Addendum to Women Hard Science Fiction Writers Blog

The issue about the lack of women hard science fiction writers continues to rumble on, with Damien Walter from  the Guardian now going to press.

I don’t have that much new to say since my last blog on the subject (including the comments). But one thing has occurred to me… apparently women tend to do a lot more editing than men before sending their manuscript out. The means that if women and men had the same number of hours in which to write their novels, they would have less submissions to send out. Ergo, it is not surprising that publishers receive fewer submissions from women than from men. The other thing with editing is that edits do change the word counts of the piece, usually making them smaller. So higher required word counts will place another bias against women. From what I can see, publishers are asking for more words per novel these days, but I could be wrong. So here we have women being more professional than men in general, and they are in two ways being penalised for it.

It’s a crazy world….

I think I had better get back to designing my light sabre – it’s a more sane thing to do – when I mentioned my light sabre design ideas to an engineering colleague, she said that it dealt with one of the design issues… So I must be doing something right… May the force be with you!

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4 thoughts on “Addendum to Women Hard Science Fiction Writers Blog

  1. I don’t want to get into the men v women part of the argument but I would like to say something about the length of SF stories.

    My first thought about the increasing length of SF stories was that authors were getting paid by the word – more words higher payment. This looked to be rather self defeating because the publishers were very likely to reduce the amount paid per word.

    In the end, I borrowed a couple of long SF books that everyone appears to consider as ‘good’. I now have to admit that for the fourth and fifth time in my life I have given up reading a SF story long before the end of the book. For me, the length of the books required extra words that added nothing to the stories – in fact, they were what caused me to stop reading. I ended up wondering what the editor had been doing – it wasn’t the job of editing obviously.

    The upshot of this is that I have to agree that the author, man or woman, should do some serious editing of their works before sending them to the publisher and the editors should do the job they are employed to do.

    At the moment I am rewriting parts of one of my stories based on the comments of my readers, teenagers can be excellent critics.

  2. I know exactly what you mean by over-long novels – some of Robert Heinlein’s later novels suffer dreadfully from this. So when it comes to editing a good maxim to follow is, ‘less is more’!
    Good luck with your writing.

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