Nonviolent sff: where is it?
June 17, 2014 12:22 PM Subscribe
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.*
posted by wintersweet to Media & Arts (41 answers total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
Rationale: I've been thinking about how my humanist values are and are not reflected in my writing. I'm writing sff, though, and it's almost reflexive to put in fight scenes and have heroes shoot/kick/slice their way out of problems. I've also been watching various Star Trek series and Doctor Who, and it's sort of fascinating how the shows are pseudo-pacifist: the characters espouse nonviolence, but the body count is high. In contemporary fantasy novels, there's gun/blade fetishization everywhere. (Just look at the covers! Or my junior high notebook margins!) For years, this didn't bother me, but now it does. It's still surprisingly difficult to think about how to do it differently and still have an exciting, compelling story.
*N.B.: I love YA. I like Star Trek. I love Doctor Who and I even loved most of Torchwood. I like action movies and dark'n'gritty cyberpunk novels. I'm not saying any of these works are bad or that people who like them are bad! I'm just looking for some inspiring alternatives.