Sci-fi’s leading female creators talk about their women

Writer and script consultant Snodgrass talked about what attracts women to read sci-fi books: "Sixty percent of all books are purchased by women," she said. "So as a novelist, I have to think about how do I appeal to a female audience? And one of those things that’s key are the relationships."

"When I was a little girl, Spock captured me because I kept thinking, ‘What if I could make him feel something?’ Everyone knew if they could just spend some time with Data, you would find that human emotion. And those are the kinds of things that women are interested in — communication and relationships."

Kennair, Syfy’s Director of Development, considers her female audience when developing new shows.

"… Forty-nine percent of our audience is actually female, and I was actually very surprised it was that many," Kennair said. "What I realized was a lot of [the sci-fi shows she enjoys] have kick-ass women which have the escapism of science fiction, but also the empowerment that comes with it. I think that’s the big female appeal of sci-fi. They have that kick-ass, we can do it, step aside feel, but yeah, they’re gonna make out with people from time to time."

Science fiction’s best known female producer-writer, Jane Espenson, said the key to making women characters powerful is to show their weaknesses."The thing we have to think about when giving female characters strengths is giving them flaws," Espenson said. "That’s what makes a whole person. Starbuck is incredibly strong, but she’s also incredibly frakked up. So is Buffy. She’s strong and beloved, but she doesn’t let people in; it’s this great weakness. That’s what makes you believe that a person is fully realized."

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