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Old 05-10-2012, 11:21 AM   #76
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Well my opinion is that sci-fi isn't at all gender specific. So I think my response would be considered very helpful. I recommend anything by Isaac Asimov and the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons.
Any book becomes gender specific as soon as the author decides what the gender of the main character will be. Male readers will identify more closely with a male character on a personal level, female readers with a female character. It's the situations the characters find themselves involved in, and the way the opposing genders that are portrayed, that determines the universality of the appeal of the book.

For example, Weber & Ringo's "March Upcountry". The primary character is male, and the surrounding characters (with the exception of his valet and the planet's natives) are all members of a military squad, basically battling nature and the planet to achieve their goal. So the main appeal would seem be to men - on the surface. But the female characters in the book are not written as being weaker or less intelligent or as sex objects, all hot-button items for female readers. And the situations the characters find themselves in could happen to either males or females. The emphasis is kept on who the characters are, not what they are, and that for me, as a woman, is what keeps me interested in the story.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #77
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This woman prefers strongly character-driven plots, rather than plot-driven characters. Maybe that's one of the reasons I love Bujold so much.

I hate books where the women are either TSTL or funny-looking men.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:34 PM   #78
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That's one of the reasons why I can't really get into cozy mysteries all that much. Too many of those main characters are either TSTL unless there's a generic hunky detective backing them up, or else they are reincarnations of Lucy Ricardo - which was funny when Lucille Ball did it, but not anyone else.

Don't know about the rest of you, but the day I find some unknown woman skulking around my property or my life, that's the day 911 gets called.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #79
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And judging by the absence of recommendations of 'Foundation' and the like so far, I'm guessing others had a similar interpretation.
It's so funny that you mention this, because the Foundation series is one of those that always comes to mind when I think about what men prefer vs. women prefer (on average, stereotypically, whatever) in science fiction.

I read those so long ago, I can't even remember how I picked them up. I found the concepts in the first couple books interesting enough, but incredibly dry. I remember feeling I just couldn't care anything about any of the characters because they weren't there for you to care about, only to prove the concepts.

It wasn't until - was it "Prelude to Foundation"? - where the book focused on one generation and spent more time with the individuals that I really enjoyed the books, rather than just found them interesting conceptually.

I read a lot of science fiction as a teenager. Switched to mysteries in my twenties. Read a lot romance all through.

I prefer my stories to be character-driven, whatever the genre, and more interested in how the events unfolding in the books affect the characters, rather than books that seem to focus on the STUFF (magic, spaceships, whatever).
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:09 AM   #80
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This woman prefers strongly character-driven plots, rather than plot-driven characters. Maybe that's one of the reasons I love Bujold so much.

I hate books where the women are either TSTL or funny-looking men.
What does "TSTL" mean?
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:19 AM   #81
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What does "TSTL" mean?
Too stupid to live.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:24 AM   #82
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:10 PM   #83
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This is kind of a strange request. SF started off as pretty much a sausage fest (authors and fans) and was such (with few exceptions) until the late 1960s . But things have changed an awful lot in the last 40-50 years, to the extent that I would say that modern SF is mostly woman-friendly. There are a lot of female writers and more important, editors out there .
I would just refer the person to the 2012 Hugo nominations list ( which includes quite a few women authors) . Four of six novella nominations appear to be women, for example.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:58 AM   #84
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Xanthe, I don't really agree with you.

Hainlein usually (always?) has male protagonists, yet they are so gallant and knightly towards women it makes me sick. I have reasons to believe women like Heinlein's books. I'm reading "Moon is a harsh mistress" and that may be my last Heinlein book.
---------------

The way I see it, science fiction should be more or less concept-based. Character development is secondary for a genre that has science in its name. If you write a book to focus on characters, setting doesn't really matter, it's interchangeable. On a second thought, books placed in past centuries might be interesting because they can show morality of the era. Few science fiction books have interesting new views on that. "Brave New World" may be one. "Solaris" is also about human characters, and it couldn't be written without SF.

Last edited by b0rsuk; 05-14-2012 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:06 AM   #85
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The Stardoc series by S. Viehl is a fun. The main character is a young female doctor who, in the first book, runs away from her controling father to a multi-alien frontier world. Apart from the interesting setting she also meets a handsome, blue pilot.. :-)
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #86
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I guess "Hunger Games" should be mentioned here!

Written by a woman, main hero is a woman, and it's not too science-fiction-y.

While quite well written in my eyes it resembles a bit the "Twilight" kind of "programmed best-sellers" (also from what I know about "Twilight" wihout having read any of the books I guess there are some orders of magnitude in literary quality between the two).

So I'd give it a try as a suggestion.

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #87
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I wouldn't give someone flack over matters of taste, but isn't there rather a large jump between this...and this?
Not really, his books are about a man who excels at fighting with honor. Every other character is a plot device to move the character along to another scene where he displays honor and courage in battle. The woman (there is usually only one) is meant to be a motivation and thus does little else than be beautiful and cry for help (although in his later books that shifts).

This is a problem for modern feminists since if you have a woman in a story she aught to be as good if not better than the man. It doesn't matter if the story isn't about her at all. This can be seen in the miserable movie adaptation of A Princess of Mars where Dejas fights BETTER than John. In fact, they have him goof-up in a battle so she can demonstrate how much better she is. The whole point of his being a man who fights with honor is completely lost because of this (and many other instances of) modern nonsense.

And thus I introduce myself to these forums as a true freak
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #88
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Why expect flack? My wife liked the Burroughs' Mars books as well. Now if you had professed a love of John Norman's Gor series...

Karma for mentioning the Girl Genius comic. Love it! Just waiting for my daughters to get a little bit older before introducing it to them.
I had to google Gor, that sounds like a horrid series...no fear of me liking that!

Thanks! The only difficult part about Girl Genius is that once you get caught up to the present (which I did far too quickly) you only get a new page 3x per week. But then again, it's such a funny and good story I don't want it to end just yet.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:38 PM   #89
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Xanthe, I don't really agree with you.

Hainlein usually (always?) has male protagonists, yet they are so gallant and knightly towards women it makes me sick. I have reasons to believe women like Heinlein's books. I'm reading "Moon is a harsh mistress" and that may be my last Heinlein book.
---------------
I read Heinlein's books years ago and none of them have stuck in my brain so I can't really comment on specifics of his books. I know that I've never re-read them, so apparently the male protagonists didn't appeal or leave any lasting impression on me.

Speaking for myself though, and looking at the scifi books that I have purchased, if I'm reading the blurb about the book and the main protagonist is female, I'm more likely to have more interest in what the book is about, because there is some degree of gender identification.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #90
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I read Heinlein's books years ago and none of them have stuck in my brain so I can't really comment on specifics of his books. I know that I've never re-read them, so apparently the male protagonists didn't appeal or leave any lasting impression on me.
That's great. You've restored my faith in femanity.
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