• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

On the One Good Sex Scene in Alternate History

Walpurgisnacht

I'm Mister Blobby, I kill Prime Ministers
Location
Banned from the forum
Pronouns
He/Him
@Charles EP M.? I have a suggestion for the next vignette competition.
"Surely there must be a better way to break down medieval social norms," thought Folkspeaker for Clothing Dion Byngham, as he walked past the new Hyde Park henge on his way to the inaugural Nude Orchestra's performance for the People's Witenagemot.
 

SpanishSpy

wallowing in my millennialism
Published by SLP
I want to give a good word to @Gary Oswald for the fantastic cover image.

And related to the topic of this article, there was a bit on the TvTropes page for Eric Flint that struck me as relevant:

Rather than any long term dating or engagement, many of his romances tend to be based on the rather old-fashioned notion of the protagonists first quickly making commitments, and then working out the details as they go along, such as Happily Arranged Marriage and Fourth Date Marriage.
 

Alexander Rooksmoor

Well-known member
A couple of things to bear in mind are, one, that bad sex scenes appear in every genre of writing. There is even an annual award marking that fact. The second point is that there is often pressure from beta readers, let alone agents and publishers, to include some sex. I had to fight hard against a beta reader who insisted that, despite my main characters in 'Against the Devil's Men' being a nun in her twenties and a friar aged 39, they *needed* to have sex for it to be a proper novel.

Especially when a sex scene jars, it seems probable that it was something that the author did not actually want to include, but felt pressure whether direct or indirect, to put it in. The one that I am always reminded of even decades later, is the scene in 'The Moscow Option' (1979) by David Downing.

Saying that, reading some of Turtledove's short stories, in 'Kaleidoscope' (1990) and 'Counting Up, Counting Down' (2002), this year, in my reviews I have noted that there is gratuitous sex, even in these short stories. In particular, the story 'The Girl Who Took Lessons' in 'Kaleidoscope' is a nasty, misogynistic barroom 'joke' of a story involving sex.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
The second point is that there is often pressure from beta readers, let alone agents and publishers, to include some sex. I had to fight hard against a beta reader who insisted that, despite my main characters in 'Against the Devil's Men' being a nun in her twenties and a friar aged 39, they *needed* to have sex for it to be a proper novel.
??!?!?!?!

I could see it from publishers - "[puffs cigar] TITS SELL, HARRY" - but the beta readers, on grounds of 'now it's a proper novel'?!
 
Top