Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Strange Horizon's annual SF Count for 2015

Strange Horizons has posted Niall Harrison's annual SF Count. I quote here from their press release:

Strange Horizons' sixth annual "SF Count" - an in-depth exploration of gender and racial representation in SF reviewing - is published today, and finds that although there is some evidence of improvement in some of the 18 magazines and journals surveyed, overall 9 out of 10 books reviewed are by white writers, and 6 out of 10 books reviewed are written by men. A similar disparity is seen in the demographics of reviewers.

This year, Strange Horizons worked with data designer E. G. Cosh to develop visualisations of the SF Count findings. The full results are available on the Strange Horizons website and as an embeddable Tableau dataset (links below). Gifs describing the methodology and the topline results are attached with this press release.

Some notable points from the survey:

* The venues most likely to review books by women or non-binary writers were The Cascadia Subduction Zone (80% of reviews), Romantic Times (57%) and Lightspeed (57%). The least likely were Asimov's (23%), Science Fiction Studies (21%), and Analog (17%)

 * The venues most likely to review books by writers of colour were Lightspeed (50%), The Cascadia Subduction Zone (35%) and Strange Horizons (22%). The least likely were Science Fiction Studies (4%), Analog (4%), Foundation (3%), and Risingshadow.net (1%).

* The venues with the most women and non-binary reviewers were Romantic Times (91%), The Cascadia Subduction Zone (88%), and Tor.com (63%).

 * The venues with the most reviewers of colour were Lightspeed (67%), The Cascadia Subduction Zone (41%), and Tor.com (22%).

 * The most active venues in the field were Locus (324 reviews), SFX (165 reviews), and Romantic Times (141 reviews); the least active were The Los Angeles Review of Books (35 reviews), Lightspeed (28 reviews), and The Cascadia Subduction Zone (23 reviews).

* The venues with the largest reviewing staffs were Strange Horizons (80 reviewers), Science Fiction Studies (38 reviewers), and SFX (30 reviewers); at the other end of the scale, Asimov's and Lightspeed had 3 reviewers each, Risingshadow.net has 2, and Analog has 1.


This year's SF Count will mean different things to different people. My own personal takeaway is that although The Cascadia Subduction Zone's circulation figures remain disappointing, our work is not yet done.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

It's worth noting that Canadian reviewer James Davis Nicoll, who toils long and hard in the field of gender/PoC representation statistics, has added his own stats to the Strange Horizons ones: http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/abusing-the-strange-horizons-2015-count-for-personal-benefit