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Discussions & Debates > Strange Horizon's just released their demographic study of SF publishing in 2013

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message 1: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Strange Horizon's just released their demographic study of SF publishing in 2013: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2014/2...

Interesting findings based on reviews of sf/f books in major magazines. It seems that in the US the women and men are about 50/50 but UK seems to have bigger problems. And the statistics regarding minorities are atrocious! 96% of books in sf/f published in 2013 were by whites. However, the methodology does have its limitations...

What do you think?


message 2: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Interesting. I'm more surprised by the imbalance in POC than in the relative equity of the genders.


message 3: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments POC?


message 4: by Gary (last edited May 01, 2014 10:27AM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments That was the article's abbreviation for People of Color. (If I'm remembering correctly.)


message 5: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Ah, I must have missed that. Yeah, its awful. But those percentages remind me on rock concerts too, a massive amount of white bodies with the random black rockers. I guess sf/f is the same way. The question then is how can we become more inclusive?


message 6: by Gary (last edited May 01, 2014 11:41AM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I can't really see how those numbers are accurate when it comes to the POC issue. I mean, that just wouldn't be my experience with friends and such. Maybe I have been in a weird little abberrrant world, or maybe I just know personally all those folks in their sample....


message 7: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments Gary wrote: "I can't really see how those numbers are accurate when it comes to the POC issue. I mean, that just wouldn't be my experience with friends and such. Maybe I have been in a weird little abberrrant..."

Its not about the readers though by writers. How many sf/f writers of color can you think of on the fly. I've got Octavia E. Butler and Samuel R. Delany and... that's about it. I'm sure I could search out a few more but my sf/f bookshelves are pretty white.

I think you live in a weird little aberrant world. :P I dated a black guy for 7 years, very geeky and a rocker. Our Geeky friends were white and Asian. Our black friends (except for one) were into rap and stuff and couldn't tell the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. I don't mean to stereotype, that's just from my personal experience. On second thought, I may be the one living in a weird little aberrant world. :P

I guess what we need is more studies. And to be more inclusive in general.

Plus, I would love to read an African fantasy, the medieval Europe fantasies are starting to bore me.


message 8: by Gary (last edited May 01, 2014 03:09PM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I may have completely misunderstood those graphs. I thought it was the reviewers (like goodreads) so they were talking about their readership. It's the writers of articles/stories?

I'll have to take another look.

I'm bad with authors names frequently, but there's the 10,000 Kingdoms gal. She's a SFFAOC (SF/F Author of Color.)


message 9: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments I gathered it was reviewers in the magazines, so professional reviewers (but I could have misread) but not data from the readers of their magazines. And the specific data dealt with the books reviewed by the reviewers for those magazines in 2013, which can also be seen as promotion.


message 10: by Laz (new)

Laz the Sailor (laz7) The POC issue is not genre specific - it crosses all books and publishers. This was discussed recently at a major book publishing convention.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 71 comments Alicja wrote: "Plus, I would love to read an African fantasy, the medieval Europe fantasies are starting to bore me. "

A few:
Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch and Who Fears Death
Charles Saunders' Imaro
Octavia Butler's Wild Seed (starts in Africa)
And there's a guy named Alexander Monteagudo who has published a few short stories such as this one: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/ar...
all set in a larger alternate African fantasy that he's writing.


message 12: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Joyce | 77 comments Sarah wrote: "Alicja wrote: "Plus, I would love to read an African fantasy, the medieval Europe fantasies are starting to bore me. "

A few:
Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch and [book:Who Fears Death|..."


There is a woman from Haiti who wrote a speculative fiction book called something like "The Robber something something. Oh it's driving me crazy I can think of neither her name or her book. she was invited to Wiscon one year as an award winner. She had initially won one of the Writers of the Future short story contests. Anybody know who I am talking about?


message 13: by William (new)

William Galaini (williamgalaini) | 73 comments I had to self publish my first Science Fiction novel because the publisher interested said it would only sell with a male lead because the sci-fi was too 'hard.'

My forth novel in the works is about a black lesbian, and my third novel due out next year is about a gay man.

As a writing, I have declared war on the straight-jaw male hero.


message 14: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments William wrote: "I had to self publish my first Science Fiction novel because the publisher interested said it would only sell with a male lead because the sci-fi was too 'hard.'

My forth novel in the works is abo..."


More evidence that publishers seem to have these ideas that men won't read books with female leads. If they don't publish any different, nothing will change.


message 15: by William (new)

William Galaini (williamgalaini) | 73 comments I also teach English and just started at a new school. When I combed through the book room, every book was about white boys doing white boy things...

When I asked at a teacher meeting why we had no diversity, the retort was 'do you want your male students engaged or not?'

Leaving Atlanta is the first novel my students will be reading next year.


message 16: by Alicja, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς Θεός (new)

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 772 comments William wrote: "I also teach English and just started at a new school. When I combed through the book room, every book was about white boys doing white boy things...

When I asked at a teacher meeting why we had ..."


Good job stepping out of the box for your students. Hopefully the boys will engage if there is an expectation for them to get engaged.


message 17: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Joyce | 77 comments William wrote: "I also teach English and just started at a new school. When I combed through the book room, every book was about white boys doing white boy things...

When I asked at a teacher meeting why we had ..."


Please keep us posted how it goes. Is the school predominantly white? Doesn't that other teacher want to keep the girls and non-white students engaged? I suspect the boys will be more engaged by what you are doing.


message 18: by Bryn (last edited Jul 10, 2014 11:17PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Cynthia wrote: "There is a woman from Haiti who wrote a speculative fiction book called something like "The Robber something something..."

Is Nalo Hopkinson with Midnight Robber close?
Milton J. Davis seems to have teamed up with Charles R. Saunders (mentioned above) for what they call 'Sword and Soul', African-inspired fantasy. This group might be interested in their Griots: Sisters of the Spear.


message 19: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Which leads me to:
Balogun Ojetade (an inventor of steamfunk: African steampunk)


message 20: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) And then (I'm on an exploration) there's collections "designed to showcase multiculturism, diversity, and characters of color in genre fiction": Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond
AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers
Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture
...and these lead you to more.


message 21: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Joyce | 77 comments Bryn wrote: "Cynthia wrote: "There is a woman from Haiti who wrote a speculative fiction book called something like "The Robber something something..."

Is Nalo Hopkinson with [book:Midnight Robb..."


Yes Nalo Hopkins!


message 22: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Alicja wrote: "More evidence that publishers seem to have these ideas that men won't read books with female leads. If they don't publish any different, nothing will change. "

Actually, it has already "changed" in that what traditional SF/F publishers choose to publish is becoming almost irrelevant.


message 23: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) Alicja wrote: "Strange Horizon's just released their demographic study of SF publishing in 2013: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2014/2...

Interesting findings based on reviews of sf/f books ..."


Do they review independent authors?


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