Saturday Post


-Editor extraordinaire Jetse de Vries is running a series of very interesting articles on optimistic SF around the world here, and is also having a number of musings about change in Africa and the Islamic world respectively

-Mary Robinette Kowal over at AMC with an article on The Worst-Dressed Women Warriors in Fantasy. Oh yes. It’s amazing how movie women never ever dress sensibly for the battlefield (you’re left feeling they want to find themselves a husband/lover on the battlefield instead of victory). And don’t get me started on exposed necks and the general lack of helmets…

-Fellow Campbell Nominee Gord Sellar has a fascinating post on SF, culture and translation, taking the example of Korean spec-fic.
When you think about it, it’s a source of endless fascination how the US manages to export its myths, dreams and ways of thinking around the world. There’s a number of tropes (the self-made, uneducated man, the lone hero/maverick, the Frontier Myth) that feel very American to me, and that, as Gord points out,  shouldn’t translate well to other cultures (the lack of education would be a killer in France or in Asia).

I think a big part of it is economic factors (France was also exporting a large part of its culture at a time when it was the dominant economic power in Europe): a sort of mimetism, whereby people adhere to US values in the hopes of being as prosperous as the US. Also, of course, a very commercially-driven export, with an infrastructure geared towards selling as many copies worldwide as possible.

Still… Wonder why it’s working so well for the US, in comparison to other countries. Am I missing something else that’s obvious?


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