Wait! Don’t answer that just yet. Please allow me to give myself a little Q&A pertaining to issue of “proportionately fewer hot women read sci-fi and fantasy.”
Q1. So tell me, Me, do you read sci-fi & fantasy?
A1. Well, not so much lately.
Q2: How about your past flirtations with the genre?
A2: I burned through my older brother’s Analogs and other pulpy sci-fi mags when I was a kid. I went on to read Poul Anderson, Harlon Ellison, Roger Zelazny, Larry Niven (my husband for whatever reason likes to call me Teela Brown), Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Julian May, Marion Zimmer Bradley and many others. I often enjoyed browsing at Pandemonium in Harvard Square when I lived in Cambridge. One of the salesmen sounded just like Comic Book Guy. Seeing as how the Harvard Lampoon (source of writers for The Simpsons) is just around the corner from Pandemonium, I expect the clerk was an inspiration. Oh, and I met Ben Bova there, too.
Q3: How about Tolkien?
A3: Tolkien? Oh, hell yeah, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings multiple times. Plus The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.
Q4: What sort of stuff do you read now?
A4: Well, in my dotage, I tend to read a lot more non-fiction these days, and the fiction in which I indulge is of different genres. I still dig sci-fi and fantasy type movies though. I most recently watched “Donnie Darko,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Serenity.” All got thumbs up. Then there’s my guilty pleasure, the SciFi Channel’s Originals, which are supremely awful. “Mansquito” is my favorite.
OK, thanks. I think we have the answer to the question and that is…
“Not Hot” if the nexus of the current dust-up is to be taken seriously. Tara and Shelley, both of whom are eminently intelligent and attractive women, take issue with the premise, i.e., that “hot” women often do not have nerdsome priorities.
As a nascent crone who sports a menopausal beard, I’m not terribly concerned about what any given guy thinks of my literary tastes. That’s one of the beauties of aging. You just don’t give a shit. However, I am not so old as to lose appreciation for Shelley’s and Tara’s rapid responses.
While decluttering a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon twentysome year old photographs taken at one of our deep-in-the-Madison-winter parties. I scanned several, including the one shown below in which I am entertaining the troops (three post-docs and one grad student). I didn’t exactly veer into smouldering hottus chica scientifica territory (convenienty, the flash was bad and the photo is, um, soft-focused), but by golly, I was good enough, I was smart enough, I knew my sci-fi and fantasy backwards and forwards and doggone It, those guys laughed at my quips, bon mots, and filthy jokes! Here’s the evidence: