Everything Is Nice

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

A Year Of Reading Women

with 7 comments

Remember these fine words? Well, I never really followed up on them. Niall Harrison’s focus week on women in SF came and went and, though I voted in his future classics poll, I didn’t take part in any wider sense.

Over Christmas I decided to do something about this: I would read and review one SF novel by a women every month in 2011. I appreciate this sounds pathetically modest but in the context of my current reading I’m afraid it isn’t. There were several SF novels by women already languishing on my shelves, bought but unread and in this state for some time. I rescued these and then topped them up from Amazon. This in itself was an eye-opener; almost all the books I searched for – even those which had only recently been published – were out of print.

These are the twelve books (minus Kindred by Octavia Butler which hasn’t arrived yet but plus a couple of fantasy novels I couldn’t resist):

A Year Of Reading Woman

A few other people had the same idea. First of the blocks was Ian Sales and now Shana Worthen, the new editor of Vector, will be running a monthly discussion group for each of the eleven novels on the future classics poll. So I’d like to treat my year of reading women as a parallel exercise. It won’t be a formal discussion group (although it does overlap with Shana’s list in two instances) but if any want wants to read the novels at the same time as me, here is the schedule I will be working to:

January: Moxyland by Lauren Buekes
February: Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand
March: Arslan by MJ Engh
April: Mission Child by Maureen F McHugh
May: The Flood by Maggie Gee
June: Maul by Tricia Sullivan (discussion at Torque Control)
July: Woman On The Edge Of Time by Marge Piercy
August: Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle
September: The Two Of Them by Joanna Russ
October: Kindred by Octavia Butler
November: The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula LeGuin
December: Spirit by Gwyneth Jones (discussion at Torque Control)

Written by Martin

22 January 2011 at 13:12

Posted in criticism, sf

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7 Responses

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  1. I’ll aim to join you on Mission Child, Woman on the Verge of Time, and The Two of Us. I read Maul in December, so it should still be relatively fresh in my mind for a TC discussion (and I should have reviewed it on EA by then).

    ps. The review I owe you for Vector is totally coming this weekend honest. Sorry!


    22 January 2011 at 16:11

  2. Pfft – I had this idea way before anyone else. (Though my posting has been really slack lately.)


    22 January 2011 at 17:12

  3. It is true, Chance was on top of this way back. I recommend you check out 365 Days Of Women.

    Also, eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that Moxyland isn’t in that photo. The reason is that I am reading it and got al distracted by its goodness.


    22 January 2011 at 19:18

  4. […] called Martin (Lewis in his case) found out he read shockingly little science fiction by women and decided to do something about it: Over Christmas I decided to do something about this: I would read and review one SF novel by a […]

  5. The Dreams & Speculation blog is sponsoring a similar 2011 book club for “The Women of Science Fiction”.


    29 January 2011 at 15:10

  6. […] have read precisely one (the Piercy), though another is scheduled for my year of SF by woman (the […]

  7. […] year I set myself the challenge of reading and writing about one science fiction novel written by a woman each […]

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