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Gay and Lesbian Characters in SFF

Now that I’ve got your attention! 🙂

I only realized a couple of days ago that I wanted to take a stab at talking about this topic – you see, I read two books in which main POV characters were homosexuals, and not only did their gender preference not overshadow the storyline, but they were amazing characters, characters that readers, no matter their own gender preference, could identify with and like.

My question is: Have I missed something? Or is this courage from writers a new thing? I’m asking because the only other place I’ve encountered a homosexual character (before the novels) is (and I apologize for the impending spoiler) in the pages of Detective Comics – the new Batwoman (not Stephanie, Tim Drake’s ex-flame) is a lesbian, and has an absolutely tasteful, romantic dance with Maggie Sawyer (late of the Metropolis SCU division), in sight of her ex-girlfriend. I have to say, though, that I read this scene after the first book I read with a gay main character.

The first time I encountered a gay main character (last year) there was absolutely no sense of shock, no recoiling in disgust, no okay-now-that-was-a-bit-too-freaky-for-me, nothing like that. It was respectful, tasteful, lovely even. I didn’t look differently at the character, nor the book. And an instant after reading the passage, I felt this huge respect for the author, the editor, the agent, and the publisher. I mean, how could I not? We still live in a day and age where everything not-heterosexual is frowned upon by society at large, forcing people into niches that segregate them from society. Sure, the Gay Rights movement has come a very long way, but there will still be people who, when they see the title of this post, decide not to even entertain the notion of reading it.

It’s the same reason why I haven’t mentioned the titles of the novels that led to this post – the very reading of those novels may change some minds, after all. Discovering that you actually admire a gay or lesbian main character in the book you’re reading? Hell, talk about a marriage of genres! 🙂

I can only hope that this trend continues, and that more gay and lesbian characters take center-stage. SFF is, when it comes down to it, an incredible journey of exploration, isn’t it? So let’s explore. 🙂

Be EPIC!

Update 1 :

Thanks to @etherreallad (yes, from Twitter), here’s a good look at SFF featuring gay and lesbian characters. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

Update 2 : Daya reminded me about an author who had a bisexual main character (still can’t believe I forgot!): the author is Jo Graham, and the book? Hand of Isis. The link will take you to my review. 🙂 Thanks Daya!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2010 in Musings

 

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SFF: Back on the Blog

As most of you already know, I launched a new blog in October last year and shifted the focus of this blog to my writing endeavours. In retrospect, it seems like a really dumb decision on my part, if only because the new blog (Realms & Galaxies: Celebrating SFF!) didn’t draw any attention and very few hits.

Let me put it this way – in a three month period on the new blog, we got around 2700 visits, which I thought was okay, since it was a new blog. This blog, though, shocked me:

In the same three month period, we got around 35000 visits. In fact, as of this morning, this blog had racked up a total of 100350 visits since I started it! Trust me, I now bemoan the fact that I ever shifted the focus of the blog – imagine how many people visited the blog and promptly left because it wasn’t what they were looking for? 😛

I do, I’ll admit, have two other reasons -no less important but wayyy cooler;

A quote from my review of Jasper Kent‘s excellent historical fantasy / horror debut, Twelve, has been used for the mass market paperback edition that went on sale yesterday (head’s still spinning, even though Jasper gave me the news early in December),

AND

My name appears in the acknowledgements of a highly-anticipated novel which will be hitting the shelves in March (can’t tell you which one yet, but it’s a biggie!). 🙂

So moving SFF back to this blog seems to be a pretty good idea, and I’m glad that I woke up in time. 🙂 But I do give you all permisson to laugh yourselves silly at my stupidity. 😉

And then I s’pose the question that needs answering is: what will happen to Realms & Galaxies?

David Jooste will be taking it over, doing his thing there and changing it as he sees fit, while I’ll be doing my thing here, including updates on my writing. As reviews, interviews and news are posted on both blogs, we’ll link to each other to make sure that you’re all kept in the loop. 🙂

So 2010 will will have two South African SFF blogs – an awesome way to start off the year, don’t you think? 🙂

Be EPIC!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 3, 2010 in Announcements, Musings

 

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One day while doing our grocery shopping…

… I got a phone call from my Human Resources Manager. As soon as I knew who it was, my heart did this funny little lurching jump, and by the end of our conversation, I was practically in tears. No joke here, I was very emotional.

We basically spoke about some of us booksellers once again having a job. 🙂 Here’s the gist of what happened: a bigger company (and bigger means much more money) bought the company at an auction, and after much deliberation, they decided to a)close some of the stores for good, b) convert some of the stores into Bargain Books, and c) keep the most profitable stores open, for at least the next 3 months.

So tomorrow I’ll be signing my new 3 month contract, and I’ll also be getting the rest of my October salary on Tuesday or Wednesday! 🙂 So, this post is dedicated to good news!!! 🙂 I’ve got a job again! 🙂

This brings me to the next thing: I’m going to try my damndest and get giveaways going here. 🙂 I’ll swing my proposal by the publishers here in SA, see what they have to say, and let you all know as soon as I know. 🙂

And last but not least, I’ve decided on the next book I’ll be reading! 🙂 I asked you guys to help me out in this post, and since I’ve been reading pleanty of Fantasy the last while, I thought I’d go with the next option (votes-wise), so I chose Incandescence by Greg Egan. 🙂 I’m about a hundred pages in at the moment, and let me tell you, it boggles my mind! This is an intense hard-SF book, not emotionally, but in terms of the concepts. 🙂 I’m really enjoying it, so I should have that review for you in the next week or two. 🙂

Okay, I’m off to smoke a cigarette, watch Awake, and then I’ll be posting a new interview later! 🙂

Be Fantastic!

P.S. thanks to Liz, Mark, Carole, Peter, and everyone else who sent their support and best wishes through – you guys all helped me get through one of the scariest moments in my life (so far), and I could never thank you all enough! 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Announcements, Musings

 

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