I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.
What do I mean by “post-binary gender”? It’s a term that has already been used to mean multiple things, so I will set out my definition:
Post-binary gender in SF is the acknowledgement that gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of two genders (female and male): that there are more genders than two, that gender can be fluid, that gender exists in many forms.
. . . And I intend to use this column to go beyond Ursula K Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.
. . . Conversations about gender in SF have been taking place for a long time. I want to join in. I want more readers to be aware of texts old and new, and seek them out, and talk about them. I want more writers to stop defaulting to binary gender in their SF—I want to never again read entire anthologies of SF stories or large-cast novels where every character is binary-gendered. I want this conversation to be louder.
To that end, I’ll be running this column: posting every two weeks, with discussions of books and short stories, as well as interviews and roundtables with other writers and readers of post-binary SF, because I strongly believe it’s important to hear multiple voices. I’m particularly interested in science fiction at the moment, but I expect I’ll cross genres as I run the column.
I hope you’ll join me in making the default increasingly unstable.