Other Ways, Other Eyes

The issues of sexism (and for sexism you can substitute racism, homophobia, transphobia and other prejudices) in SF are complex.  Several comments on the previous post suggested I was attacking the wrong target. I think a more accurate assessment is that there are multiple, variable and moving targets. And as a consequence there need to be multiple approaches to the issue.
I still believe that I was doing right in highlighting how the Solaris brand has become associated with a very low level of female representation. Some of the subsequent discussion was unfortunately snarky and personal, for which I take a large part of the blame, but much useful comment also arose.
But there are other areas to work on. Ian Sales has done fine work with the SF Mistressworks project publishing new and reprint reviews of older pre-2000 SF by women.  Already in just a month he has run reviews of great books many of us had forgotten or never knew were out there. I know there’s more to write about so do contact Ian if you have ideas.
Simpler but hopefully useful is my list of 225 Women SF writers elsewhere on here.  Kari Sperring has also started a Fantasy list.
That though is largely about the past, what about now?  There are great SFF books by women being published that aren’t getting the attention that some men get.
I’m personally disappointed that Lisa Goldstein’s first new novel in her own name since 2002 isn’t the focus of huge internet chatter and excitement. It’s called The Uncertain Places and it is brilliant in the way that John Crowley, Tim Powers, and their ilk are. 
Niall Harrison has been pushing God’s War by Kameron Hurley to all who will listen too.
If we want to make female authors the first names editors think about approaching, or the names people remember at award nomination time, or when they’re browsing bookstores, then they need to be reviewed and discussed like Cheryl Morgan does with Elizabeth Bear’s excellent Jacob’s Ladder trilogy. 

There is a good summary of interesting posts (and some associated trolls and idiots in comment threads) over on Cara Murphy’s blog and really things are best summed up by The Russ Pledge created by Nicola Griffith. (Incidentally another fine woman SF writer.)

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About Kev McVeigh

Review of literary matters, mostly but not all SFF , and digressions into music and other arts. Engagement welcomed.
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7 Responses to Other Ways, Other Eyes

  1. iansales says:

    I think we all have our favourites, and if it were a new novel by Gwyneth Jones, for example, I’d be wondering why no one is dancing in the streets, either. And speaking of new releases, and their promotion, I’m still waiting to take up the (implied) baton and start up a sister blog to SF Mistressworks covering post-2000 books by women sf writers.

    • iansales says:

      Gah. “… still waiting for someone to take up the (implied) baton and start up a sister blog to SF Mistressworks covering post-2000 books by women sf writers.”

  2. kev mcveigh says:

    Because some links don’t seem to be showing:
    Cara’s blog post is at http://t.co/Ad88ej5
    The Russ Pledge is at http://asknicola.blogspot.com/2011/06/taking-russ-pledge.html

  3. Donna Scott says:

    Yes, it’s definitely the remembering names thing we need to work on! As someone who works on awards, this is something I am really interested in. Let’s keep this up!

  4. Murf61 says:

    Thanks for the mention Kev 🙂
    Keeping the names of women SF writers, both past and present, in current discussions is a good step forward. As this year’s Hugo nominations show, there are plenty of award-worthy women authors out there so maintaining the buzz about their work, and publicising new writers and titles on our blogs and twitterfeeds is one way of upholding the Russ Pledge.

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