1. The table of contents for Solaris Rising, an annual SF anthology from a British publisher, was posted.
2. Someone noticed there were only a couple of stories by female authors on the list.
3. Accusations of gender bias were leveled at the editor.
4. Flame war ensued.
5. After the smoke cleared, the general consensus was that the editor wasn’t, at least consciously, guilty of gender bias against female authors, but there was a larger problem of sexism in science fiction publishing, a genre where women have had less success getting published and winning awards than men (Some strong language in these linked posts).
So, how about us? Do we have the same problem in Christian science fiction? We’ve talked a lot here about a perceived feminine domination of Christian fiction in general, but does that extend into Christian speculative fiction–specifically science fiction? Or, is that flavor of literature as much a gentleman’s club for Christian writers as it seems to be for secular writers?
I’m curious. I’m occasionally told that I write like a girl. I plugged an excerpt from my novel into one of those writing style analysis programs, and it said I write like Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve even considered submitting to a couple of ladies-only anthologies under a female pen name, just to see if I could pass. Hey, it worked for the Bronte sisters…
The gender-bias issue seems like a two-edged sword. There may very well be a subtle prejudice against women writers among science fiction publishers, but that also makes successful women science fiction writers a minority, and for that reason, a little exotic–a little more interesting. When’s the last time you saw an anthology explicitly dedicated to stories from bald, middle-aged men living in the Midwest U.S.?
Yeah, me neither.