[LMB] AKICOTL: Fathers and daughters in SF&F

Raye Johnsen raye_j at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 25 15:15:33 BST 2009

--- On Sat, 4/25/09, Pat Mathews <mathews55 at msn.com> wrote:

> [Pat gives several examples from classic F/SF]  
> I shake my head-  they all seem completely dysfunctional,
> don't they? Now that I think of it. 

I think it's an extension of the fact that, as a whole, the F/SF community has only recently become a generational one.  Up until the late 70s at the very earliest, you just didn't *have* a parent giving their child SF to read, or a child sharing his/her books with their parents.  While *today* many fans can and do say that their parents were the ones who led them to SF*, and discuss their parents' reading habits as easily as their own, many, many SF fans who were SF reading kids prior to the 80s/90s will probably have the experience of parents who either didn't understand at best or were actively hostile at worst to the attractions of stories about Bug-Eyed Monsters, and hence to a lot of the child's personality and choices.  Which, when they grew up to be SF writers themselves, translates to tales where the parental figures are non-understanding at best and actively hostile at worst.

Worth noting, I think, is that many authors whose real-life parental and family figures are known to be/have been supportive of their writing and chosen genre (such as her Ladyship) often have stories where at least some of the parental and family figures are supportive of the hero/ine.


* I think my reading habits would be very different had my dad not left his EE 'Doc' Smiths where my nine-year-old self could easily find and read them.  Which I remember mostly because I had to ask Mum what 'ferrous' meant, which led to why would 'non-ferrous' not show up on an area scanner, which led to why aren't they using radar, because radar shows things other than iron (I think the answer to that one was, "Well, actually, I don't think the first ones did,"), and what is a slide rule, and why are they complaining about moving the computers if they're grownups, and... actually, when I think about it, explaining 50s SF, which was full of 50s tech, to an 80s kid must've been *hard*.

raye_j at yahoo.com

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men
and other mythical creatures.


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