I sometimes contribute to a site called Novelocity, where a group of published authors recommend and talk about books. This is often in response to a question, and today’s question (it being Father’s Day) was about favorite fathers in science fiction and fantasy. Those of us who contributed actually found it pretty difficult to think of many fathers, and even harder to think of good fathers. Um . . . Darth Vader? Tywin Lannister? The options aren’t very strong. To read what we came up with, you can check out the article here.
I wasn’t going to mention my own work on Novelocity, but anyone who’s read my novels might have noticed that this is an imbalance I’m trying to set right! All of my books (and most of my short stories) have fathers as significant characters, and families always play a big role. In two of my books (Quintessence and Superposition), the main relationship of the book is between a father and a daughter. Of course, that may be because I have five daughters of my own. I wasn’t doing it to right an imbalance, particularly, but because fatherhood is a significant part of what I know and love. But I like to think that in my own small way, I’m contributing something that the genre apparently needs more of. Fathers who love their children!
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That was something I really enjoyed about Quintessence — it was refreshing to have both the father/daughter and the husband/wife relationships.
Family relationships are full of such strong emotion, conflict, and fear of loss, that they can have a lot of power in a novel. I don’t know why SFF ignores them as much as it does.