[LMB] 9 Women Who Shaped Science Fiction

Paula Lieberman paal at filker.org
Wed Sep 18 17:17:44 BST 2013

Norton has had at least as much influence as Heinlein, though not as 
overtly--her children's and YA books were the first SF/F millions of people 
read, as minors, and influenced their tastes, outlooks, and expectations.

Heinlein wrote little of what's perceived as fantasy.  Note today that 
fantasy is much more popular than SF, and may be the plurality genre, when 
including children's and  YA books  and paranormal and fantasy romance and 
paranormal mysteries, in addition to straight "fantasy."  Andre Norton's 
output however included contemporary fantasy, high fantasy, alternate world 
fantasy, historical fantasy... and her writing directly influenced several 
generations of SF/F writers.

Joan Vinge's fascination with the Beaker People from Andre Norton's work, 
led to Joan Vinge's writing career, is only -one- example.

The list is, again, clickbait.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Howard Brazee
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 09:24 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] 9 Women Who Shaped Science Fiction

On Sep 17, 2013, at 8:52 PM, BJ van Look <vanlook at yahoo.com> wrote:

> This seems to be a list of "science fiction" authors thought up by an 
> academic or analyst who wants academia to "think better" of science 
> fiction by positing a bucket of "real" writers as part of it.
> CL Moore, Andre Norton and MZB had more effect on the development of early 
> SF into the field it is today than half the people on that list.
> That being said, I concur with the listing of Bujold, LeGuin, Perkins and 
> Shelley.
> BJ

I wondered about Norton's absence then thought again.   What does "shaped 
science fiction" mean?     Being a popular author who's a woman isn't 
sufficient.   (Maybe being great isn't sufficient - if the shape of SF 
hasn't changed).  If Andre Norton was a man, would she have been on a list 
of people who shaped science fiction?

To a minor degree, I suppose - some of her novels brought a flavor of 
fantasy into SF worlds in a way that hadn't been done before.

Lois's shaping is interesting - bring back an older flavor of SF, but with 
skill and purpose that we hadn't seen back in "the golden age".   I believe 
that her success at achieving this has caused other authors to emulate her.

The authors I hadn't heard of may have shaped some - only if they were known 
and emulated by later authors. 

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