Recently I had been twirling the idea of my opening for Stainless Steel book 3 in the Women of the Grey series in my head. I needed a name for a new character. Being that Women of the Grey is about an alien race of women I thought nothing of approaching a large Facebook Science Fiction group for ideas.
I was met with nothing but spit and ugly from this group. I received smartass answers that were hovering on just trying to call me out for not being hardcore science fiction enough. I had posted a question to the group searching for suggestions and ideas. Instead it felt as if they wanted to dispute my knowledge of Science Fiction. I did not hesitate to delete my question and leave the group.
I don’t have time or patience for venom attacks on my character. I’m way too busy not being an asshole. I don’t feel bad about leaving this group. There are many other groups with much kinder and cooler people who are open to discussion not judgment to stress over it.
The situation however got me thinking of those in the science fiction community that revel in being hardcore Sci-Fi. You know the kind of people I’m talking about; the ones that know the specific name for one screw, on one spaceship that a certain character only flew once in some book/movie/tv show. These same people that huff at you if you don’t the name of that screw. “You call yourself a fan?” Kind of people.
It gets me shaking my head; it’s that type of people who scare off the softer fans. Let’s take myself as an example. I am the type of person that loves Science Fiction books, movies, especially video games. I won’t tell you how many hours (shrug, years) I played Dead Space, only that I can proudly saw I played on zealot. If you’re a Dead Space video game fan then you’ll know what I’m talking about. I do not know the correct terminology for Isaac’s craft, suit, or gun. I don’t care about that I just knew that I liked it.
There it is, I like science fiction. I would sit down to watch an Alien movie before a romance. If it’s science fiction and horror I’m your lady. Let’s just say I would lose my shit to see someone cosplay Predator at a Con. Could I explain the details of Predator, his home planet, his species, the name of that cool thing on his wrist? No, I could not and I am sure that would drive some people bat shit.
I do not understand why there has to be different levels of fans? Why do some believe that they are superior to the rest and feel the need to shove others aside and yap out facts? What is there to gain from alienating others from the genre?
My Women of the Grey series is about an alien race of female clones. Yet, this week I had to look up space opera. Does that somehow cancel the validity of my writing? It does to some, because I’m not Sci-fi enough. What exactly is enough and what’s just right?
It also got me wondering if such fluff exists in other genres. Are there hardcore romance fans out there that scoff if someone mentions a romantic scene as not romancy enough? “Rose petals on a bed?” “Hack,” hiss “amateur” scoff. Do thriller fans try to out thrill other fans with facts about thriller authors?
I’m being silly because it is. How can we value ourselves for berating others? It makes me wish I could grab a megaphone and hit the stage with an announcement “Sci-fi community…” cough wait for the booing to stop because I interrupted an argument over who did what, when and how better than someone else. “Chill the hell out. There is room here for all levels of fans, from the mildly interested to the hardcore. The point is to enhance the genre”
I’m positive I’d get egg’d off the stage. Here is my coming out party to the Sci-Fi community. I really really like Sci-fi. Love is a strong word, but I can say deeply like and prefer it above all else. However I will never be that person who knows every intricate fact on the genre or care to. That does not make me any less of a fan or any less of a Sci-fi author.
Isn’t the whole point of being a fan of something, liking it and wanting to share that love with others? I can’t understand how throwing hate gives value to the Sci-fi genre. I can’t understand how throwing hate gives value to anything.