Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Arthur C Clarke Award Data

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Including this year, 48 out of 169 nominees (28.4%) and 10 out of 27 winners (37%) have been women. This compares pretty favourably to the level of submissions by women this year: 21%. We also know that the level has been around 20% since the submissions list was first published.

But the submissions list has only been published for less than a decade and there is a persistent feeling that number of science fiction novels being published by women in the UK has decreased since the Arthur C Clarke Award was established in 1986.

Unfortunately, we can’t compare submissions historically but we can compare with the shortlists. So, in the first 10 years of the award 30% of nominees were female, 50% of winners were female and there were three years when there were as many women as men on the shortlist. Whereas in the last 10 years 22% of nominees were female, 20% of winners were female and men made up the majority of the shortlist every years.

So the record of the Arthur C Clarke Award is getting worse. I think this has to reflect the worsening situation for women in British science fiction publishing over this period. The fact that this year’s shortlist is made up entirely of men is a symptom of this and we need to address the root cause.

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Written by Martin

5 April 2013 at 11:26

Posted in awards, sf

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5 Responses

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  1. [...] Everything Is Nice on Clarke Award Data: [...]

  2. Damn. That’s depressing…

    shaunduke

    5 April 2013 at 23:20

  3. [...] Unsurprisingly, a lot of people have something to say about the all-male Clarke shortlist, though Christopher Priest remains silent so far. Charlie Jane Anders remarks on the lack of women at iO9 and offers a potential female nominee, Madeleine Ashby and her novel vN. James Nicholl comments on the failure of the Clarke Awards to nominate anything other than white men and provides another potential female nominee, G. Willow Wilson for Alif the Unseen. Nicholl also posts the full list of submissions. Plenty of good potential choices there, including several books by female writers which clearly are SF, though several of them are YA and therefore doubly ghettoized. Meanwhile, Farah Mendlesohn has taken it upon herself to read all the submissions by female writers and determine how many of them would have been eligible. And Martin at Everything Nice offers some data and points out that the Clarke Awards have actually gotte…. [...]

  4. [...] women on the Clarke Award shortlist. I mentioned this briefly the other day when I talked about the existing data on women and the Clarke but it is perhaps worth unpacking a bit more. It is my belief that the lack of women on the [...]

  5. [...] that (consider this comment from Farah Mendlesohn on the role of booksellers in this process, and this post from Martin Lewis about Clarke Award statistics). The Clarke Award also raises troubling questions for speculative fiction publishing across the [...]


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