January 18, 2020, 05:10:06 PM

Author Topic: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now  (Read 22129 times)

Offline Francis Knight




A really common argument some people make when people bring up differential treatment of men and women in speculative fiction is that more men are published in SF and F than women. While this is true, and is considerably more pronounced in the UK than in the US (I honestly have no idea why),

The skew is far less pronounced in fantasy as opposed to SF, I think -- something like 60/40 or 55/45 for fantasy. But Sf....

There have been many theories put forward as to why -- and it is true many less women submit SF making it hard to achieve a balance in pubbed authors. Is it because SF is seen as a male bastion? There is an essay written, oh quite a while ago now (I'll see if I can dig it up) that when women became more active* in writing genre - early 70s? Women's lib? -  they were pushed towards writing romance (women's work, more suitable for them to write than anything intellectually taxing dontchaknow) while men were pushed towards SF and that the after effects still linger -- while 10-15% of romance writers are men, it is heavily dominated by women, and the figure is roughly the same the other way for SF.

POssibly one reason why romance is so looked down on and SF is seen as some sort of higher calling (among a certain set of people anyway)

*There have always been some women writing genre, but once women were more able to free themselves to do things outside the home, many more saw it as an achievable thing
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline ChrisW

Anyone want to hazard a guess why the Australian Fantasy publishing scene is dominated by female authors?

Aussie's just weird? :o

Offline Francis Knight

Aussie's just weird? awesome :o

Fixed that for you :D
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

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If you look at the stats on this forum it seems that it's ten males for every one female on here

Do you think female fantasy/sci-fi readers read various other genres and male fantasy readers don't branch out as much ?

According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Rostum

Quote
If you look at the stats on this forum it seems that it's ten males for every one female on here
Do you think female fantasy/sci-fi readers read various other genres and male fantasy readers don't branch out as much ?

Or possibly Women are less inclined to join and post on forums compared to men. I think ( in the first world) if you look at those who read for enjoyment there will be more women than men. Less women into SCFI and more into fantasy at a guess but ignoring genre more women read.

Offline Francis Knight

That could just be a thing on this forum -- I belong to several others (fantasy/writing related) and women outnumber the men, in one case by two to one

At a recent workshop (at Eastercon) we had 11 people putting their work forward to be dissected

Only one was a guy
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline cupiscent

I definitely think gender membership of forum can vary by the forum, by the focus of discussions and also how welcoming - consciously or otherwise - those discussions are. Being a woman online can be a tricky business to start with, of course. And in the past six months I've had or seen at least three discussions on here or in another similarly-themed (more writing-related) discussion forum I participate in, where the discussion had various flavours of "why is there all this girly/romance stuff in my serious fantasy spaces?" Were that my preferred flavour of fantasy, I might look for a forum more welcoming of it to make my virtual home.

As for the dominance of Australian fantasy by women authors, I think Sara Douglass being the flagship author for the Australian Voyager imprint is a large reason. But I think there were also a number of woman editors and publishers in the background through the '90s as well.

Offline ChrisW


As for the dominance of Australian fantasy by women authors, I think Sara Douglass being the flagship author for the Australian Voyager imprint is a large reason. But I think there were also a number of woman editors and publishers in the background through the '90s as well.

So those horrible women editors discriminated against male writers! I knew it! Bloody misandrist women! :o >:( :'(

Offline Francis Knight

Trudi Canavan touched on this in a recent blog post (Tyranny of Distance, here)
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline Rostum

Quote
    As for the dominance of Australian fantasy by women authors, I think Sara Douglass being the flagship author for the Australian Voyager imprint is a large reason. But I think there were also a number of woman editors and publishers in the background through the '90s as well.


There does seem to be a large number of Established female editors in the UK particularly in SFF.

Offline Rostum

I note a Joe Abercrombie tweet commenting that he was interviewed by seven newspapers in two days in Spain and that he has never been interviewed in an English Paper and has now been published for nine years.

So if you are not getting reviewed or interveiwed you are in good company.

Offline Francis Knight

Joe has been reviewed in SFF places PLENTY (don't know about tabloids)

Very very few authors get interviewed by papers here, unless they get nommed for the Booker etc. I don't think I've ever seen an interview with an SFF aiuthor in a paper (Banks? Maybe? For one of his non SFF?)Maybe it's different in Spain. I wouldn't take that as anything but a point to add to the (voluminous) other data

If Joe isn't getting interviewed, neither is anyone else
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/

Offline Rostum

Banks used to get interviewed in the Sunday supplements a fair bit. Both for his books and the socialist utopia politics of the culture. Women’s sections sometimes interview authors but I can't think of a regular slot in any newspaper, but I rarely read them.
Anything outside of literary publications would be good at the moment.

Offline ChrisW

Quote
    As for the dominance of Australian fantasy by women authors, I think Sara Douglass being the flagship author for the Australian Voyager imprint is a large reason. But I think there were also a number of woman editors and publishers in the background through the '90s as well.


There does seem to be a large number of Established female editors in the UK particularly in SFF.

You know, I've always assumed most editors are female..... That's from just reading the acknowledgements in books.

Offline Francis Knight

Twelve books now, and I have yet to have a male editor. Granted some of those books were romance! But many many editors in SFF are women in the US and UK, so I'm not sure that's the reason behind Oz having more female authors

Ofc an editor cannot publish what is not submitted...
My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


Duellists Trilogy (as Julia Knight) coming soon from Orbit!

http://www.juliaknight.co.uk/