Most people (especially non-SF fans) think of science fiction as deadly serious. Because of the often deadly serious topics SF tackles–oppression, climate destruction, discovery vs. ethics–they believe the stories don’t easily lean toward the humorous.
However, comedy is the oldest form of social commentary and science fiction has a long, legitimate history with it. From Keith Laumer’s Retief books to the Stainless Steel Rat, from Red Dwarf to the Hitchhiker stories, science fiction humor may not always get the attention it deserves, but it’s always been with us.
As a long time science fiction reader, (don’t ask how long, that’s rude) I was rather shocked to find how absent humor was from gay science fiction. There are the occasional funny lines, sure. The stories though…they all took themselves way too seriously, I thought. A genre without humor isn’t comfortable with itself. It’s trying too hard to be legitimate.
Those were early days, though, and the landscape has changed in both gay science fiction and gay science fiction romance. The darkly funny J. Fally novel, Bone Rider, the absurdist serialized adventures of Royce Ree by Aldous Mercer, these stories point to a genre coming into its own, leaving behind the days of too many space pirate/captive/erotica-over-plot stories.
As a writer? I’m more than pleased that my Brimstone boys are no longer alone out there in gay science fiction humor land. Shax may not be quite as pleased, but then, his ego really could stand a bit of deflating.
(Angel Martinez writes both kinds of gay fiction: Science Fiction and Fantasy. For more on the Brimstone series and Angel’s work, please visit the website: Angel Martinez