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I'm sick and my voice is hoarse so I can't shout as loud as I would like but this stuff is just starting to make me *very* angry. I would just let it slide by as yet another man with another non-diverse, reading experience but I did say on the latest episode of Galactic Suburbia that I am going to point and shout louder and louder on this issue. And besides, it's obvious that James L Sutter doesn't spend much time on the internet because ...

Why yes, it's another man editing a collection of reprint stories that is embarrassingly lacking in women.

Personally, I am infuriated that more recently published writers are taking the slots that should rightfully be held by some of the GIANT FEMALE writers that have graced the science fiction field, even if so many of today's male critics and commentators, and editors, seem to have forgotten them. Or perhaps never saw them in the first place.

This will be another book that I do not buy.

Tansy says more here


Comments

( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
bibliofilen
May. 17th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
I went around being angry about that for a long time. My solution is to read about 85% female authors. Most readers are women and by my judgment about slightly more than half of all SF readers are also women. I doubt anthologies excluding women will sell that well in the long run..
jo1967
May. 17th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately they probably will still sell because [a] it's an interesting concept and fans will still want to read these stories, and [b] in a small market sometimes you just have to take what you can get and read whatever's available.

But I agree, it's a poor effort when there are so many excellent and well known female authors to choose from.
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jumbled_words - May. 18th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - girliejones - May. 19th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - livia_llewellyn - May. 18th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bibliofilen - May. 18th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
aberwyn
May. 17th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Only 1 woman, when many if not most of the stories date from the era when women had finally begun to publish SF. Had they stuck to the 50s, say, the lack would have been excusable, but they didn't and it's not.

Of course, if you or someone else published an anthology called something like "The pioneers, early women writers of SF", then you'd be accused of "reverse discrimination."
girliejones
May. 18th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
Or worse! It would be labelled "feminist SF" and then all the male readers would not buy it cause of the "marketing"

angriest
May. 17th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
I read the editor's comments over at Swanwick's blog entry, where he said he did ask a bunch of women, and all but one of them said no, and I just felt...

Isn't that the point where you reconsider whether or not you should publish the book?
tillianion
May. 17th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess getting your name on the cover of a book is more important than publishing something that actually does something important. :)
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tillianion - May. 18th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tillianion - May. 18th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tillianion - May. 18th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jo1967 - May. 18th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
livia_llewellyn
May. 18th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Well, I'd really like to know exactly what would make a number of celebrated female writers of science fiction say "no" to being included in an anthology celebrating some of the greatest writers in the field. Assuming that's what actually happened...
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - livia_llewellyn - May. 18th, 2010 01:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - May. 18th, 2010 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluetyson - May. 18th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluetyson - May. 18th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones
May. 18th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
I guess its where you get to justify your decision and spin it that it's the women's fault.
(no subject) - girliejones - May. 18th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
"It's hard to have cred with me after this particular ToC, no matter what else you have done." So you put out one TOC with no women writers and you lose all credit no matter how many other women writers you've published?
girliejones
May. 18th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
Well the question I guess is, why are you segregating the women? Don't they get to be in the collections of Giants of the field? Only in their own books?

Truthfully, I probably just would lose interest. I personally have no interest in being deluged with male writing only. So I wouldn't look for any more of that particular editor's work. If he did something completely different with the next book that drew my attention, that would be different.

Edited at 2010-05-18 09:57 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)
May. 18th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Why doesn't Twelfth Planet Press do a "Before" anthology? There's no copyright on the idea. Not only would it be a corrective, then you'll be able to replicate the same experience as the editor of the original, and you can report back on how things went, who declined and why, how difficult it was to get certain rights for certain writers, etc.

JeffV
girliejones
May. 18th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Aw Jeff! I have thought about these kind of projects. The truth is, as much as I would like the way we remember what went before to be more inclusive and truthful, my schedule for this year and next is booked up to my financial limit (and a leetle bit beyond) and my current focus is on ensuring there are markets and support and inspiration for the female speculative fiction writers of today to write and be published. So that when we remember today, tomorrow, it is more diverse and broad.

And it doesn't hurt to nudge the male editors a little bit every now and then to look at the work that they do and consider if it is subconsciously biased.

Edited at 2010-05-18 02:14 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 18th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - girliejones - May. 19th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC) - Expand
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neighborboy
May. 18th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
Hey everyone! My name's James Sutter, and I'm the editor of Before They Were Giants.

Since it sounds like most folks have already read my comments over at Michael Swanwick's blog, I won't waste a bunch of space with justifications, save to say that a number of factors went into the author selection, including trying to avoid overlap with the earlier Martin Greenberg anthologies on the same theme (which snagged a lot of my obvious choices, both male and female) and the fact that I was interested primarily in anthologizing the authors whose writing I most enjoy, most of whom happen to be male. (I'm not saying that's correct, just that it's how the demographics broke down on my bookshelf. Presumably by next year I'll have had a lot of recommendations for female authors I wasn't already familiar with, and that balance will have changed.)

At the time, it didn't occur to me to try harder to get more women in the anthology when the folks who accepted turned out to be mostly male, any more than it occurred to me to make sure I had some non-white or LGBT authors. Naive, I admit, but the question of trying to get gender balance never crossed my mind... I simply went after the authors I wanted the most (and who were still alive, and hadn't been in the Greenberg anthology, and whose first stories were fun, etc.) and when a bunch of rather famous folk took me up on the offer, I was delighted and called it a day.

In the last 24 hours, it's become extremely apparent that I made a major mistake, and I assure you that any future anthologies I do are going to have gender balance as a top priority. So please accept my apologies, and know that your message has been received!

-James

P.S: And thanks to BlueTyson for pointing out that Planet Stories as a line has had a major focus on bringing back important female SF writers like Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore, who created Jirel of Joiry, (the first strong female sword-and-sorcery protagonist).
i_ate_my_crusts
May. 19th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
"At the time, it didn't occur to me to try harder to get more women in the anthology when the folks who accepted turned out to be mostly male, any more than it occurred to me to make sure I had some non-white or LGBT authors. Naive, I admit, but the question of trying to get gender balance never crossed my mind..."

Do you not think that you might have noticed and attempted to redress the gender balance if it was all women who had accepted, and all men who had said no?

...and yet you didn't notice that it was all men.

You're showing your gender bias rather alarmingly here. Something to work on, eh?
(no subject) - neighborboy - May. 19th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones
May. 19th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Thanks James for stopping by and for reading what I, and others, had to say.

I accept your apologies and I appreciate your admission that these issues never occurred to you when putting together the anthology (something that we hear all too often in the science fiction genre, and something that is constantly disappointing). I also appreciate that there are limiting factors in reprint collections that are not so obvious to the observer.

I challenge you though to broaden your horizons and read beyond your comfort zone and diversify what is on your bookshelves to a demographic that is less representative of the one you belong to. I firmly believe that's what science fiction is about, afterall - expansion beyond what is, consideration of what if, the alien and the other.

And if this discussion has affected how you put together future anthologies, then I think it was a discussion worth having.

Edited at 2010-05-19 06:38 am (UTC)
( 55 comments — Leave a comment )

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