A Misguided Definition of Science Fiction — And Why I’m Proud to Write ‘Girly SF’

There’s been a lot of discussion this week about Paul Cook’s post at Amazing Stories, in which he pontificates on why a lot of science fiction actually isn’t science fiction.  I just read a great post summarizing much of this discussion on Cora Buhlert’s blog.  While I agree, as most do, that Mr. Cook has every right to his own opinion, I also agree that the manner in which he expressed it was offensive.

Whether or not it was unintentional, the article does come across as sexist, and as a big Gene Wolfe fan, Paul Cook’s disparaging attitude toward Wolfe’s work certainly didn’t impress me either.  (He also made the error of claiming that Wolfe’s brilliant tetralogy, The Book of the New Sun, shows the influence of Orson Scott Card, when Card’s work actually came after New Sun.)

One line in Cora Buhlert’s blog post about the reactions to Paul Cook’s discourse particularly struck a chord with me.  While discussing the prejudice against human relationships — both emotional and physical — and the apparent distaste for the human body itself in much hard SF, she remarks about the “dearth of sex, childbirth and descriptions of food” in science fiction.  This made me think of several things I find significant. Continue reading