A recent huffpost article just nailed it for me. Science Fiction Romance, SFR, the genre with “Girl germs”.
Foz Meadows writes:
Science fiction is a sandbox, and for most of its history, men have been hogging it.
How right this is… The men of the SF genre want to take their toys and go home, but women just keep playing with them. As a young teen, I devoured hours of Anne McCaffrey. She defined my experience of scifi. She was my hero.
Here was a woman, a woman, writing definitive science fiction. Because of that, I never questioned whether I could. I never thought about what REAL scifi was or would be. I just kept buying and borrowing books. The White Dragon is the book that stands out in my mind. That book made me want to be a writer. I wanted to do that, and I could because she did. 1978, BA-By.
I admit that I’m not Anne McCaffrey, and I wouldn’t want to be. It’s not my wheelhouse. She wrote classic scifi excellence. I write pulp Scifi Rom. It’s different, and I like it that way. Is it somehow not real or feminist? I don’t think so.
Welcome to second the sexual revolution, gentlemen. The first one was just you guys finally admitting that your mom has sex. This one is you guys understanding finally that we enjoy sex. WE love it. Romance and Erotica are no different from whatever you call that horn dog phase Captain Kirk went through.
But, that’s different because it was James T. Kirk, and he had to be a man’s man. Yeah, Yeah. Newsflash, we feel the same way. We want to express our need for adventure, sexual and otherwise, in just the same way men have for centuries. And we want it now!
A publisher wouldn’t look twice at a manuscript like mine. Why? It’s Niche. But, that’s changing. Because someone threw open the doors on the publishing world, women now have the opportunity to write what they love and sell it.
I get that you don’t want to share the sandbox. I’m afraid it’s more like a beach now anyway. The world is getting bigger, Boys. It’s not just a small collection of big fish in a small pond. Women are people; people who love sex and adventure, people who want to see the universe in their mind, people who love a good tech story.
Ruby Lionsdrake and her mercenaries are every bit as dense and defined as any Asimov character. Diana Gabaldon has a gift for detail in time travel that got her her own TV series. Women are in it to win it. That’s clear from the playing field. Could it actually be something else here?
Maybe, the real reason the boys don’t like to share the sandbox is simpler than we think. Sex sells. Could this little war actually be more about market share?