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The History of Women in Science Fiction


Science fiction has often been represented as a boys club but you have in particular studied and written extensively about history of women running science fiction if women have always been present in his own room why do people don't know about this why do we just think about the men who have written science fiction right i mean i think we we do think about women in the shocker but only like at certain periods of time right like everyone willing to admit that mary shelley is is one of the founders of the genre certainly one of the i think the first authored a write a commercially successful science fiction story and then you know you get fast forward to the nineteen seventies add a the revival of feminism an all of a sudden you at authors like her glennon joanna raw in margaret atwood and then people are like oh wow women right science fiction fiction and of course just this past year n k jemison right became the first author of of any gender race to win three she goes in award so now we see women in the john ross but there's a huge gap between like eighteen eighteen as they nineteen seventy they add i don't really understand where all the women were so i started looking around at turns out sure enough there they were there we've always had women in the sean raw on from the very beginning women constituted about fifteen percent of all science fiction producer third an we know that by the time they started doing reader's poll in the nineteen forties and fifties that women counted for at least forty percent of the readership as well an today i'm not sure where we are in readership but i know that the numbers of women science fiction have doubled so worried about thirty thirty five percent now but i think the reason that we forget that there were so many women in between shelly an a the revival of feminism in that the the growth of science fiction is because women were sometimes writing we were looking at the kinds of fiction they were writing and then we also can't find it because it didn't always get anthology eyes right it's it's really hard the early science fiction community were all magazine science fiction and add those magazines often got thrown away or they didn't laugh they weren't preserved so if you don't have access to a university with a huge science fiction collection like i do it's really hard to find these women and then you know it's exacerbated by the fact that even even if you have anthologies a lot of early anthologies were written by people who didn't necessarily include women in those anthologies for one reason or another yeah i mean it's it's interesting because obviously you have the the men who were writing in this pulp magazines same guy that didn't disappear people still about that and it's like it's just frustrating but then i mean i don't know if there's anything in it but things like james chip tree you know perhaps people don't necessarily know that that this is a pseudonym right right i i think james kept tree right that was probably a pretty well now one interesting thing i've found is that most women did not you nailed it and then most women went by willie decidedly feminine name an and usually their own name although sometimes they would also take other names like willis lorraine which is a lovely name she was born mary mod done you could see why she switched her name but really what i found is most women did not match courageous men an austin women pictures were printed printed in the magazine in the very early magazines author had catches of themselves with their draw with their with their stories so an even if somehow you missed that'd be editor were quick to correct a reader who missed took female writers from el writer but what did happen and that one very early in the shot like in the twenties and thirties right so white after universal suffrage and the first wave of feminism and i think a lot of people were really sort of on board with thinking about how the future my female as well is mel an but then in the late thirties and forties you the backlash against feminism in that time when the first science fiction anthologies are being put together and those were put together by a younger group of men who really did you find participated in that that minutes backlash rhetoric right john campbell who wore that no woman could write science fiction even though he'd been publishing in magazines women did you know he had it that's how to the male got her start in her career he told her no woman could write a story and she said yeah i bet i can write a story you'll like it so much you'll you'll back me from warren and that's exactly what happened actually but as anthology forgetting put together women we know they're anecdote on an app that that women have told that they were cut out of the magazine so luckily i've known her with one of the pioneering science fiction authors she gold lingers back and a was really popular with people's you're looking big creating space opera often she had been invited to be to include a story in one of the first big client fiction anthologies andover supposed to be a party for everyone who's gonna be on thala g and she was sick and she couldn't go so she sent her husband an editor said oh you must be likely stone he said no no that's my white i'm just here for her as a place called her and they're like oh that's very interesting and then within two weeks you had a letter saying yeah we decided to drop their story from anthology i'd really hard not to put to ensure together on that

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