20 April 2004

Dorothy Allison on Science Fiction

I'm using Dorothy Allison's novel Bastard Out of Carolina in a class at the moment, but I haven't read any of her other work, and so I was surprised to see the following in a 1998 interview:
You are very out about being a lesbian and other renegade aspects of your sexuality, and yet, in a funny way, your lifelong love of science fiction may be your last dark secret.
That's because it's an area in which there is a huge amount of contempt, partly because of the fantasy element. I subscribe to a discussion group on the Internet for feminist science-fiction writers. I barely qualify. I've published a couple of science-fiction stories. But I am a writer, and I am a science-fiction fan, and I get to have amazing conversations with Vonda McIntyre and Nicola Griffith, writers whose work I absolutely adore, who have been writing science fiction for 20 years or more and who get no respect. They are doing serious work. Their work is an assault on conventions so enormous that it is very much more dangerous, sometimes, than writing about lesbianism, which is essentially about love and romance.