It’s a small genre world, and I found something cool at the same time. How’s that for an opening teaser? Now let me back up and explain….
Yesterday a reader named Joachim Boaz left a comment on a post I had written a few weeks ago about the lack of diversity among writers of speculative fiction. In that comment, he pointing me toward a website dedicated to reviewing novels by women speculative fiction writers called SF Mistressworks. Over the course of the day, Joachim and I exchanged numerous comments, learning that we liked many of the same women writers—C.J. Cherryh, Ursula Le Guin, among others—and I learned about a few I hadn’t heard of before, but now want to read.
Last night I checked out the site Joachim had linked and found, to my surprise, that it was run by Ian Sales. Apparently, Ian oversees several different websites, and SF Mistressworks is one of them. I’ve never met Ian, but—playing six degrees of separation—I feel like I know him because he’s editor of Rocket Science and a writing friend of fellow Hopefull Monster Colum Paget (who also happens to a have a story in Rocket Science, so buy it and read). Ian and Colum seem to be of the same mind and like to argue…er….discuss things—at least that’s how it looks from my perspective, albeit it’s a 12,000 km away perspective. Both of them are obviously sharp guys, have their opinions on things, and aren’t afraid to make those opinions known. I have a lot of respect for that. But back to the site….
I’ve only had a chance to quickly peruse SF Mistressworks, but it has a wide range of reviews for novels by women authors both known and unknown to me. Ian updates it frequently, so there’s an impressive number of reviews on the site. I’m looking forward to taking some time and poking around the offerings; I’m certain I’ll find several books to add to my must read list. By the way, Joachim also runs a review site, Science Fiction Ruminations, which at quick glance seems to specialize in reviewing novels published in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. What I found particularly interesting was that he also had the cover images for the works he reviewed (and often the different covers for the various editions). There’s something very retro-cool about old book covers that takes me back to my younger days of reading science fiction as a kid. I’m a fan of the New Wave science fiction of the 1960s, so I’m also looking forward to spending more time on Joachim’s site. If you have the time, check out both the sites.
Lots of backtracking here. Had to check out your earlier post, and then look up Mistressworks. SF has always been an important of my reading life, but until recently, I wasn’t particularly aware of the lack of diversity. It’s sometimes a surprise, but not a shocker when I discover that one of my favorite writers is a woman writing under a male pseudonym, or is a member of a non-white race. But as a rather elderly female speculative writer just beginning to try out my wings, I do appreciate sites that try to bring minorities of whatever kind to our attention. So I’m off to immerse myself in Mistressworks. Much thanks.
Happy to be of help, and good luck with your own writing.
Thanks for the kind words! Yes, and obviously Ian would take any reviews you were to write of sci-fi works written by women…. I’ve submitted 8 or so over the months…