Still putting my writing through trueness to SFF. Memo to self, of all fake genres, using bits of SFF to sex up a straight-down-the-genre-line romance, crime thriller, action, etc is
not true dat
The core SFF readership are geeks in the purest sense of the term; an enthusiasm that can follow Brony to the ends of the earth. For why? Because everybody else thinks it’s weird but we don’t, so what everybody else thinks doesn’t matter? Who knows, it’s about commitment to the largely-indefensible, perhaps. It has its own battles, the fake geek chick being the most insidious. Like mixed bathing, we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re just letting go in front of others in our core geekhood. Pointing up gender in those circumstances (and the wicked corollary that female = fake geek chick) is the last thing you want.
I’m checking that I haven’t used SFF like a piece of lego slotted onto a standard YA, NA romance or crime thriller or even litfic looking for niche-cred. Because that is messin’ with irrational enthusiasm. Which, when messed with, comes out the other side as seriously pissed off.
The temptation’s always there, to increase the chances of publication or shelf-space by introducing SFF elements, which is like introducing a fake tattoo. Inkers and the SFF community have that well-weathered tolerance of any group that’s spent its formative years in a niche in the smooth surface of the status quo, waiting to be absorbed, Borg-like. But even inkers and SFF can be pissed off by fakes.
The answer is, have I written books like Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro where the SFF is part of good, good stories that challenge the status quo?
No, I have not written books like Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro.
But yes, I have been true to the SFF genre.