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Hard and Soft Science Fiction - #booktubeSFF
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It is a commonplace of sf criticism that the age of wonder is twelve, that the person reading sf for the first time, like the protagonists of many sf novels, is a boy in early adolescence: bright, imaginative, and energetic, but as yet unaware of what his rocket ship is shaped like. To be sure, there are many sf readers who started out that way. Nevertheless, this sort of presexuality was always imposed from outside the field as much it was welcomed from within, and it was self-perpetuating: editors kept sex out of sf because it was children's literature, and critics treated it as children's literature because it didn't have sex in it. In the s writers in the sf field, not too far behind the rest of literature, began to let sex sneak in. Writers like Philip Jose Farmer and Fredric Brown began including sex when it was relevant to the plot and of course exercising considerable ingenuity to make it relevant to the plot. In the s major sf writers like Theodore Sturgeon and Robert A. Heinlein were saying that in the ideal sf future not only could we get to other parts of the universe and be spared tedious labor, but we also could get laid a lot more.