Today’s topic comes from QSFer Paula Wyant – “Topic suggestion for the group: Ageism. Inspired by this article: http://io9.com/the-worst-taboo-in-urban-fantasy-1692481622 – The Worst Taboo In Urban Fantasy.
I’d like to broaden this out a bit to cover sci fi and fantasy. I’s kid of understandable why we don’t see a lot of senior protagonists in MM romance – or in romance in general. Readers want to read about young, pretty people falling in love.
But that excuse falls apart when you’re talking about speculative fiction that’s not romance-based.
And yet, the same rules seem to apply. Old, wise characters (or even old stupid ones) are few and far between, even though many readers are themselves in their (ahem) golden years, and would presumably like to see people like them represented in writing.
So here are my questions: Why are older characters, especially protagonists, so scarce in speculative fiction? As a writer, have you written older characters? As a reader, are there some good stories that you can think of that buck the trend? And would such stories find a readership?