I just read this Candi strip.
In case you can’t read it, here is a transcript:
Laura: Don’t most of the stories you read have some kind of romance in the plot or something?
Jess: It’s not always the main part of the story, but yes.
Laura: So what’s wrong about getting to read the actual result of the romance. [NOTE: While I dislike the notion that sex is by default the main result of romance, it is consistent with Laura’s character that she would say something like this]
Jess: Nothing, but do you only watch porn, or do you watch a variety of TV shows? Sometimes they show sex, most don’t, and you’re still watching them, yes?
Now, as I’ve said before, I do like romance in fiction, and most of the fiction I read has some romance.
But this strip got me thinking … what romance free fiction is out there?
I could think of two general categories:
1) Children’s fiction
2) Stories where 70%+ of the characters are male
Maybe, if I think hard enough, I’ll think of a fictional story which is dominated by female characters, is aimed at an adult audience AND which does not have romance or sex.
I almost mentioned play “Nickel and Dimed” as an example of a story with mostly female characters and practically no romance … but then I remembered that it’s based on a non-fiction book. Curses. But, when I think about it, there are plenty of interesting non-fictional stories which revolve around females without having romance or sex … so why can’t fiction be the same?
And I think it’s important for such stories to be told. When I was a child, one of my favorite things about the So You Want to Be A Wizard books is that the relationship between the female and male protagonists was EXPLICITLY non-romantic and non-sexual … alas, it’s for children, so it doesn’t count. I also like that the female and male protagonist in the His Dark Materials Trilogy could work together in a totally platonic way … until I read the ending of The Amber Spyglass … ewwww (note: I normally do not react to sexual or romantic content by saying ‘ewwww’, but I think the ending of The Amber Spyglass merits such a reaction).
So, here’s my question:
What works of fiction a) have at least 60% female characters b) are aimed at an adult audience and c) have no (or almost no) sex or romance?