[LMB] Old SF

Thomas Izbicki tizbick at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 27 16:23:26 BST 2020

As I recall the book Starship Troopers, Rico, Carmen Ibañez and Flores are all Hispanic names. In the film too, although it changes Flores from male to female. However, pictures of persons with Hispanic names often show a choice of those who look most white.

Another non-Caucasian lead figure is Travis Fox, an Apache, in Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton) in Defiant Agents.

Of course, most of the older SF novels I read fearture white leads.

Tom Izbicki

From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of BOB!! via Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2020 9:35 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [LMB] Old SF

> Rico also spoke very admiringly of Magsaysay, a hero of the Philippines.

>> 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).

I remember there being a couple other hints about Rico’s national origins, but even if one doesn’t catch any of them, he’s from South America and has a non-Anglo last name, so a reader assuming he’s a generic white guy is bringing their own baggage to the story.  That’s the case with anything one reads that doesn’t make any specific mention of race, color, creed, or national origins.

And I certainly don’t want to read stories where authors try to shoehorn in cultural references and get it wrong, if they’re doing so just for the sake of trying to be inclusive.



Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to tizbick at hotmail.com
Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list