[Reposted from old comment system, from Devin on Thu, 24 Sep 2009 03:31:12 0000]
I was surprised at first that anyone needed to write an article about this; I'd always thought it was obvious that relationships and character interactions are main elements of a story. All of my favorite SF and F authors are heavy on character relationships.
I object to your fantasy book scoring. Firstly, you make your sweeping judgement of "fantasy" based on a mere seven books, while you used 42 sci-fi books as your sci-fi sample. That's a six-times-larger sample! I think you ought to do a *much* larger sample of fantasy books before you can presume to say anything about fantasy's reputation.
Certainly, the fantasy books I read have got to be pretty high on your scale. For example, one of my all-time favorites, "Magic's Pawn" by Mercedes Lackey, scores 67 (and that was with me deliberately scoring low wherever I could to minimize the fact that I'm biased). That's because it's a book about a gay boy entering his first romantic relationship, with his aunt helping him to keep it secret from his parents, and then some magical stuff causes tragedy to ensue. There is absolutely no action scene in the entire book that is not either caused by or a cause of somebody's interpersonal relationships. This book is an extreme example of the sort of fantasy I read, where interpersonal relationships do more than just add an extra dimension to characterization -- they're part of every characters' motivations and decisions, just as they are in real life.