Thinking about war…

Thinking about war stories and gender after last night's reading. It's a quiet little story, "Safe," -- the story of the war's effect on one person. I keep wanting to write these stories, stories about people who are going to have absolutely no effect on the course of larger events.

It feels very different to me from the typical SF/F genre war story, which tends to center on the people who are actually shaping the battle, who are, typically, triumphantly winning the war, and who end up ruling a kingdom, showered in treasure, praise, and beautiful women.

These stories, these people -- they are the casualties, whether they survive or not. It feels feminist, telling these stories, even when they happen to be about men. It feels de-centering, in a way Derrida and Said might approve of. What happens when you make the people at the margins the center of your story? How does it re-shape the overall narrative?

Credit here to Bujold; I suspect a story of hers that I read many years ago, about a medical tech harvesting bodies in space to return to their families, the epilogue to one of her novels, is a seed for all of this. That, and the Sri Lankan civil war, of course, and my relatives who were caught up in it, their lives entirely disrupted, though thankfully, not lost.

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