Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Women and SF Reloaded

Once again I am using one post on two blogs to save time and energy, so I can get some fiction writing done. This comes from my personal blog...

delagar notes in the comments to my previous post on women and SF that it's common to find almost no women in the big name SF magazines; and it's common to find anthologies with 27 men and 3 women. I always count the women vs the men in Best of the Year anthologies, and the women are always a minority.

So I agree. But I also notice that I am more likely to read women than men SF writers. I currently have Andrea Hairston's novel and Nalo Hopkinson's new book and feel as if it's my birthday. So many goodies!

When I moved the last time, I went through my books and got rid of books I didn't want to pack and unpack. There are now no male SF writers left except Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Iain M. Banks and one book by Avram Davidson.

I wonder if it's possible that SF may divide the way mysteries have. "Cosies" (mysteries in the tradition of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers) are mostly read by women. Thrillers are mostly read by men. Obviously, some mysteries have a mixed audience. But I have noticed that I tend to read mysteries by women writers; and I avoid anything that looks like a thriller. I suspect it will be full of pointless violence, most likely directed toward women. Who needs that crap? At one point, the Star Tribune had two mystery reviewers, because the audiences were so different. And I suspect the woman reviewer didn't want to read thrillers; and the male reviewer didn't want to read cosies.

There are some fine and intelligent male SF writers, but too much SF by men strikes me as obsessed with hardware or violence or intellectual games; and too much of it does not seem to deal with the big and real issues that humanity faces.

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