Women Writing SF/F…or not

A couple of interesting articles were pointed out in Another Part of the Internet.  I’m posting them here to boost the signals, and because they are an interesting addition to the ongoing shouting match discussion about how women don’t write SF/F, except when they’re putting guy writers out of a job by doing it wrong.

Strange Horizons’ 2012 SF Count

Lady Business 2012 Coverage of Women in SF/F Blogs

The break-out points from the NPR study of women in cinema, at I’m Working On It, including some interesting information from studies done at the Geena Davis Institute regarding how men perceive the number of women within a group.

The transcript of the NPR study of women in cinema

Anybody got any more?  Real Numbers relating to real publishing are what we’re looking for, not Opinions.  The reason the shouting match discussion exists is that there are ‘way too many Opinions, and ‘way too few Real Numbers.


Empirical evidence that women have been writing SF/F for A Long Time.

Broad Universe Statistical Tour of SF/F/H

11 thoughts on “Women Writing SF/F…or not”

  1. Some years back, I attempted to introduce Real Numbers (what I had of them for the point under discussion) with one of the “Women ruin everything, especially SF” row going on at the time, and learned that numbers only count if produced by a man or supporting his argument Otherwise there’s endless hassling about where you got the numbers, who collected the numbers, what was the intent (or “agenda”) in collecting the numbers, etc.

    I am so tired of this perennial row. I have been through several iterations of it, and it just sucks. One of the things it sucks is my writing energy right out of me.

  2. there was a time i only read woman authors because there was actually a story and not just one space fight to the next. the characters had personalities and families and friends…not just combat comrades and drinking buddies. Then one day the angles rose in a hallelujah and male writers found that even MEN like personalities in the characters and wrote better books. LOL

  3. What I can’t understand is how someone can go into the science fiction section of any bookstore that has one to browse the books, and still believe that women don’t write SF/F. I mean, c’mon — look at the names of the authors!

    …and then there was the guy who wanted to be sure I understood how nice it was that my husband let me put my name on his books…

  4. Back when I started reading science fiction, and paperbacks cost twenty-five cents, tops, yes, the field was pretty much guys, with a few notable exceptions like Andre Norton and Leigh Brackett, and, and, and. I liked the All Action All the Time, but! I also read romances, for the Feels. And as I got older and my reading tastes started to firm, I became more and more frustrated that I couldn’t find both of the things I wanted — the romance! the action! — in one handy package.

    Which is one of the reasons that Steve and I write the kind of stuff that we do.

  5. As I recall, back when Lee Killough was doing her SF police procedural series, fans would assume Lee was Mr. Killough, because women don’t write procedurals.

  6. Though, to be fair, Lee is One of Those Names.

    James — were you on RASFW when the young man came into the conversation to praise his favorite author, A.C. Crispin, to all and sundry, repeatedly referring to the author as “Mr. Crispin”? The Horror that flowed from him when it was revealed to him that “Mr. Crispin” was “MS Crispin”…

  7. In some areas, the perception and appreciation of women’s writing is already changing: http://www.pw.org/content/anatomy_of_awards_0. What concerns me as an editor is not the grumbling of dinosaurs, but that I receive far fewer submissions from women (generally 1:2)–and they are, on average, less persistent than male submitters. Editors not driven by an agenda other than publishing work they like will tend to accept a gender ratio similar to that in submissions. The real questions are, why do women submit less often than men, and why are they so easily discouraged? Certainly the historical perspective explains how and why women became less represented, but in the present era, when so many editors are women and so many presses actively court female writers, I think that it is incumbent upon us to ask why women don’t submit more, right now, and urge them to do so, rather than focusing on past iniquities and a handful of blowhards.

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