Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
james_nicoll
First, the table of contents for Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction Edited by Ian Whates.

Some statistical details were noted:

The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction by Boys volume one has Mary A Turzillo as token feminine contributor. One woman from eighteen listed authors. Volume Two is obviously the feminist volume with a remarkable three women out of fourteen involved. Neal Asher gets two stories though, to restore the balance. It’s back to normal for Volume Three as fifteen stories allow room for just one woman.


And finally (?) Ian Whates weighs in with anecdata!

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.

... even if British SF has a freakishly bizarre testicle ratio -- it's a strange little island smaller than Oregon, after all -- is there some rule that Solaris has to buy authors only from there? After all, the first Solaris anthology had stories by such well-known Britons as Mike Resnick, Paul di Filippo, David Gerrold, and Jay Lake.

Wait, "Mike Resnick" o that list suggests to me a solution: simply have the men write the female point of view! They could even talk to women, although a reading of Aristotle should be sufficient.

Edited at 2011-06-29 02:45 pm (UTC)

I think this is Ian Whates, not Solaris.

"but there is less certainty on whether Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan, Sarah Pinborough, Lauren Beukes or (most recently) Sarah Cawkwell – the first woman ever to write a novel in the Warhammer 40K universe – should be allowed."

Allowed????? (One of the rare occasions on which I am tempted to use the blink tag.)

Allowed as SF? Though is the author Natural History isn't writing SF, then who knows who is?

Ian appears to be committing his occasional habit of letting his tongue trip over himself and forgetting to add the qualifying words which are in this case 'as British'. I've seen him do it occasionally at NewCon Press launches at Eastercon.

Sort of; he seems to be talking about the ever problematic issue of ascertaining both the geographical position/nationality AND the gender of a given writer because it's often hard to tell if a given seemingly british writefriend is actually british (due to more than a few british writers living permenantly in the US) plus the continuing problem caused by rouge [sic]]members of the North American Men Blogging as Lesbians Association creating illusionary female writers where none exist PLUS the continuing problem of female writefriends often adopting male pseudonyms and nom de plumes to get around potenntial problems (regardless of if they're real or merely percieved) of disproportionate sale figures in the field they're writing for.

And that's before getting into how variant spellings/pronunciations in different regions of britland come together to create the whole "what do you mean Lewis Carrol wasn't a woman writer?" problem that can also further muddy the waters.

I read it as the uncertainty being about whether Tricia Sullivan and Justina Robson were currently under contract, not whether they were SF writers.

Aw, and he got upset with my little joke. Is he on his period?

You forgot to quote the next two sentences: "It’s strange, but last year when I released the anthology The Bitten Word (ten female authors, seven male), nobody accused me of being a feminist. Nor was gender commented on that June when I released Anniversaries (seven female authors, two male)."

Can't really get a feel for where poor, harangued Ian is coming from without that bit. Truly, it must be a struggle to be him.

And yet again you elevate the blood pressure of innocent bystanders . . .

Jesus fucking Christ, it's like nobody reads the cover of How to Suppress Women's Writing.

I love the "Oh, but this other book has lots of women in it!" as though that's an effective counterargument. A) I bet that other book is not as disproportionately female as these books are disproportionately male, and B) having a special girl-cooties zone is not the answer.

Thanks for the reference. I'm adding that to my reading list. The intro was great!

That's on the very short list of books that changed the way I see the world. Another, oddly, is Anne Hollander's Seeing Through Clothes, one of the first books to talk about the fluctuations of what is perceived as the beautiful body.

OMG me, too, with the Hollander book!

I'd like to provide a link to the book's wikipedia page to help more people to read the cover.

And if a book of Liz Williams stories doesn't consist entirely of stories by a woman, well, you're doing it wrong.

"It can't be the publisher's fault; publishers employ women! And when I was on a panel with three other men I asked a male agent if he gets a lot of subs from women and he doesn't! And the ones that he does are probably fantasy anyway! The problem is YOU!"


[ed for typo]

Edited at 2011-06-29 04:44 pm (UTC)

Yes, this. I have also been told that the reason there aren't very many women in science fiction (!) is that we aren't dogged enough about submitting. Apparently we are delicate flowers who simply cannot endure rejection.

(FWIW my current rejection letter count is 91 and climbing)

So, should we blame the big publishing houses? But a large proportion of their commissioning editors at women, and surely they wouldn’t be biased against their own gender…

And thus he clearly reveals his ignorance.

I regret that I have only one face to palm for my country here. Sigh.

"It’s back to normal for Volume Three as fifteen stories allow room for just one woman."

Yeah, that was me. I was invited to submit because they "didn't have enough stories by women authors" in that volume. Imagine my surprise to open my comp copy and discover that "not enough women authors" meant "none until they invited me."

Whoa. Well, so much for "I plead ignorance, Your Honor."