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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Meme: Women in Science Fiction

John Ottinger over at Grasping For the Wind posted a meme yesterday based on Sandra McDonald's periodic table of women in science fiction. Since I've recently been talking about women in science fiction with Weirdside on our podcast, I thought it would be fun to do this meme here. I'll put my stats at the bottom of the list with a brief comment.

(One thing to note: I own a lot of books and it's entirely possible that some of the folks below should be bolded who are not. I can't remember all of the books I own; there are just too darn many.)

The meme:

Bold the women by whom you own books
Italicize those by whom you’ve read something of (short stories count)
*Star those you don’t recognize

Andre Norton
C. L. Moore
Evangeline Walton*
Leigh Brackett
Judith Merril*
Joanna Russ
Margaret St. Clair*
Katherine MacLean*
Carol Emshwiller
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Zenna Henderson*
Madeline L’Engle
Angela Carter
Ursula LeGuin
Anne McCaffrey
Diana Wynne Jones
Kit Reed
James Tiptree, Jr.
Rachel Pollack*
Jane Yolen
Marta Randall*
Eleanor Arnason*
Ellen Asher
Patricia A. McKillip
Suzy McKee Charnas*
Lisa Tuttle
Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Tanith Lee
Pamela Sargent*
Jayge Carr*
Vonda McIntyre
Octavia E. Butler
Kate Wilhelm
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Sheila Finch*
Mary Gentle
Jessica Amanda Salmonson*
C. J. Cherryh
Joan D. Vinge
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Ellen Kushner
Ellen Datlow
Nancy Kress
Pat Murphy
Lisa Goldstein
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Mary Turzillo*
Connie Willis
Barbara Hambly
Nancy Holder*
Sheri S. Tepper
Melissa Scott
Margaret Atwood
Lois McMaster Bujold
Jeanne Cavelos
Karen Joy Fowler
Leigh Kennedy
Judith Moffett
Rebecca Ore*
Emma Bull
Pat Cadigan
Kathyrn Cramer
Laura Mixon*
Eileen Gunn
Elizabeth Hand
Kij Johnson
Delia Sherman
Elizabeth Moon
Michaela Roessner*
Terri Windling
Sharon Lee
Sherwood Smith
Katherine Kurtz
Margo Lanagan
Laura Resnick
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Sheila Williams
Farah Mendlesohn
Gwyneth Jones
Ardath Mayhar*
Esther Friesner*
Debra Doyle*
Nicola Griffith
Amy Thomson*
Martha Wells*
Catherine Asaro
Kate Elliott
Kathleen Ann Goonan
Shawna McCarthy
Caitlin Kiernan
Maureen McHugh
Cheryl Morgan
Nisi Shawl
Mary Doria Russell
Kage Baker
Kelly Link
Nancy Springer
J. K. Rowling
Nalo Hopkinson
Ellen Klages
Tananarive Due
M. Rickert*
Theodora Goss
Mary Anne Mohanraj
S. L. Viehl
Jo Walton
Kristine Smith
Deborah Layne*
Cherie Priest
Wen Spencer
K. J. Bishop
Catherynne M. Valente
Elizabeth Bear
Ekaterina Sedia
Naomi Novik
Mary Robinette Kowal
Ann VanderMeer

The breakdown is like this:
--Total authors on the list: 117
--Authors I have never heard of: 25 (21.4%)
--Authors whose work I own: 49 (41.9%)
--Authors whose work I've read: 18 (15.4%)
--Authors whose work I've never read: 99 (84.6%)

Alright, so here's what I think about all of this.

1. While I only own work for 49 of the authors listed above, I also own multiple books by the majority of them. I am well on my way to owning everything Nalo Hopkinson and Kage Baker have ever written, have a dozen Andrew Norton novels, and quite a few from many others on the list.

2. I'm rather shocked that I don't own work for many of the big name authors on the list. I may have to check my library to make sure I'm not forgetting things.

3. Of the 18 authors whose work I have read, many of them I have read multiple times. I've read two Kage Baker novels, at least four Elizabeth Bear ones, two by Jo Walton, and a number of Le Guin and Butler titles.

4. A lot of female authors I have read do not appear on this list, such as: Susan Beth Pfeffer, Jennifer Rahn, Chris Moriarty, Kay Kenyon, and Mary Shelley.

5. I really would like to read more of the authors on this list. This has been an issue for me for two reasons: the first is that I receive very few female authors in either science fiction and fantasy to review; the second is that most of the female authors I have read are either fantasy authors or authors of other genres; and the third is that I don't have as much time for free reading as I would like, which inevitably means I don't get to read more diversely. I am hoping to solve the last of these issues, though, and maybe I'll get the opportunity to read more female authors in the future. We'll see. Right now, things are looking pretty crowded.

6. After all is said and done, I do think I may have to be a little more proactive in diversifying my reading, not just in terms of gender, but in terms of race as well. I've said as much before, but this is making it a little more clear for me. I've also said in the past that my non-diverse reading is not at all intentional, nor subconscious, which is perhaps made clear by the fact that many of the women I have read on this list are folks I came to organically, enjoyed, and continue to read.

And that's the end of that. I'm curious how the numbers look for everyone else, though. Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Lol. I posted about this video on my blog, too. Isn't it a terrifically fun video?

  2. I thought it was pretty cool that someone put it all together, although didn't find the video particularly entertaining. Maybe it was the music.

    That said, it's nice to discover authors I didn't know before, as well as to discover new things about authors I already enjoy.