So I stopped in yesterday to publish a post (Killing a Story Through Revisions), and I decided to gander at my visitation stats. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw a huge spike in my site-traffic for Tuesday and Wednesday. At first I thought it an error, but then I noticed a similar spike in referrals from the Daily Dot and Salon.com.
After a quick investigation, I found that my post on Diversity in Science Fiction had been linked to in a Daily Dot article about Orson Scott Card, and that article had been picked up by Salon (the article isn’t a flattering piece, but then Mr. Card is known as much for his politically incorrect views as he is for his writing). I don’t mind them linking to my post; they didn’t grossly misrepresent its content or make too much of it. They did, however, treat it like a “reputable” source.
As a scientist for my day job, I have a narrow view on how to treat citations. I’m not an authority on diversity in science fiction; I’m a middle-aged white guy with an opinion and not much to back it up. When I get cited like an authority on diversity in science fiction, that makes me a little uncomfortable, to be honest. If they wanted to show that science fiction is a genre dominated by middle-aged white guys, the article’s author should have cited something more compelling and factual than a blog post, perhaps the ethnic/age makeup of the Science Fiction Writers of America or the winners of the Nebula or Hugo awards.
I don’t think anything in my post is incorrect—I’m actually quite pleased with that post—and I’m glad people are reading it because I think diversity, and the lack thereof in the speculative fiction genre, is an important topic. While I think in-roads are being made, I believe the genre still has a ways to go and must continue to diversify and grow in order to remain relevant.