That old, tired, perennial concept – that women don’t write or read Science Fiction – has reared its ugly head again. I could add to this list Kate Wilhelm, Anne McCaffrey, Diana Wynne Jones, Jennifer Fallon, Elizabeth Scarborough, R. A. MacAvoy, Judith Tarr, dear goddess, a host of others, to the list below.
Speaking of lists, I did a quick review of some ‘best of’ lists.
One third (33%) of Buzzfeed’s top 24 science fiction books of 2015 were authored by women.
In the Barnes and Noble list of the Best 24 Science Fiction and Fantasy books for 2015, fourteen women authors were represented on the list. That is 58% of the list.
The Guardian’s list of the Best Science Fiction Books for 2014 listed fourteen books, and six of the authors named were women (42%), with special mention being made of Anne Lecki.
Gizmodo’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy books of 2014 listed 22 books and eight women authors made their list. That is 36% of the list.
Overall, this means over forty percent of the top books of the last two years were authored by women. Women not only represent a large proportion of SF authors, they are also among the best known. We study them at school and university (as I well know), and not in Gender Study classes but in Literature classes. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Just about anything by Ursula Le Guin.
More than half of the readers for Science Fiction and Fantasy are women; mainly because more women read these days than men.
I hope I don’t have to bring this up again!