Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Women in Sci-Fi

Hello, my name is Kristina Stutts. Welcome to my writing blog. Here I will expound upon my thoughts and ideas regarding my writings or just in general. I am currently working on a science fiction trilogy series, the first of which will be published as soon as I get a cover for it. I am also working on two different fiction stories: a crime drama entitled Color of Dreams and a drama/romance story entitled Change the Stars. Color of Dreams is currently my NaNoWriMo story this month. I've almost reached my goal of 50K, sitting slightly above 44K.

I was on the NaNo sci-fi board the other day and saw a post that bothered me regarding women in science fiction.

My science fiction trilogy is about a woman named Madison Mackenzie Rhodes (goes by Maddie) who finds out that she is a clone. Her counterpart, Mack, is a part of a secret government organization called Intergalactic Security Commission. The ISC works with thousands of other worlds to protect one another as well as share technologies. Clones are created to protect the secret of the ISC, fearing that the inhabitants of Earth couldn't handle the news that not only are we not alone in this universe, but there are hostile species that threaten Earth's safety. Maddie must now work with Mack and her team when she becomes a target of a race hellbent on creating an army of clones at their disposal. An enemy from within the ISC threatens not only Earth, but thousands of other worlds as well.

Maddie is a smart, resourceful 30-year-old woman. She has a Masters degree in Engineering and Applied Physics. I once joked that she thinks like Leonard but looks like Penny.

When the idea for my story came to me, I didn't think about female archetypes in science fiction. I didn't set out to write this story geared more towards women, just because Maddie is a woman. I wasn't trying to represent women of science. Maddie also isn't a woman because her author is. I wasn't concerned with making her female in order to make the story marketable. The voice telling me the story was female.

I want my reader to fall in love with Maddie and Mack, just like I have. I want people to look up to them as the heroes that they are. Strong, successful, smart. Gender has no bias here.

I think there are a lot more women sci-fi fans than some give credit for. I've been a fan since I could remember. I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars. Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis is still two of my favorite shows, even though it's been off the air for years. Granted I've actually never watched Dr. Who (please don't take my nerd card, I'm going to remedy this as soon as I can), my love for the genre is well established.

I have a problem with authors seemingly pandering to a particular subset. I think I've written a well-rounded story that anyone regardless of age will enjoy. And I can't wait for everyone to read it.

I don't think Mack or Maddie fit into a particular kind of mold. I'm not a fan of cookie-cutter characters that seem flat and serve no purpose. That's how I feel about some women I've read in novels. They feel forced, like the author felt like he/she had to include her. I think the overall feeling that a woman has to behave a certain way in this type of genre bothers me.

Maybe Maddie will progress and change some opinions regarding what a woman in a sci-fi story is supposed to be like. Maybe Mirror Image will be set apart based on the rich story and characters that jump off the page. Maybe in the future, women will cosplay as my two main characters. That's not the reason why I wrote it. But it would be awesome. I hope by the time my books are in people's hands, they aren't dissecting the characters, but rather enjoying the story unfold and will follow along in the adventure.

That's my thoughts. Feel free to share below or follow me on Twitter at @KGStutts

If you are into wrestling and fan fiction, you can find me on the as KGStutts