Superversive Roundtable – Do Conservatives and Liberals write Sci Fi differently?

We do have a special announcement to go along with this episode, Superversive Press has put its first book out, The Product by Marina Fontaine, who will be joining on this episode along with the usual crowd.


This round table was inspired by a comment on John’s blog.

Okay, well here’s the first, then: The general idea is about non-political differences between fiction by leftist authors and by conservative authors. For instance, I’ve noticed that for authors who are more conservative, family generally figures importantly in their stories. However, for more leftist authors (most published by the big publishing houses these days), family is a minor element, if mentioned at all. OSC’s books prominently feature family. Even John’s Golden Phoenix books, written when he was an atheist, have family as an important element.

In contrast, the two Scalzi books I’ve read barely mention the characters’ families at all. Terry Pratchett’s books very rarely involve family to a significant degree. I’m sure given more time I could find more examples.

(This pattern, by the way, makes me suspect that Jim Butcher leans right.)

Another difference is in how the hero wins. In a conservative author’s work, victory often comes by way of courage and self-sacrifice (even if he doesn’t die, the hero puts himself in a place where he is likely to). In a more leftist book, on the other hand, victory will commonly come by way of being clever, almost anything by Asimov probably exemplifies this.

Have you guys seen these? Are there other patterns which separate authors along these lines?