I went to my first meeting of my queer sci-fi book club tonight. Eight very nice guys, not at all the nerd fest I was dreading. There was a wide range of opinions about the book we discussed, Flora Secunda. Most of them pretty much stuck with “I liked it…” or “I didn’t like it…” and then a sentence or maybe two about some detail that had struck them. Not mrpeenee. I adore sharing my opinions; perhaps you’ve noticed. After all, my insights are so darn insightful it would be selfish to keep them to myself.
I really let loose about how much I enjoyed the book (and I truly did, it’s charming,) how it compared to other examples within the genre, the queer subtext of two of the characters, the clever sendups of the clichés in fantasy writing, all the good stuff. I believe I used the word “trope,” and I used it correctly.
My sister clubbers seemed a little overwhelmed. I could see them wondering, “Does this queen think she’s Oprah?” But I had a good time. I haven’t had a chance to talk about reading like this since I was in school and then I was so shy, so blanketed with self-directed homophobia, I would never have dreamed of taking the floor so assertively. I seemed to have blossomed, or, possibly, over-ripened.
We also chatted about the book coming up next month. At some point since the rise of Lord of the Rings in the late hippie era, science fiction split off into two main arenas: hard sci-fi and fantasy. Hard stuck more with possibilities of actual science, computer and astronomy usually. Fantasy, influenced by Tolkien, wandered off into magic and parallel universes. It’s more concerned with metaphysics than physics. The shorthand way to talk about the split is space cowboys vs. elves. I tend to prefer fantasy, although not exclusively, but I suspect the rest of the group are more of the Space Cowboy ilk. We’ll see.