I was going to write another ranty post because you-know-who has now declared that she’s taking down all her altars and abandoning the pantheon, but I can’t think of anything to rant about, so I’m going to just write about books I’ve read.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw this graphic on Facebook:
Is there any fan of SFF who hasn’t wanted to live in one fictional world or another? (Seriously, don’t tell me that you’ve never wanted to, because everyone reading this will know that it’s a LIE, you LYING LIAR!) I could go on about wish fulfillment and such, but I honestly wouldn’t be saying anything you probably haven’t already heard five billion times.
The thing is, as I started looking over the list of worlds that I particularly enjoyed reading about, I suddenly realized that holy crap, I definitely wouldn’t want to live in some of these worlds, because when I started to think about it, I was just like “You know, it would really suck to live here if you were X,” something that is probably blatantly obvious to everyone who isn’t a straightwhitecismale (and, apparently, me).
A good example of this is The Dragonriders of Pern. Oh sure, you get to be super best friends with a fucking dragon, and that is fucking awesome, but consider this:
1) Gold and bronze dragons only bond to heterosexual women and men. Are you gay (or, depending on who you ask, bi) and looking to be leader of a Weyr? Sorry, you’re S.O.L.
2) There are few female dragon riders. This might not seem very significant until you consider point #3
3) The mating flight. In a nutshell, two dragons mate, their riders follow suit. Now go back to what I said in point #2 about there being few female riders, now imagine you’re a lesbian. Yeah….
Oh, but wait, apparently lesbians don’t exist on Pern, so I guess everyone’s okay, except for the heterosexual man who bonds to a green….
Maybe the rules change in later books, but going by the three books I read “Dragonflight”, “Dragonquest”, “The White Dragon”, yeah, sucky.
And it goes on like this. I’d love to live in Terre d’Ange, but only if I was D’Angeline and rich so I could just sit there being self-absorbed and such. As much as I hate to admit it, you really don’t want to be a POC in this universe, because you will be constantly in need of rescuing. Oh, and while Terre D’Ange is a very egalitarian place with loose sexual mores, almost every other culture is measured by how much more patriarchal they are compared to Terre D’Ange, so France gets to be awesome and everyone else is, well, too busy oppressing their citizens.
I guess my point is that worlds often look cool on paper, but would I honestly want to live in most of them? Not really, unless I could like, live in a bubble where nothing bad ever happens to me.