(urth) Book of the New Sun won the contest!
jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 2 16:01:34 PDT 2011
> From: Marc Aramini <marcaramini at yahoo.com>
[women SF writers of the 70s feeling dated]
> A whole lot of 70s SF feels dated, from the artistic efforts of Samuel Delany
>on down, in the same way modernism seems a bit musty lately, or those socially
>conscious novels of the late 19th and early 20th century that are many things,
>but are probably not artistic in the final analysis.
> I don't know, I always felt like the previously mentioned Atwood was not doing
>exciting things in the way that more mainstream female writers like Flannery
>O'Connor or Acker or even Byatt were, I felt like I'd read 1984 and other
>similar dystopian stuff over and over and over before when I read some of her
>stuff, or LeGuin's for that matter, so tired of that weak lowest common
>denominator left slanting. Their SF in general IS too closely tied to a
>didactic, pragmatic, realistic purpose, instead of the quite possibly teenage
>boy aimed wow rocket ships explosions impossible science human villains cool
>plot twist kind of stuff men seem to write in SF ... .
I'd say a lot of the most admired male authors before the 70s--Heinlein, Asimov,
Van Vogt (who I don't like), Anderson, Bradbury, Pohl, Kornbluth--were extremely
didactic, with pragmatic, realistic purposes. Clarke might be an exception.
And I don't think women writers had or have any kind of monopoly on weak
lowest-common-denominator left, right, or libertarian slanting (though this does
bring up Ayn Rand...), certainly not considering the shoot-em-ups that you
rightly note are aimed at teenage boys.
> I think there is a better case for quality fantasy female authors than actual
>SF for some reason (Hobb, Tanith lee, Susanah Clark, some of the gothic
>(southern or otherwise) stuff, etc).
And, of course, Le Guin, author of the best YA fantasy ever (and I say this
without having read Harry Potter).
Lee's Flat Earth books are one of my guilty pleasures.
> but some of the works that were selected seem like they are just recent and in
>people's memories now, something that is not true of New Sun, which I would
>like to think deserved to win.
I'll go along with that, unsurprisingly.
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