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Old 05-05-2012, 11:06 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
most of us never waged mock battles with squadrons of green army men when we were kids
Holy Mackerel: Little Green Men. I never made that connection. I think I just had childhood-love-of-SF epiphany.

And I think there is an SF story idea in there somewhere.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:04 AM   #47
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So, since you agree with that sexist generalization, I guess your opening line was a self reference.
I'm not sure how saying that "women" is a different category than "people who don't normally read sci-fi" is sexist.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:16 AM   #48
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I'd recommend "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes. It's about a young boy called Charlie who, following intelligence enhancing surgery, transforms into something of a genius. The surgery part is the only sc-ifi element in the book. There are no space ships or future wars.

The whole book is written in the first person and documents his emotional awakening. Back in the 90's, the book was frequently 'challenged' in the US due to its sex scenes. (Totally tame by today's standards... and indeed, by 90's standards.) But this is rightfully a classic.

A very moving and profound book.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:52 AM   #49
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I suppose "The Stepford Wives" by Ira Levin would be a good choice. There's hardly any scientific content, but the story is science fiction, technically. It's stealth science fiction.

And the subject matter is women's role in society. And it happens to be an excellent read by an excellent author.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #50
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I'm not sure how saying that "women" is a different category than "people who don't normally read sci-fi" is sexist.
[Just between you and me, I don't think it is, though earlier in the thread someone suggested the idea of "books that women who don't like science fiction would like" was something of an unfair sexist generalization, seeming to imply that any mention of "women" as a group was sexist, which I also don't agree with, though I do realize that it would hard to predict what ANY one person might like from a generalization about a group.
But since jessicalynn decided she need to give me some flak over what I hoped was obviously a statement of self-surprise at realization of my own residual gender-bias carried over from years when the idea of "a woman on the Internet" was the stuff of legend, and the fodder for geek jokes, I figured the same criteria should apply to her.]
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #51
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My wife loves Bujold's Vorkosigan series, for what it's worth.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:46 AM   #52
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Oh yeah, Flowers for Algernon should fit. And I even know a girl who has read it. It focuses on emotions and interpersonal relations. There's barely any science in it.

It's sad that vast majority of women prefer "science fiction" without science in it. I won't put a book away just because I realize there's a love story in it. By the way, sexism will exist for as long as genders significantly differ from each other. We may debate what form should it take, but it's a delusion to treat people the same when they are not the same.

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Old 05-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #53
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Paranormal / Sci-Fi romance, of course. J.D.Robb, Nalini Singh and Jayne Castle. Adventurous women and dangerous men, and of course, lots of sex. Ah, those girls. I fear their husbands have failed them...
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
[...obviously a statement of self-surprise at realization of my own residual gender-bias carried over from years when the idea of "a woman on the Internet" was the stuff of legend, and the fodder for geek jokes, I figured the same criteria should apply to her.]
Women have about reached parity with men on the internet. There are differences in specific usage patterns & types of websites, but other than the ones obviously aimed at specific-gender demographics, less than one might think.

I'm never sure how to react to "wow, you're a woman?!" Given some of the horror stories my friends have mentioned, I'm glad I've missed out on most of the harassment that people with female-sounding usernames often get. OTOH, by not making sure people know my gender, I accidentally reinforce the notion that serious discussions on the internet only involve men.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:10 PM   #55
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let me second, third, fourth the Lois Bujold recommendations. While I love the Vorkosigan books (Memory in particular), my greatest love is reserved for Curse of Chalion/Paladin of Souls, and the Sharing Knife books are growing on me with re-reads. Lois is simply brilliant at strong plots and believable characterizations, and her world-building is without peer.

I'm also fond of the JD Robb "In Death" books, although the sf-aspects of it are more in quiet little things in the world buildng. I'd call it sf-lite. They're most of 'em great mysteries, though.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #56
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John Varley's _Titan_, _Wizard_, _Demon_ ``Gaea Trilogy'' has some interesting female protagonists --- there's some window-shaded sex, but I found Capt. Cirocco Jones a non-stereotypical female character.
You get loads of karma from this girl for recommending those books!
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:01 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Holy Mackerel: Little Green Men. I never made that connection. I think I just had childhood-love-of-SF epiphany.

And I think there is an SF story idea in there somewhere.
It's been done. John Scalzi's "Old Man's War".
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:49 AM   #58
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What are the elements do you think would appeal to women SF readers? And how are they different from men (if any)?
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:38 AM   #59
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What are the elements do you think would appeal to women SF readers? And how are they different from men (if any)?
Do we actually mean science fiction, or futuristic ? If the first, well there are woman scientists, so it's not a surprise that woman science fiction fans exist. Yet somehow technical occupations are not popular among women. I'm not qualified to say why. I have some suspicions, but that's stuff for another debate.

Oh, I just equated "technical" with "science". Chemistry, biology are not strictly technical but they are science. Sorry about that. For some reason there are many woman chemists. I have no idea why.

As for "futuristic", you can repaint almost any story to a futuristic setting. Doing it this way is to me like "jokes with X", where X can be anyone if you so wish. Where the joke's protagonist(?)'s gender, age, opinions etc are not relevant to the joke. So I wouldn't classify that as science fiction.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #60
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I can't speak for all women, especially since I think my recommendations would be a bit odd. I tend to like stories that are not gory or horror filled and end with an uplifting message or redemption. I hate the over sexualized books which are more like soft porn and completely unrealistic (real people can't have sex without consequences). Finally, I studied science so when they get into the technical details I tend to be pulled out of the story and start analyzing and getting frustrated at the obvious errors or silliness of making it sound scientific by using science words but actually saying nothing.

I hate having horrible books imbedded into my memory (like The Grapes of Wrath or the opening of a JD Robb book which described a rape scene after which I couldn't read anymore), thus I try to only read books where I have some assurance of it's quality and that it will end well.

So (sigh - I'm so going to get flack for this), I really liked A Princess of Mars by Burroughs and a bunch of his other books. I think his earlier books are more fantasy, but later he drifts into scientific-fiction. They are all horribly written and generally the same theme: Guy meets Girl and falls madly in love, Girl gets kidnapped by evil mastermind, Guy meets new race/finds new technology, Guy rescues Girl with awesome fighting skills. The women in his novels are helpless damsels in distress who do just about nothing to help themselves, so I fear most modern women who abhor the idea of a man being able to do something they can't would hate these books. But I found it refreshing to read a book about a strong male character who was honorable and brave.

And they were free...

Actually, the more I think about it almost all "sci-fi" books I liked were more in the fantasy realm.
  • Dune was probably the closest although I thought the second book odd and put it down before finishing.
  • CS Lewis's space trilogy was fun, but more of a theological speculation.
  • Girl Genius comic has been fun to read - although it's not a book but a steampunk comic
  • The Silkie by Vogt was fascinating with how the silkie used logic as a weapon
  • Does Hitchhiker's Guide count?
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