Links to some gender in genre thoughts (and book recommendations) from other folk

Good Monday morning. Well, that was a busy weekend, and not just on the Internet. It’s great to see such vigorous conversation about the perception, the reality and what that tells us about the current unconsidered biases in the presentation of epic fantasy (and other areas of speculative fiction).

If you haven’t already, do check out The Guardian’s article on women’s fantasy fiction. And do look through the comments thread for a great list of recommended reads.

More books and authors are recommended by Speculating on SpecFic where books are grouped according to the different things which might appeal to readers – politics, females with agency, dragons! – and more besides.

Find more recommendations and more thoughtful consideration over at The Geek Agenda discussing women in historical fantasy where this refers to historically-inspired fantasy rather than books set in recognisable historical settings. Don’t get bogged down in definitions, just read the piece.

Adrian Tchaikovsky addresses a slightly different set of assumptions about women’s writing specifically the ‘women write romance, romance is yucky, therefore women’s writing is yucky’ syllogism. Good piece.

Expanding the conversation –

Emma Newman gives an impassioned author’s response demanding a level playing field.

Fit and Feminist has a good post on why Pop Culture needs more women like Brienne of Tarth

Former French teacher, worldwide best-selling novelist and fantasy writer herself, Joanne Harris discusses the differences between Feminine and female.

Oh and if there was still any doubt about unreasoning bias against SF&F in some bookshops, as revealed on Twitter last week, a potential buyer went into a London bookshop and asked for a copy of Joanne Harris’s new novel, The Gospel according to Loki – only to be told they weren’t stocking it ‘as we don’t have a science fiction following’.

Yes, really.

7 comments

  1. “…‘as we don’t have a science fiction following’.”

    Well, not if they have that attitude towards it.

    Sadly the only bookshop in town here is almost as bad. On the bright side, when they did a new translation of Lord of the Rings I could get it on a three-for-two offer for children’s books.

  2. It is amazing how much more I enjoyed Brienne’s chapters upon reread. And how much my tastes have changed over time.

    How can you know your Sci-fi following if you don’t even carry the high profile releases? Bah.

  3. Thanks for the links to the fascinating articles. Adrian T’s piece had me running to the library catalogue to look at books/authors about whom I knew nothing!

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