Posts Tagged ‘chris moriarty’
“That probably has something to do with my concept of “mind-blowing”. Women are every bit as capable of writing mindblowing sf as men are, but with women the stories concentrate far more on people, life, society and not the hard-scientific concepts I was looking for.”
– Editor and writer Mike Ashley explaining why there are no stories by female science fiction writers included in his new anthology, The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF. –
Back in February of this year I recced a new hard science fiction anthology called Diamonds in the Sky. It was notable for 1) being free and 2) presenting short stories where the science behind the science fiction was accurate. It also contains three stories written by women. Three scientifically accurate hard sf stories…by women.
While I can understand that Mr Ashley might not have read Alexis Glynn Latner, Alma Alexander, or Mary Robinette Kowal , how could he possibly have missed Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett, Tanith Lee, (yes, she also writes hard sf) James Tiptree Jr, Pat Cardigan, Justine Larbalestier, Joan D Vinge, Ursula K LeGuin, C.S. Friedman, Octavia Butler, Kate Wilheim, C.J. Cherryh…seriously, the list could go on for pages and pages. I get people not knowing all the authors. I still haven’t had time to read Nancy Kress or Kage Baker and while I follow Chris Moriarty on her blog I also haven’t had a chance to read her stuff, but some authors are just a given.
Yet there are apparently no ‘mind blowing hard science’ stories by women. And here I thought ‘mind blowing’ was kind of the default for authors like Tiptree and Butler.
Yes, it is just one book but it is very representative of a publishing trend. Editors and publishers continually dredge up the ’women don’t do science’ excuse to explain why they didn’t bother to include stories by women. The ‘Bit is a freshman in high school this year. She has an honors science class and a sophomore honors math class. Clearly women do science!
And have been doing science for millennia. Check out the fabulous site 4000 Years of Women in Science for a huge list of info and biographies on female scientists. Also included are coders like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper.
What this means for me personally is I will no longer purchase, read or review a science fiction anthology that does not contain a good number of women writers. I am raising two daughters and they deserve a better representation of what women can and do accomplish than they are getting in the majority of anthologies published. They deserve better than the tired excuse that women cannot do hard sciences or write hard science fiction. Hopefully editors like Mike Ashley will realize this and rectify the problem. Until then, they can do without my money or reviews.