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Thread: Women writers only 8.8% of Fantasy & Science Fiction's May/June Issue

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW CL_Hilbert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Women writers only 8.8% of Fantasy & Science Fiction's May/June Issue

    I just got a shiny new subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine. Yay! But as I was reading the May/June issue, I felt a little niggle of discontent. So I thought, hey, I'll do some math.

    The math turned out incredibly depressing.


    In the May/June issue of F&SF Magazine, we have:

    10 stories; 256 total pages

    8 male fiction authors

    2 female fiction authors

    The female fiction authors had a total of 15.5 pages of writing in the book—one flash, one short.

    Elizabeth Hand was the only female non-fiction contributor, offering 7 pages of book recommendations.

    So total, in the May/June issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, women contributed only 22.5 pages out of 256, or 8.8%.

    That means that 233.5 pages of the issue were written by men, or 91.2%.

    Other Interesting Facts:

    The female-written flash story is bisected by a half-page ad for J.L. Doty’s latest book. It is the only ad of its size in the entire issue. (And J.L. Doty, by the way, is male.)

    The female-written short story was written in 1979, and reprinted in this issue. So of the two female-written fiction pieces, only one is new.

    The cover art, at least, is by Kristin Kest. However, it illustrates “Wormwood is Also A Star” by Andy Stewart.


    Can we talk about this? Because looking at these numbers, I am sick in my bones.

    Of 10 stories, only two were written by women. One was a reprint from the 70s. The other was flash fiction. Five hundred words or less. And even that proved too long for them—they had to put an ad down in the middle of it.

    And I know that people will say, "Oh, I'm sure it wasn't intentional." But the worst part about "I'm sure it wasn't intentional" is what isn't said.

    “I’m sure it’s not intentional” implies that of course the editors aren’t discriminating. They picked the best stories for the issue. It just happens that men are 91.2% better writers.

    There are so many fantastic female writers of fantasy and science fiction out there (as this board proves). So I have to wonder why, then, that F&SF could only find one lady-written story from the 70s, and another so small it barely took up two pages?

    You'd think they were hunting unicorns or something, here.
    Last edited by CL_Hilbert; 06-18-2013 at 04:04 AM. Reason: punctuation error

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