Women writing SFF

There's a discussion going on right now in various science fiction and fantasy blogs about gender balance in science fiction authors (and, to a lesser extent, fantasy authors). It mostly started with an excellent interview of Tricia Sullivan and then continued with a long discussion of gender balance in the Clarke awards at Torque Control.

One of the many interesting constructive reactions to that thread was from Martin Wisse, who analyzed his own reading and found that only about 10% of the science fiction and fantasy that he read was written by women, and that a good place to start would be for he personally to read more books written by women. I love this sort of reaction to this sort of discussion: personalize it, find the small local thing that one can do, and own one's own possible subconscious or cultural bias without obsessing over fault.

So, I did the same thing today with my own reading out of curiosity. Of the 421 books that I classify as science fiction or fantasy (I tend not to differentiate between the two) that I've read since I started writing reviews, 228 of them are by men (54%), 192 are by women (46%), and 1 is by Raphael Carter. It's interesting to me that this is so much higher than other people have seen (or that is reported in the pattern of submissions to the Clarke award); I wonder why that is. Maybe the pattern of where I get book recommendations from is different?

For those who are looking for more good science fiction by women, I recommend:

Several of these authors also write fantasy, but I can also supplement that list with a few more authors who I've only read in fantasy:

I could add more, but that's a good list that I'm fairly confident of.

While I seem to be doing okay on gender balance in reading, my big hole, I know, is reading works by people from cultures other than Europe and North America and by people living in Europe or America who aren't white. I've only made the barest of beginnings at broadening my reading there.

Posted: 2010-10-15 20:41 — Why no comments?

Last modified and spun 2015-03-24