KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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That Tor.com Poll

So Tor.com is running a poll asking readers to list their favorite science fiction books of the decade (where "the decade" is actually 11 years, 2000 through 2010). The poll closes tonight (Friday, 1/14, midnight EST). They're posting regular updates on the top vote-getters, and the current (as of Thursday, January 13th) list is here.

Two things jumped out at me about the Top Ten listed here. My first thought was how many of the books on it I've read; usually I don't do so well with lists like this, but this time I've actually read six out of the ten, and one (Anathem) I own but haven't read yet. Of the other three, there is one that I'm unlikely to read (the Sanderson), one I've never heard of, and one that I probably really ought to read, given how much I've heard about Patrick Rothfuss.

My second thought: "Hold on a minute, are those authors really all men?"

They aren't -- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke is at number five. But still.

As you read farther down the list, women get a little better represented: three more in the rest of the Top Twenty (JK Rowling, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Suzanne Collins), and six books by women in a list of 27 that could crack the top depending on how the voting patterns go. So that's 10 books by 9 women authors (Bujold is listed twice) out of 47 books by 33 authors total, or 21% and 27% respectively.

I have to run out the door for work, so no time for analysis, but it does raise the question: Is it really the case that only 25% of currently published science fiction and fantasy authors are female? Or is there something else going on here?

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Tags: books, feminism
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