I am a woman and a fan of science fiction and fantasy. I belong here; everyone belongs here. Everyone deserves that first blush of belonging, without having to fight for it at every turn, without having to hunt for it, without having to be shamed for wanting it. Everyone deserves a safe fannish home that welcomes them with no qualifications, but we’re not there yet. So come on, SF fandom.


Trashing books and book bloggers

Book on Garbage Can
Via James Nicoll, I saw Anne Rice sent her rabid fan base over to an obscure blogger’s web site after the blogger posted a not very kind review of Pandora, one of Ms. Rice’s books. On the one hand, I’m of the opinion that posting one’s thoughts on the public internet makes them fair game for criticism. I provide a comment section here and only rarely do I ever censor comments. And I never do so simply because someone calls me names. I’m always amused when I get called names on the internet, though I don’t really encourage the practice. But on the other hand, boy are Ms. Rice’s fans…

Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs (2012) ➚

Project thesis: when looking at a sample of bloggers reviewing SF/F, a majority of men will skew toward reviewing more men. A majority of women will skew toward a more equal gender parity, or the opposite in which they review a majority of women. There will be a handful of outliers.

Authors Review By Blog, Sorted By Gender Of Bloggers
Authors reviewed by blog, sorted by gender of blogger

Probability Moon / Nancy Kress

Cover of Probability Moon
The second audiobook I listened to on my massive road trip earlier this year was Probability Moon by Nancy Kress. Ms. Kress generally writes well within the bounds of traditional science fiction. I was worried that this would be tough to listen to because of the complexity of the story and character interaction where I would be able to read on the page and retain the flow. I did have some difficulty with that toward the beginning, but by the one-third point, I could keep the characters straight while listening. The natives on World, an extra-solar planet, experience shared reality. Basically, everyone agrees on what things are, or they experience…

Filter House / Nisi Shawl

Cover of Filter House
Filter House won the Tiptree award a few years ago. I attended the Wiscon where the award was presented, purchased a copy, and got Nisi Shawl’s autograph in it. As it turns out, Nisi lives in Seattle and we had mutual friends. I’ve since made her acquaintance. I mention all this because I put off reading Filter House for almost three years because of that friendship. I feared I would hate the book even though I like Nisi, and then what would I do? Thankfully, I don’t have to write a negative review about something by someone I like. I finally faced my fear and read Filter House on my…

Linking Irresponsibly: Predatory Pricing and Amazon ➚

R.L. Copple does a really cogent job of explaining why Amazon isn’t engaging in predatory pricing under legal definitions. He links this to a statement from the Authors Guild which essentially uses the term predatory pricing to mean hey, we don’t think Amazon is fair in a justification for why publishers should be allowed to fix prices.

The Green Glass Sea / Ellen Klages

Cover of The Green Glass Sea
So I went on a two month road trip in January and February. Which meant I was going to need an alternate method to read books. I subscribed to Audible and started looking for titles. As has been normal for the last couple of years, I looked for science fiction by women. It’s much harder to find interesting audio science fiction by women (at least on Audible) than with read-with-your-eyes books. Based on a suggestion by Debbie Notkin, I started by looking for WisCon guests of honor and Tiptree winners, and found Ellen Klages’ The Green Glass Sea. If you have ever met Ellen Klages, she is a riot. And…

Wiscon 36 – Day 3

Space Babe
Day 3 started off not particularly well, though no fault of Wiscon. I headed out to catch the bus earlier than Saturday, but I still missed the bus I needed. Consequently, I ended up arriving 15 minutes into the first panel. That first panel was Geek Girls and the Problem of Self-Objectification. The panel was meant to start with the article with the same title at geekfeminism.org. Specifically, the author was careful to point out that geek cosplayers who go for the sexy aren’t the problem. The geek (and wider) culture is what rewards skin-showing. To be clear as to my background, I’m a straight dude. I pick that word…
[The whiteness of the New York Times Book Review] is the product of a busy editor’s mental pathway, which must flip quickly through its virtual Rolodex to find the first acceptable writer to turn a piece around by deadline. When that Rolodex is stocked with whites — and most of the time, it is — the byline count perpetuates itself. White editors grow comfortable in their relationships with white writers. They read books written by white people.

Amanda Hess - Why 88% of books reviewed by The New York Times are written by white authors