To put it quite bluntly, they don’t seem to exist.
Very little fantasy or even science fiction seems to address or even acknowledge the idea of gender-neutral pronouns or terms of address. I have seen a few instances in stories that present angels as masculine, feminine, or neuter, using “he” “she” or “se” (pronounced “SEH”). However, in most speculative fiction, the gender binary of male/female or masculine/feminine predominates. I understand why; English just doesn’t have a good system for addressing neutral genders. The only thing we have is “it” which is dehumanizing when applied in a social context. People I know who identify as gender neutral refer to themselves as “they” (which is a little awkward and confusing to me) or they use masculine pronouns because in English, when a gender is unknown, the masculine tends to be the default. I love Japanese honorifics because they can convey titles and respect without being tied to gender most of the time. I can also understand why a lot of older fantasy doesn’t go beyond two genders because authors and audiences either didn’t know about it or didn’t accept it; anything outside heterosexual relationships or traditional gender roles wasn’t readily acknowledged. (The first time I saw a homosexual character featured in print was in 2005 when I read the short story “Lord John and the Succubus” by Diana Gabaldon. I have yet to read a story featuring a gender neutral, asexual, or trans character,)
Luckily, we’re growing up a bit as a society and it would be nice to see the spectrum of gender and sexual identity recognized in fiction.
The good news is, I have definitely reached the point with my novel, Ravens and Roses, where I have very little writing left to do. There are still a few missing scenes, some background information that needs to be hammered out, and a bunch of scene revisions… but for the most part, it’s ready for the next step. I have a manuscript ready to be edited. Go me!
I wanted to announce that I have started converting older entries from The Cat’s Cradle into Audio Editions. Every other Thursday, one of these older entries will be uploaded to The Cat’s Cradle‘s YouTube channel. I have created a separate page on my website called “Audio Editions” which compiles a list of links to those recordings so you don’t have to scroll through the entire blog looking for a particular entry. You can find it next to my “Editing Services” page on the top right hand side of my blog. At the same time, I will also add the link to the respective text entry, and post a link on Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. You can expect the first of the #ThrowbackThursday Audio Editions to be released on January 15th.
Also, I am taking a break from writing fan fiction in January. However, I have asked my readers and watchers from Fanfiction.net to vote on which story they would like me to work on next. I have several fan fics that have been languishing as “works in progress” for years, and I would like to complete them before I start posting up any new projects. All of those stories will be completed; the only question is in what order? Should I work on my Inuyasha fan fic first, or continue with Naruto or maybe Fullmetal Alchemist… you get the picture. If any of my blog readers would like to take a vote, there are a few ways you can do so. If you have an account on Fanfiction.net, go to my Starsister12 profile and vote in the poll or send me a PM. You can also send me a tweet @kvclements or leave a comment below. Voting is open until January 31st.
That’s all the updates for now, and I hope you’ll tune in next Monday for a more substantial post!