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?

  • Tamquam

    I note with some surprise that some people on the round table commented with what appears to be a tone of disappointment that there were so few people logged into the live stream. Up to that point I had thought that the exclusion of the great unwashed was deliberate as there was no mention of this upcoming event on SupervisiveSF, SciPhiJournal, WelcometoArhyalon, or JohnCWright’sJournal. The secret was well kept. Success! Hence my surprise at the sounds of disappointment from the participants, who, apart from from four unknown persons who happened to stumble upon the live stream while it was live, who were apparently the only ones in the know.

    Just a tip, guys. If you want people to participate in these things make an upcoming event announcement somewhat in advance of the event itself. That way people such myself can schedule time away from the gainful employment needed to provide the money to buy your books to attend. Now it is possible that you don’t want the world to know, but only those who wash with soap containing the essence of stardust and whimsy, such as your irritated correspondent, you might send out an email to your fans who love you and buy your books and who hang on your every word.

  • sciphi

    Yeah, I now we are bad at promoting them. We will get better!