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Oh DWers & LJers, help me make a list!

I have my preliminary schedule for WisCon, and now I'd like to, as is traditional, query my flists for helpful suggestions of titles I should not forget to mention (or should look at, if they're new to me) when discussing panel topics.

"Gender-Variant Characters in Science Fiction"

Let's explore how gender variance and/or variant/trans* characters are represented in Science Fiction. How often are gender-variant characters used for the purpose of examining the experiences of cisgender individuals? How often is the variance of these characters integrated into a character/individual level experience? (The suggestions given were some gaming characters, but I don't game and can't talk about them. I figured "Aye, and Gomorrah..." by Delany ought to be mentioned. I know there are examples in comics as well that I should note down.)

"Addiction in Fiction"

Real drugs, imaginary drugs, and magical addictions to other people's dreams - how are addictions handled in science fiction and fantasy? Can imaginary addictions be treated with real-world methods? How about fictional worlds in which addiction is not seen as a problem? Or in which addiction has become adaptive (are vampires addicted to blood?)? (Suggestions already given are Yarrow by Charles De Lint, the Sime-Gen books, and Chase Putnam in the "Downside" urban fantasy series by Stacia Kane, but since I suggested the panel, those are all mine.)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)

Slurm in Futurama
Nevermore in Ironside
The Stuff in The Stuff

What about Spice in Dune?

Apr. 10th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: #1

Ilario by Mary Gentle

There's a hermaphrodite alien in Peter David's New Frontiers Trek books

Left Hand of Darkness by Le Guin (does this fall under the description?). There's also at least one other story with Gethenians

Diana Comet by Sandra McDonald

After School Nightmare
Fushigi Yuugi
Sailor Uranus from the Sailor Moon manga (moreso than the anime)

Gender swapping (which perhaps doesn't fit with the panel description) - Futabakun Change, Ranma 1/2, Cycler and (Re)cycler by Lauren McLaughlin

Maybe the anime Simoun.

Apr. 10th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: 2

That game in TNG that Wesley hooks people on.

I feel like nearly every SF TV series has at least one episode like this, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment with other examples.

What's that one where a race of aliens was kept under control with an engineered addiction? I don't even know what series I'm thinking of! It was piped into their nose through a tube? Was it Star Trek?
Apr. 10th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
You cannot discuss gender-variant characters without mentioning Bel Thorne in the Vorkosigan novels. Bujold consistently refers to Bel as "it" (Bel is a hermaphrodite), and the term feels entirely natural in context. Also, Bel displays the full range of human behavior that might get classified as more male or more female, and consistently feels simply human and nongendered. It's one of my favorite characters, ever.
Apr. 10th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
For addiction, the later seasons of Buffy.

Apr. 11th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
For transgender, even more than "Aye, and Gomorrah," I'd look at Triton (which takes place in the same universe)-- the main character changes genders multiple times during the novel.

For addiction, how about Jonathan Lethem's first novel, "Gun, With Occasional Music?"

(The obvious ones would be Dune and PKD's "Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch")
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


oracne - Victoria Janssen

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