Monday, August 30, 2010

Women Writers in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Genre

A few weeks ago I stepped into a small bookstore at the Park City Mall in Lancaster Pa. While searching through the selection of sf/f novels, I noticed something. The entire section I browsed contained books written by female writers. Just imagine how thrilled I was! (books written by male sf/f writers were shelved further back in the store. Sorry, guys.) The section was not marked "Female Writers" or anything indicating a genre bias. That would be discrimination, now wouldn't it? Displayed were works that I might have passed over at Borders, or Barnes and Noble, but there they were, awaiting my purchase. This goes to show that in a genre that has for decades been dominated by men, women are finally getting their dues.

I remember the days when great writers like Anne McCaffray and Octavia Butler were lost among the crowd. Even today women in the genre use a sudonym that would not indicate gender, because God forbid a man want to read anything written by a women. Perhaps they should. I am tired of men getting it wrong. Portraying women as concubines or sex slaves or indicating that it is every woman's dream to sit on a man's lap (because that's all we think about, right?) is not only insulting, but an unnatural view of human behavior. Most great science fiction novels written by men are actually male fantasy novels. So, why isn't there a genre for that?

I chose a book by Karen Miller entitled, EMPRESS. It enthralled me from the beginning to the end, and I can't wait to read another of hers.

Remember guys. Most readers are female. Get it right.

1 comment:

Cate Masters said...

Haven't heard of Karen Miller. I'll have to check her out!