting up with such alpha-male chest beating.
Science Fiction Fantasy was my world. Strong female characters and science. Whoa baby!
Science, when I was young, was often considered “boy territory”. I was not encouraged to like it. Things like Auto body, Woodshop, and Science club were places girls weren’t really expected to go.
I liked science. I liked romance. I liked unicorns and talking trees. Space ships and lightsabers. My mom was completely unprepared for her daughter to like Star Wars, Star trek and all things Sci-Fi. My cousin Freddie owned the entire Ewok Village. I was completely envious because I ended up with a freaking Pink She-ra (there is definitely a post on here somewhere about my feelings about that).
So, yeah. The writing wasn’t sexy, like the paranormal and Sci-Fi writing of today. It was understated and quirky. It had valiant characters and daring battles of bravery. There was a lot of thinking without speaking. A lot of characters alone and struggling instead of snuggling.
Nothing wrong with snuggling…but I like a bit of storytelling with my sexy banter. Ok?
Stop writing reviews in 2017, about books that were the frontrunners of today’s writing, using the same measuring stick as if they were written today. They weren’t. They had to walk the edge of acceptance by society of that time. They didn’t have the freedom to write 50 Shades of Grey type of stories without a whole lot of angry people showing up.
(Side Note**I found 50 Shades rather boring…seriously you want hot sex read Christine Feehan..she kicks 50 Shades of Grey in the ass..but that’s another post altogether)
I find old school Sci-Fi fascinating. They are still just as awesome as the day I read them for the first time. They opened the doors that all those cool new writers walk through.
Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony and Mercedes Lackey (to name my favorites) began the second wave of feminism in writing science fiction that had strong female characters, romantic themes, and encouraged girls to enjoy science fiction in a whole new way.
Those who weren’t around for those first books may never understand just how wonderful and freeing those books made girls of my generation feel. Even so, they can appreciate that the books they love now, had to have come from somewhere..this is where.