Solaris Books are a relatively new British SF & F imprint whose output includes a number of anthology titles. In particular they have produced a series of flagship volumes proudly bearing their name.
The Solaris Book Of New Science Fiction edited by George Mann ran to three volumes, but appears to have now been rebranded Solaris Rising New Science Fiction for the latest volume under editor Ian Whates. Mann also edited The Solaris Book of New Fantasy. That’s a lot of New work there, 81 stories in total of which just 10 are by women.
Oh yes, The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction by Boys volume one has Mary A Turzillo as token feminine contributor. One woman from eighteen listed authors. Volume Two is obviously the feminist volume with a remarkable three women out of fourteen involved. Neal Asher gets two stories though, to restore the balance. It’s back to normal for Volume Three as fifteen stories allow room for just one woman.
As you know, from previous lists of 225 Women SF Authors, women don’t write SF they write Fantasy as demonstrated by both female authors amongst sixteen in The
Boy’s Own Solaris Book Of New Fantasy.
It might be tempting to just blame editor George Mann for this. Perhaps it really is just his personal taste. After all Ian Whates is now on board, and he published an excellent all female anthology for Newcon Press, Myth-Undertakings. His Solaris Rising might reflect that? No, nineteen stories, 21 contributing authors, just three women.
Five volumes clearly setting out Solaris’ brand identity, showcasing their intent as serious SFF publishers, explicitly labelled Solaris, setting out a vision called New. 10 of 81 stories by women. 12.5% oh brave New Solaris world.
And yet, I must note a couple of other original anthologies on the Solaris list. Shine edited by Jetse de Vries has near parity with eight of its seventeen contributors women. Similarly Ellen Datlow picks ten women against nine men for Poe. So no reason why it can’t happen, but curious that Solaris don’t try to make it happen when it has their name so prominent in the title.
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