Sunday, March 13, 2011

Women writing Science Fiction - Questions from the Readers


Someone on twitter asked how women were doing compared to men in terms of writing Science Fiction.

This is not an easy question. This is also one I do not have a definitive answer for. However, I'll take a stab at my opinions and thoughts on the matter.

First, there have almost always been women writing Science Fiction. However, the brave women who were the early pioneers of a feminine touch in a male-dominated genre often hid their genders behind male pen names.

While women have been accepted in much higher frequency than ever before, there is still a very strong male lead in the genre.

That said, my book case has a decent amount of science fiction. Almost all of the authors are females. I enjoy their writing.

I cannot give you exact demos on male versus female, but the few publishers I DID manage to corner have said the same thing, "Females are increasing in number."

How high is the percentage? No clue.

The best way to find out, perhaps, would be to take a tally of authors -- especially best sellers -- and figure out how many are men and how many are women.

Since this branches a lot of different publishing houses, both large and small, this would be a massive undertaking.

If you have solid information on the split between males and females in science fiction, please note your resources. This is something I am definitely interested.


  1. As I've read it, the very first novel that could clearly be labeled science fiction was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

    My own, completely unresearched and unscientific, opinion is that women are more likely to write the "softer" sci-fi where men get more into the cool-tech side of it.

    I write sci-fi but I definitely fall into the less-sci-more-fi end of the spectrum. I'm not into the science so much as the ability to create my own worlds and realities.

  2. I would say that it has a lot to do with marketing as well. We see the "grandfathers" of SF and associate with them more because it was more acceptable for men to be writers when they were published. But I think you are right in saying that women are making bigger strides in SF!

  3. Very interesting topic! I am a female science fiction author and only know of two others in my writing circle. I agree that the male lead is still very strong.

    It would be neat to do a poll of some kind! :)

    Reflections on Writing