[LMB] Old SF

Jean Lamb tlambs1138 at charter.net
Sun Sep 27 01:19:44 BST 2020

Anyone reading SF and a lot of fantasy from the past would notice that there were old men and young men, but something drastic must have happened for women, because there are only some young women and very few old ones. Elizabeth Moon and Bujold have made some corrections in that perception, but in the vast majority of SF and fantasy, old women somehow just don't exist. And that if there are more than two women, some readers will feel the women have taken over. 

In the Peter Grant books by Aaronovitch, Grant is very good at giving good descriptions of the skin color of everyone he meets because he's biracial. But again, in older SF and fantasy the default is white, and only the exceptions (if any) are mentioned. 

As for tokenism, there are a ton of black and brown workers in actual hospitals these days, but you would never know it from TV. Bob Hearts Abishola is the only show that actually gets that part right (as well as giving away physical therapist secrets--I mentioned something I'd seen on the show to my physical therapist when I had to get left wrist back, and she snickered, because she'd done it herself). 

Let's be real, if someone's race isn't mentioned, most of the readers here are going to assume the characters are white. Though Heinlein put an Easter Egg in STARSHIP TROOPERS--once I heard the hero spoke Tagalog at home, I knew Rico was Filipino (though of course he was whitewashed for the movie). 

Jean Lamb
tlambs1138 at charter.net

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