Much of the publishing talk this week (apart from the bit about James Frenkel leaving Tor) has been about this Tor.uk post about how publishers aren’t really the problem with gender inequity in SF/F – it’s the authors who are failing to submit! On the bright side it did include lovely, beautifully presented statistics to back up the editor’s opinion. It also represents an official statement that Tor.uk are very welcoming to female authors, which is good to know. Just a shame that it also dips into defensiveness rather than acknowledging that sexism is inevitably an aspect to be considered when looking at the publishing industry.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia addresses the phenomenon where women seem to be better represented in the urban fantasy/paranormal romance and YA categories, by pointing out how often female writers are placed in those categories regardless of what they write: On Sexism and the Slushpile.
Ladybusinessplus on Tumblr responds by commenting about how the ‘it’s not us’ mentality is not actually helpful.
i09 followed this up by looking at some of the comments on the Tor.uk post (including one by our Sean!) and exploring some of the ramifications of the post – I think the comment by Annalee Newitz brings the clearest ‘maybe this article isn’t all that’ perspective when she points out that the majority of books sold are not drawn from the slushpile, they are requested by the publisher, so showing the slushpile stats only gives us one piece of the picture.
Coming back to the ‘women writers getting reviewed and selling reviews’ issue, Mary Beard weighed in with her perspective as a reviews editor, and how surprised she was to crunch the numbers and discover that the Classics section of the Times Literary Supplement wasn’t as equal or female-dominant as it was perceived…
In other linky goodness, Stella Young talks about why it’s not okay to pat wheelchair users on the head, with our new/old Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as the latest public example of the patronising phenomenon.
Mary Robinette Kowal talks about How To Identify a Rabid Weasel (if you’re worried it might be you, it’s not you) and how Bad Apples can damage communities – the trolls you can’t afford to ignore.
Speaking of which, Heather Urbanski talks about the important issue of sexual harassment policies, and why they don’t in fact impact on free speech.
It’s nice to have some positive discussion about SFWA and what they are doing right now! The King of Elfland’s Second Cousin looks at some of the Board’s recent activity with A Healthy Dose of Professionalism.
Diana Peterfreund on The Home Stretch and Hating Female Characters.
A lovely review at Strange Horizons of Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Poe (Lethe Press) featuring a story by meeeeeee.
The Guardian have been curating an interesting series of interviews with self-published authors (each featured author recommends the next one to be included) – check out Tracey Bloom’s story about how the lack of a UK publisher in her US-published romantic comedy led to her doing it herself.
The Mary Sue reviews Long Live The Queen: A Game of Strategy, Intrigue, and Horrible, Adorable Death
Bitch Magazine talks about the feminism in Miyazaki’s films.