Well, the science fiction book market has done it again. According to Strange Horizons 2014 SF count: “…this year’s proportion of books by women/non-binary individuals is the lowest recorded in the SF Count to date…”
In the UK of the 195 novels counted, 134 were by men (68.7%) and 61 by women (31.3%).
This is an absolute disgrace. There are no other words for this situation.
I have argued in previous posts that the lack of women writers detracts from adding quality and variety to science fiction, due to the simple fact that the pool of stories to choose from is fewer – the rest follows because in the extra number of books there would have been some great stories and some different takes on science fiction. Simples!
What is really upsetting is that despite Strange Horizons bringing this issue to our attention with hard figures for five years now, nothing seems to have changed. Even at the slow pace the novel production industry has to work (for pragmatic reasons) no progress has been made on these totally illogical proportions.
The first step to sorting out a problem is to acknowledge that it exists. It seems to me that the science fiction novel industry, in general, is not even doing that. Otherwise we would have seen a shift in the numbers in the other direction by now, not a massive one, but a noticeable one.
So the more this issue can be aired or printed or ethered, the more likely the publishing industry will sit up and take notice. Hence this short, but to the point post.