Author Larry Correia has a lengthy post on his site responding to a post in Tor by Alex Dally MacFarlane about non-binary gendered characters in scifi. MacFarlane is pro, Correia not so much. The article is old, but I felt the need to stick my big foot into the conversation. Here’s my comment:
I know this is nine months old, but I just stumbled upon it and wanted to add my two cents.
Larry, I get the feeling that, as a conservative, you sometimes feel like a minority in the SF community whose voice is either ignored or silenced. You had a campaign to try to get more right-leaning authors to win Hugos. You think yours is a voice that is not well-represented in mainstream SF and you want to correct that. Fair enough. I don’t have a huge interest in reading political rants masquerading as scifi, but I read plenty of fiction from conservative writers and so long as they are good writers and their political bent doesn’t ruin their writing, I’m fine with it. i plan on reading your grim noire series, and am probably going to continue avoiding John Ringo’s output. He’ll live.
Alex MacFarlane is someone who, as interex, feels like a minority. She wants her voice to be better represented in scifi. I think her demand that most sicfi include non-gender binary characters is a pipe dream and I think that many writers will ignore her demand and keep doing what they are doing. From the comments to her article though, it seems like there are a lot of people who are interested in what she is talking about. If the result is a niche of non-binary scifi that I can ignore, fine. If the result is non-binary scifi that is really good and I can enjoy, great. I’m pretty sure either way your fan base won’t be affected, and you won’t feel the need to shoehorn in characters who are interest or trans or whatever. You’ll be just fine. Don’t worry about it. Everyone has their issue. Scifi will survive. Bad writing will kill scifi. Distribution monopolies might kill scifi. But including non-traditional character types in stories will not kill scifi. Even if tomorrow half of all scifi books published were about or by gays, women, people of color, and transfolk, there’d still be a healthy market share for stories about straight, cis-gendered, red-blooded white dudes. Our market share in general might be shrinking a bit, but it isn’t a zero sum game. We’ll be fine. And i think you have more in common with MacFarlane than you realize. You both are tired of having your voice silenced. You are both tired of the mainstream community ignoring you and your fans. And you both want to write and read about people who share your viewpoint.