Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gay SF


When I was a wee little pansy boy in the swamps of Texas, I would read anything, but my favorite genre was science fiction. The public library in the unimportant burg where I grew up had a smallish s.f. section of about four shelves and although I never set myself the goal of reading all of it, in the end I think I did. Everything from the florid wasteland of Lovecraft to the thinly veiled anticommunist gibberish of the 1950s through the post-apocalyptic grinds that popped up during the Vietnam war. I love Asimov, le Guinn, Clarke, but I was perfectly willing to plow though the tons of mediocre tripe that traveled with them.

Somewhere along the line, I decided I was too sophisticated for scifi and let it slide off my radar. Maybe the level of tripe just overwhelmed me. I returned to it a few years ago and now I’m back to reading almost nothing else. Escapism! Yay!

The biggest change has been around the edges; wild ideas that seeped in from actual science are now a given, things like parallel universes and wormholes allow authors more and more complicated plots, but underneath them all, they’re still mostly cowboys in space. The best, obviously, are the rare birds who rise above that. You know who’s great? China Mieville, even though I don’t know hot to pronounce his last name. His style is grim and dark, but filled with sometimes beautiful writing. He tends to a little to much excrescence, but I’m willing to hold my nose, so to speak, and revel in his mastery.

Also, Lois McMaster Bujold who wrote the Hugo winning Paladin of Souls which is peopled with charming, vivid characters and presents a fully developed world.

Anyway, the point is, I’ve run across a gay men’s science fiction and fantasy book club and I’m joining it. I’m nervous since I don’t really like groups and “gay sci fi” sounds like the members (unlike me) will be something out of a John Waters’ movie, but I’m going anyway. What I’d really like is a Gay Brazilian Porn Stars Who Put Out Sci Fi Club, but I can’t find one. Imagine my disappointment.

12 comments:

  1. "Something from a John Waters movie" might be fun. In the theatre. Discussing sci-fi narrative and symbolism over tea with a room full of the types that populate his films, might become quickly over-whelming. Which means you must take notes and share everything the very next day.

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  2. I’m partial to the older sci fi of Philip K. Dick and C. S. Lewis but like you I kind of gave up on the genre.

    Enjoy yourself congregating with the gay sci fi enthusiasts. Don't laugh at the Klingons though, they really hate it and have no sense of humor, there’s only honor with that group.

    If you get bored come next door I’m setting up a Gay Brazilian Porn Stars Who Put Out Sci Fi Club. Free coffee and doughnuts...João and Geo will be reenacting scenes from Barbarella does Corcovado.

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  3. I was always more (embarrassingly?) partial to fantasy than sci fi...but Michael Moorcock (what? shut up!) kind of helped bridge the gap.

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  4. Jason
    I'm more partial to fantasy also, and am, also, slightly embarassed by it. Paladin of Souls. Go there.

    MJ
    The only gay aliens interesting me are the Brazilian Porn Star types.

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  5. Is that book club limited to mr. peenees or could I check it out too?

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  6. Have you ever read "Chrome" by George Nader (yes the actor)?, I though it was a rather nice bit of Gay sci fi

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  7. Ray Ray
    Thanks for reminding me, I meant to include the link. It's www.qsfandf.com Go look

    DT
    I *did* read Chrome, a million years ago. I remember I liked it, although the hero was sort of limp.

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  8. One of my favourite books of all time is The House On The Strand by Daphne Du Maurier, A science fiction time travel extrodinaire, to the 14th century whilst under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.

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  9. Peenee, hero a bit Limp huh? TI like you read it a couple of years ago and found the hero anything but limp. Kind of had secret crush.

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  10. If you find the Gay Brazilian Porn Stars Who Put Out Sci Fi Club, please let me know - I'll fly out for the meetings.

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