Farah Mendelsohn linked to a post announcing a new book of important reprints in our field:
“Long before they were household names, all of the superstar science fiction and fantasy authors in this anthology were just fans with stories and dreams. Now, for the first time ever, fifteen of the genre’s most important authors have come together to show off their first published SF stories, many of them rare and never before collected… An invaluable look at the origins of speculative fiction’s greatest minds, and bursting with insightful advice for beginning writers, this book is a must for any science fiction or fantasy fan, aspiring author, or teacher.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But then take a look at oh hell yes here we are talking about tables of contents again and what do we find?
Fourteen men, one woman.
While Nicola Griffith is a very important writer in our field, it’s hard not to start pouring forth with all the obvious female names that are not included. And sure, there are many reasons why an author might not be included in a book like this, rights management being a big one, and sure, there are plenty of male authors who are not included, but…
One woman. Fourteen men.
This is a book that holds itself up as a document, as a teaching aid, as a resource to teach us something about the genre of science fiction. So far what it’s taught me is that women continue to be unvalued.
As Farah says, it’s shameful. It’s also disappointing. Is it really that hard to remember that if you are telling the story of science fiction, you are going to be held accountable for the story you choose to tell?