Gender Neutral Pronouns in Fantasy

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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.

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Editing Woes

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I’ve got good news and bad news.

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!

The bad news is… I have no idea what I’m doing.

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Throwback Thursday is coming!

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Hi everyone!

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!