June 12, 2010

Women in Steampunk

(Cross-posted from Steampunk Magazine - check out the discussion going on in the comments there!)

I was going to post a bunch of book reviews I'd saved throughout the week, but then I realized that they were all just this week's posts from Steampunk Scholar and you could just go to his blog and follow them yourself. (Which you should consider, as they're always quite insightful.)

But instead, I submit for your consideration: The Invisibility of Women in Science Fiction, an article by Alisa Krasnostein at Hoyden About Town. Her premise for the article is as follows:

"We still see low representations of women in science fiction magazines and anthologies, many awards shortlists, and in criticism of the genre. One of the issues that has become apparent is that those who commentate and review the genre wield much power in directing what works get read and recognised. To me, this seems like a significant wall that needs to be broken down in the quest to see women equally respected and represented in this genre."

The whole thing is definitely worth a read, especially because I think it could be argued that science fiction's "woman problem" extends into steampunk. I don't have it on me right now, but I seem to recall that the first steampunk anthology I ever read included but a single woman, and the past year of book reviews by Steampunk Scholar includes, if my count is correct, one book written by a woman and one co-authored by one.

Do you think steampunk women writers have as difficult a time as other sci-fi women seem to?

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