Thursday, October 15, 2009

State of Sci-Fi

An interesting rant on io9: "Is Science Fiction Feminized Or Is It Sexist? Both."

The author writes that while many commercial venues of SF are "feminizing" their content (i won't get into the ugliness of the word "feminizing" [what the hell does that even mean?!] i don't know why there's a move away from showing SF on SF channels - cost of production maybe? - and i don't see why it's necessarily got anything to do with appealing to women), female authors are not being properly represented in anthologies and other publishing venues because the idea persists that women are not interested in science fiction. It remains a boys club because the idea continues to be bought into by corporate entities and fangroups. Women writers tend to wind up in fantasy circles, because men still dominate sci-fi.  Apparently it is easier for women to publish in fantasy/paranormal genres, and so they ultimately do.  i loved Sci-Fi growing up; but many SF authors I read ALSO wrote fantasy. Anne McCaffery is the first author that comes to mind (she was my favourite for years). I never saw the two genres as exclusive until i was older, mostly because both were regulated to the same small sections of my local library and bookstore.  So i thought that there were a great number of women writing SF; i didn't realize i wasn't supposed to like it.

Admittedly, i adore fantasy books as well. But the premises of SF novels always get me because i love science. There was a time when i thought i would pursue biology as a career (as a geneticist, or a veterinarian - i was 12 or so). Now that i study books, i've noticed that far fewer female SF writers tend to come to my attention; even Octavia Butler, who wrote SF, i'm more familiar with her fantasy work. Maybe it's time for me to look into more female SF writers - suggestions welcome in comments, if you have them.

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