Discussion in 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy Talk' started by Tom, Dec 22, 2007.
Here is the chance to score a vote for your gender.
Are You a Man Or A Woman?
Comment if you want...
I'd rather score with the opposite sex!
it's an interesting point
If you compare most successful stories, they all tend to have a male lead character.
My question is...Is it possible for a sci-fi or fantasy story to be blockbuster successful with a female lead character.
The audio adventure 'Huntress part one & part two' has as it's main protaganist Roxy Hawkins (voiced by 14 year old actress Charlotte Frost) A girl orphaned and struggling to survive in a world overcome by alien invasion. Her unique abilities may be the key to Human survival.
It is available for download from www.audiothor.com and only costs £2.99 an episode.
It would be interesting to know what people think of it and whether it could become as popular on Ipod & mp3 player as say, Harry Potter has been in book & film?
Resident Evil has a lead female
When it comes to non-printed media, such as TV & video games, there have been several franchises with a female lead character.
Charmed (TV), Tomb Raider (both movies & games), The Bionic Woman (both versions), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both TV & movie), Witchblade (comic & movie is being made), The Sarah Conner Chronicles (TV series premiering in a few weeks based upon the Terminator movies), Terminator (well, the first movie at least), Wonder Woman (comics, TV, and a proposed movie), Star Trek: Voyager (with Capt. Janeway), Aliens (movies), Medium (TV), The Ghost Whisperer (TV), and the list could go on. Throw Japanese Anime into the mix and a few dozen more examples could be named without even trying.
Even with printed media there are successful works in the genre where a female character may not necessarily by the only lead but one of several lead characters (eg: The Chronicles of Narnia, Asimov's Robot series with Susan Calvin). Then there are stuff like the Nancy Drew series (novels, movies, TV), the Bloodhound series (novels), a lot of Anne McCaffrey's series and others where the primary lead character is female. The list could go on & on also if genre novels that weren't necessarily 'mainstream' are to be included.
The stories are out there, it just depends on what the reader decides to read.
This poll was created to try to find out if there are more women getting interested in scifi and becoming members of CoolSciFi. I think there are more women becoming interested in science fiction and I was wondering if they were making it to CoolSciFi.
women are science fiction.........get into a fight with one, there is science to what they say but most of it is fiction. even some have some fantasy to them.
but yes, i do see more getting interested in sci-fi. it is a good thing. i think Ursula K. Le Guin did the most to get women into the sci-fi and fantasy realm. here is her website.
I don't think any female character made me interested in sci fi as a young girl. Rather my two brothers hooked me up on it, and nowadays I'm more into it then they are.
However, the appearences of female lead characters of course can have a positive effect! maybe not the Xena-fantasy-bikini-wearing type but rather the Leia, Amidala or Buffy type of character? When it comes to books I tend to read as many female writers as possible like Ursula K Le Guin or Maggie Furey, since those books are written by a woman and probably give the female characters a little bit more trustworthiness than those written by a man (NOT to say I only read female works, I rather think the outcome wold be 25% female and 75% male).
Well, look at the Bill Pullman "His Dark Materials" - there's a (young) female lead character
From Capt Xerox at WATEOTU
A lot of women perceive science fiction as a "guy" thing so they stay away from the genre in pretty much the same way that most guys stay away from so-called "chick flicks" and bodice-ripper novels. This woman's opinion is typical. So how do you explain science fiction to female viewers and readers who tune it out? This woman explains how guys can sell it to their skeptical partners and friends. Her original post drew the ire of some feminists when she claimed that science fiction wasn't girly enough. She then went on to ask for some book suggestions that you can offer women (and men) who have a knee-jerk dislike of science fiction.
Kristine Rusch is a female author who writes stories that appeal to women (and men). This interview with her offers some insights into her work.
It might actually be easier to get them hooked on quality science fiction TV. Battlestar Galactica is the first show that comes to mind, but I'd bet that Doctor Who would appeal to many women just for the dreamy doctor. This article proposes the mini-series Taken which is being re-broadcast on Space in Canada.
For you guys who tuned out when I used the word feminist, here's a list of the Top 25 Sci-Fi TV Babes. I was heartened to see that Dana Sculley still places high up the list and I'm willing to bet her character appeals to women as much as men.
The general perception of Sci Fi does seem to be that it is a male thing. However I love it and my husband hates it. This means I always end up watching my programmes on my own and have no one to dicuss them with. This is where you come in (I hope).
Men vs Women
Your husband hates sci-fi??? That's sad.
My wife... well, she isn't fanatical about sci-fi. Some of it she really, really likes -- she's a rabid fan of SG-A and Jericho on Sci-Fi Channel, and she was a huge Farscape fan -- but on the whole, she doesn't "geek out" to anything and everything sci-fi.
Then again... I guess I'm not a huge sci-fi geek myself -- I'm not a member of SCA or KAG, and I don't compulsively read everything Brin and Asimov -- so I guess actually we're pretty evenly matched.
25% percent of people here are girls?
Is it a big surprise, or?
Why this reaction? You think scifi was made exclusively for men?
Does all of you react this way?
no not all of us react that way. i find i get into better sci fi conversations and debates with a woman than a man.
I agree! I will debate anything with a woman...on the other hand if a guy trys to debate I just assume he's arguing and I knock his teeth down his throat!:p
I've been rereading Julie Phillips' biography of James Tiptree Jr. and she does a nice job describing how Tiptree/Alice Sheldon demolished the idea that men and women write differently. But another question is the one being asked here: do we prefer male or female protagonists?
There does still seem to be a perception that science fiction fans tend to be male, and a growing notion that fantasy fans are more and more often female. I think this is an oversimplification, personally. It is true that before about 1970 most science fiction was marketed towards young men, and there were some male fans who didn't want women to be writing science fiction, or even reading it. Those days are past now, thankfully.
What I see today (and this may just be me) is a struggle to write strong female characters who aren't just men in disguise. This seems particularly common when women are presented in traditionally male roles like warrior. One of the reasons the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were so good was that Buffy was so very typically female (yes, she wanted to be a cheerleader; how stereotyped is that?), and yet still fought, literally, with evil bad things. She didn't have to surrender one part of herself for the other.
Then there's the question of writing stereotyped female characters who aren't like the boys but who are still strong characters. This can be particularly difficult work to find, since it requires the author to balance his or her character in societies that are usually at least a little sexist. The best example of this that I've seen is Ursula K. LeGuin's Tenar, from her Earthsea novels.
This leads my free-association post to the question of the use of science fiction to consider gender roles themselves, including ideas about passivity and strength. A novel I've just reread is Karen Anne Mitchell's The Usahar, which has a strong female character resisting aliens who want to reduce her to the stereotype of the passive woman. It's an edgy book and it made me think, which are two things I look for in what I read.
Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the subject of gender and science fiction. It's a big, fascinating topic.
One of my favorite authors is Elizabeth Moon and the majority of her novels have a female lead... Ky Vatta being my fave amongst them...
Don't forget about Ripley from the Alien flicks!
Also, about the whole sci-fi being a man's world: to an extent, I think so, which is interesting because my mom is the one who got me into it, whereas my dad's not the biggest fan (though he did used to make jokes about being Dad-ros and how we had to obey).
Separate names with a comma.