Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen

So!  The pictures are rolling in for the Do It Like A Delm Challenge.  You can see the first gold contestants at this link.

Wanna play?  Here’s the link to the rules.  Steve and I look forward to your entry — and remember!  Every week, one lucky entrant will win a coupon from Baen, for a free ebook of the winner’s choice.

* * *

For those who haven’t seen it, Judith Tarr did a guest post on Charlie Stross’ blog regarding the [insert tongue in cheek] lack of women writers in the genre of science fiction [remove tongue from cheek, save for later use].  Here’s the link.

Now, honestly, when I saw the topic, I thought something along the lines of Oh, please, there cannot be a single person connected to the internets who doesn’t now know that women write SF.  Why are we having this discussion, again?  But, you know what?  The commenters pretty much prove that this is a discussion we still need to have.  My favorite comments are the ones stating that the female experience, while interesting, really has nothing to do with them* (because they know no women?); and the ones that state categorically that any book with a woman’s name on the cover is, ipso facto, a feminist rant, and therefore of no interest to the reader.

So now my question is — How do you inhabit a universe wherein there are No Women Writing Science Fiction?  Do you never visit a bookstore?  Do you instruct your bookseller to put a monthly bundle of books together for you that only have masculine names on the cover — and no initials, either!  Sneaky things, initials; you never know who’s behind lurking behind initials.

I can’t even.

Mind you, this is not my fight — I’m invisible to the no-women side, and to the all-men-all-the-time side, because I have a male co-author (worse! I have a husband co-author, of many, many years standing.).  The worst hassle I’ve gotten was the guy who thought it was “nice” that my husband let me put my name on his books.  Steve’s worst, I think, was the guy who chastised him for not asserting his rights as The Man in the partnership and allowing his wife to drip Romance all over what ought to be SciFi books.

But, still, I wonder, how the hell you find, and continue to live in, this particular cocoon.  Women have been writing science fiction since before there was science fiction.  And it seems the more that proposition is put forward, the more — rather than the less — resistance it generates.

I used to be a fan of the internet; I used to think the internet would foster understanding between diverse peoples and viewpoints.

Yeah. . .too naive to live.

Today’s blog post comes to you from Woody Guthrie by way of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, “Pretty Boy Floyd.”  Here’s your link.


*Mind you, I read SF books from the male viewpoint for years, and years, and years, and years.  I credit this circumstance with teaching me how to write believable alien characters.  So, yanno, it can be a good thing to read about an experience that’s different from your own.

10 thoughts on “Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen”

  1. Oh dear, they’re doing that again. Women have always written science fiction. Since the beginning of the genre. And we have read it, too. And we still do. And no, you can’t always tell. I can remember when the buzz about James Tiptree, Jr. was how well he wrote female characters, for a man. My first exposure to SF was Isaac Asimov, but there were only two books of his in my library. I don’t remember any Heinlein at all. But Andre Norten… every single one of his (as I thought at time) books. So, she was my first favorite author. And her works have stood the test of time for me. I can, and do, re-read them often. There are lots and lots of fine SF authors who are female. It’s well past time that everyone just accepted this.

  2. Arg, I need chocolate.
    Can we have a Resurrection Ritual for James Tiptree and unleash ‘him’ on their asses?

  3. This is about the Doing it Like a Delm Challenge (neat idea, by the way) rather than the “do girls really write/read sci fi…” question (to which there really isn’t any other reply than…Duh, YES. And I totally resonate to your “0h, PLEASE…” reaction.)

    I love that on the OffWorld Design site when you search for ‘Liaden’ it ask you: “Did you mean loaded” — fits right in with the pic of Steve “Doing it like a delm” (in his cups…)

  4. Yeah, I had to say something amid those comments. I may say more. On a different venue, a guy some days back (a few? a week? I dunno…book in progress) opined that women wrote only trashy, crappy romances and therefore he would never read a woman-written book.

  5. Those guys KNOW that C.J. Cherryh is a fine example of a male writer, along with Robin Hobb and P.C. Hodgell. They would never read anything written by a woman, since it (in their opinion) would just be a variation of a Harlequin Romance. Gah. To cut yourself off from the universe of what is available to read, based on the perceived plumbing of the writer is (IMHO) stupid and severely limits access to good books.

  6. “…teaching me how to write believable alien characters.” And now there is coffee all over my keyboard!

  7. What we need, there, is a loser-speak translator. Like this:

    “Women can’t write good SF.”
    Translation: “I’m just mad because women aren’t interested in me; they can tell I have nothing to bring to the table in a relationship.”

    There, that should get us started!

  8. Why are we STILL dealing with this nonsense? Sigh……
    “The female experience, while interesting, really has nothing to do with them”? – double sigh……

  9. This is very imperfectly remembering. Someone put Larry Dixon (husband of Mercedes Lackey for those who don’t know) on a panel regarding “can women write science fiction and fantasy” He started the panel with “Yes! Now what else are we going to talk about.” Everybody laughed and talked about something else. Don’t remember what now.

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