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Old 30th August 2009, 02:19 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

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Originally Posted by Reden View Post
Hi, this goes to anyone who would like to throw their two cents in, but I'm interested in hearing back from someone in the industry;

Is there a market currently out there for books with main characters who are gay? I'm not talking about romance novel stuff, but all the books I tend to read always have a lot of action and fiction stuff and usually some form of heterosexual love interest. Now, I've been out of the loop for a while so there may be a pocket of books somewhere with gay characters, but I'm just wondering what the industry standpoint on this is. Would it be possible to publish a book with a main character who was gay in the sci-fi fantasy genre? Or would no publisher/agent touch such a thing?

Thanks for your time.
Anne Rice made a living with gay and/or bisexual vampires and was very explicit in her depictions.

I'm sure you'll do fine with whatever characters you create provided they are intriguing and drawn well on the page.
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Old 30th August 2009, 02:22 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

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Currently, sf/fantasy needs all the alternate sexuality it can get- if only to ensure Orson Scott Card never sleeps well again.
I believe OSC has had gay characters in his fiction before. I'll have to start digging, but I remember him being outraged the J. K. Rowling didn't explicitly state in Deathly Hallows that Dumbledore was gay, saying something like, "Nobody cares if he's gay, but be a brave enough writer to say it in the work itself, not in an interview. When I have a gay or lesbian character, I let the reader know."

I think that's the quote. It was in his blog sometime shortly after Deathly Hallows came out.

EDIT: I did a search though, couldn't find anything mentioning any of his characters being gay or lesbian. Funny enough though, in the blog I mentioned, he claims that Ender's Game inspired Harry Potter...

I'm not sure what he smoked before saying that. But it must have been terrific.
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Old 31st August 2009, 09:15 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

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I believe OSC has had gay characters in his fiction before.
I wasn't talking about his fiction so much as his general commentary on various sites. He sees same-sex love as a sin and, though he doesn't think it should be illegal at home, he believes public displays of affection (among LGBs) should be arrestable. For society's good, you understand.

Theres this memorable interview where OSC's spouting his self-pleased nonsense and the journalist is a lesbian and hasn't told him that fact.

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I'm not sure what he smoked before saying that. But it must have been terrific.
Maybe he should smoke some more. Might chill him out...
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Old 1st September 2009, 03:34 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

Just finished a book by Gore Vidal named Kalki. The main character in that book was a bi-sexual female with a proclivity for female lovers. Her homosexuality was not played up too much, but it was important to the story. Vidal's Myra Breckinridge, which is also fantastic, deals heavily with homosexual (gay and lesbian) themes, and probably transgender, as a surgical procedure is important to the book.

I also just found a book the other day called Uranian Worlds, edited by Eric Garber and Lyn Paleo, which is an annotated bibliography of over 1,000 SF and fantasy books that deal in various degrees with homosexuality. Interesting reading.
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Old 6th September 2009, 02:35 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

Just to add to the list - a friend of mine just got a two-book contract on top of the one she's already contracted to write, for a series about her lesbian werewolf private eye (first seen in the anthology "Queer Wolf" that came out earlier this year). It seems there is no genre that can't be enhanced by a little gaiety
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Old 6th September 2009, 08:40 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

Ellen Kushner's brllliant book Swordspoint centres around two gay characters.
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Old 25th May 2012, 02:49 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

I'm sure there's a market for it. I have a gay nephew who is totally in love with Glee, largely because of its gay-friendly stance and the inclusion of a strong gay character. I don't know that he reads speculative fiction, but there have to be plenty of gays who do. Also, I'm sure there are plenty of straight people who don't really care about the sexual orientation of a character. Personally I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned heterosexual romance, so I don't know how satisfying it would be for me. I've never written a gay character, probably because I can't really think from that angle. But now that you bring up the subject, I'm wondering if maybe I should try, just to broaden my horizons.
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Old 25th May 2012, 04:06 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

I can add my own novels to the list, now that I have a publisher and one book out already (wow, seems a lifetime since I posted on this thread...).

The hero of my current trilogy is bisexual (as many Renaissance men were - it's a side of that culture that doesn't get mentioned much), and a couple of other central characters are gay. So I can say from personal experience that, yes, there's a market for fantasy featuring gay characters
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Old 25th May 2012, 06:26 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

I have two POV characters in my book and one of them is gay. It features quite a lot in the politics and religion of my world too, but not quite as simply as gay=bad.
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Old 26th May 2012, 10:41 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

Baron Harkonnen was gay, but not a terribly good role model...
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Old 26th May 2012, 11:14 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

Baron Harkonnen was a paedophile - not the same thing. Yes, we see him molesting a boy slave, but still, not the same thing.
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Old 27th May 2012, 07:12 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Heinlein. His characters generally expressed the sentiment that homosexuality and heterosexuality were both signs of a limited mind, and most were openly up for anything. There were bisexuals, and incestuals, and transsexuals, and a man-become-woman-through-brain-transplant which was bisexual in both directions at once. He had many polyandrous marriages, line marriages, group marriages, triads, you name it. Really quite an enlightened old fellow.
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Old 27th May 2012, 08:21 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

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Baron Harkonnen was a paedophile - not the same thing. Yes, we see him molesting a boy slave, but still, not the same thing.
Paedophilia is an interest in prepubescent children. I'm not making any excuses for the baron, but the slave certainly wasn't that.
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Old 27th May 2012, 01:32 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

It's a long time since I read it, but IIRC the slave was chosen for his resemblance to Paul, who is only 14 at the beginning of Dune. Even if it's not technically paedophilia (the slave might be slightly older than that), it's as near as dammit.

The "gay pervert" trope is just...nasty - I'm uncomfortable using the word "gay" to describe a man who likes to fondle helpless youths, regardless of their exact biological or legal status.
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Old 27th May 2012, 02:43 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Gay characters?

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The "gay pervert" trope is just...nasty - I'm uncomfortable using the word "gay" to describe a man who likes to fondle helpless youths, regardless of their exact biological or legal status.
Absolutely it's nasty, and I understand where you're coming from, but I'm also uncomfortable with the tabloid-driven extension of the definition of paedophilia, because it is such an explosive term, probably one of the most damaging allegations that can be levelled against anyone, and one that should therefore be restricted to those to whom it genuinely applies. I admit I was going only by the film version, where from memory (only seen it once) the slave looks around eighteen. Fourteen is pretty borderline, but I have heard the term used to describe attraction to even mature post-pubescent minors, which, if not something we want as a society, is hardly the pathology that paedophilia is. Perhaps Baron Harkonnen's sexuality should just be defined as "pus-bag", and remove gender altogether.

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