A call on the Guardian for people’s favourite science fiction novels last Monday resulted in a list of over 500 titles (tellingly listed as best science fiction novels). The list prompted both Nicola Griffith and Cheryl Morgan to point out how few novels by women sf writers had been named. The Guardian then added to the debate with an article ‘The incredible shrinking presence of women sf writers‘, only for its comments thread to prove how shockingly bad the situation actually is.
And so Nicola Griffth has asked people to take the Russ Pledge, “to make a considerable and consistent effort to mention women’s work which, consciously or unconsciously, has been suppressed”. And while my reading challenge this year has been to read one book by a women sf writer each month, and blog about it, I decided to do more.
So I’ve set up the SF Mistressworks blog. Which will comprise reviews of classic and twentieth century science fiction by women writers. It will offset all those “classic sf” and “50 sf novels you must read” and “best sf novels” lists you see all over the internet which have few or no women writers on them. It will demonstrate that women have been writing sf since the genre’s beginnings, and that many of their books are as good as, if not better, than many sf “classics”.
A number of people have all ready volunteered to write reviews, but more are certainly welcome. I have no intention of providing the content alone. I also don’t mind if there are multiple reviews – by different hands, of course – of the same book.
The SF Mistressworks blog is part of the conversation about women sf writers; but it will never direct it.