The Weekly Geek: Female sci-fi authors take charge


Geeks, I have some excellent news for you. A crop of female authors is currently rocking the world of written sci-fi, proving some of the musty old stereotypes about the genre false. From The Independent:

Whereas the sci-fi market has been dominated by novels written, mainly, by men for men, a series of bidding wars has erupted between publishers eager to secure novels by women… In the most recent skirmish, Lauren Beukes‘s new book, The Shining Girls, which features time travel, was secured last month by HarperCollins for a six-figure sum. Similarly, Karen Thompson Walker‘s The Age of Miracles, about a giant earthquake which knocks the world off its axis, slowing down time, was bought earlier in the year by Simon & Schuster for almost £500,000. And Deborah Harkness‘s historical fantasy, A Discovery of Witches, has been the toast of recent international book fairs.


Such large advances are increasingly rare, even for established mainstream authors, and virtually unheard of in the sci-fi and fantasy genre.

The only problem with the piece is the fact that a shot of Jane Fonda as Barbarella is used as an example of a bad thing (sexist stereotypes), whereas I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the cult 1960s flick. To each her own.

While I have an inkling that some of this is due to JK Rowling‘s (of Harry Potter fame) and Stephenie Meyer‘s (the Twilight series, no matter what I personally think of it) enormous success, it’s wonderful to see more female voices being taken seriously in the genre. I can’t wait to read them – especially if they contain, you know, female heroes and villains to admire.

On a sadder note – at least for gamers – game magazine/website GamePro was shuttered yesterday, as was the smaller (and by all accounts quirkier) GameSetWatch. GamePro was one of the sturdiest and longest-running publications in the business, and the site had just netted some of its best traffic ever – but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep the ship afloat. The Weekly Geek salutes all of the writers and designers that gave us 22 years of awesome.

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