Sex Change

The fact that the two primary folks who put Nyx back together again are men really bothers me.

So one of them will be getting a sex change. I mean, not within the book (though that certainly would be something interesting to explore in this weird body-swapping world… hm…), but an authorial one.

Sometimes I think what the difference is between feminist science fiction and everything else is just being aware of what you’re doing. I’ve got a lot of heavy cultural biases. I work hard at being aware of them when I’m building worlds, and seeing where they drive me off track. Not every world is like this one. I love reading about places where things are really different. Not just the gadgets, but *everything.* There’s so much we just automatically assume, stuff that doesn’t fit into the worlds we build. It’s the Martian husband reading the paper and the Martian wife serving him tea.

Come on. Really?

Stupid things, like the assumption of a nuclear family (yes, I defaulted to a couple of these, too), the assumption of a supporting cast and background characters that are 95% male (it was a struggle to reverse this for GW, but writing anything else would have been portraying a totally different world than the one I built), het love as the penultimate in intimacy (reeeeeeaally trying to break out of this one, but it’s hard), boys who move and shake the world while the girls hold their hands, one-way racism, and governments in total control (we like to think ours knows what it’s doing; most governments, though, are pretty incompetent).

Things are a lot more messy (and a lot more interesting) than all that in the worlds I’m building (and, in fact, in real world; the world as assumed is much duller than the real thing). And yes, it’s a pain in the ass to go back and fix it when you screw something up.

But the world is better for it.

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