I want to expand on what I have written in my essay, “Languages, Dialects and Accents: Why Our Voices Matter.” Much has been said about the use of dialect in science fiction and the outcry that follows. I would like to see more of such discussions because we have been shying away from issues that really matter to us. Perhaps, it is the shift from white Anglo science fiction to a more international/world science fiction that has started the ball rolling. For a long time, the world has been white, male and painfully Anglo-centric, not to mention US-centric. Now we have new voices coming into the song, and some are naturally reacting rather angrily, I would say.
Why are we fixating on English – and for that matter, proper grammatical English English? Let’s not bring in the American versus British spelling argument. Let’s talk about English. Why do we insist SFF writers write in English? Probably because science fiction, at the moment, is dominated by the Americans and the British? Bear in mind that science fiction is also written in Mandarin Chinese, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Bahasa. Why does English have so much hegemony in the SFF-sphere? [Read more…]