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Saturday, July 5, 2008

thinking abour speculative fiction and women...

There's been some talk in the wires about the gender gap in Speculative Fiction. Since I actually think Paranormal Romance totally counts as Science-Fiction and Fantasy, I don't really know what those guys are talking about.

However, in HardSF/MilitarySF, I can honestly say there seems to be a gender gap. And, the women who are writing Hard SF/MilitarySF, the women we have kick ass.

I just finished "Marquee and Reprisal" by Elizabeth Moon, and I thought it was a great time. Exciting space battles, excellent world-building, and excellent plotting heavily rooted in believable characters. If more people of either gender wrote stuff this much fun, TV would go out of business.

The gap that worries me is not the gender gap. The quality gap worries me. At the highest levels of quality, I've noticed parity between the number of men and women.

Perhaps this percieved gender gap is just that men, for some unknown reason, are better at limping through some average-to-bad paint-by-numbers Heinlein rip-off. Once you get out of the sticks and into the upper echelons, I don't see any gender gap at all. In fact, Nancy Kress and Elizabeth Moon and a few notable others are totally kicking ass.

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