75 Years of Women Writers

Back in 2003, as a newbie writer just beginning to sell short fiction, I was woefully under-read in the field.   I had my favorites, sure, but in casual conversation I couldn’t tell my Ellens apart.  Got my Nancys confused.  Hadn’t heard of many pioneering women in science fiction and fantasy.  In June of 2003 this arrived in my inbox:

That’s Barry Malzberg arriving in Writer’s Heaven.  The story inside by John Kessel is lots of fun, but you may notice there aren’t many women writers in the afterlife.  Go ahead, count them.  I’ll wait.

I still have this cover.

In 2005 or so I sat on a panel at Arisia about early women writers in sf & f, and it was pretty clear none of us had done enough homework.  Sure, we could talk about the usual suspects – Andre Norton can fill up a whole day of panels – but other names went unmentioned.  We could have done better.

Now it’s 2010, and soon I’ll be attending my first ever Wiscon.  That’s the feminist sf convention held every Memorial Day Weekend since 1977.  Not so coincidentally, my first-ever collection of short fiction will debut in print on June 1st.  In this limited-series blog (May 3-June 30th) I’ll be looking at 75 years of women writers, blogging about my experiences at Wiscon, and talking about my collection, Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories.  I hope it’s fun and educational and introduces new readers to classic names.

On June 1st, Diana Comet Presents 75 Years of Fabulous Writers will go public, bringing together 116 amazing genre writers in multimedia glory.  Don’t click on the link until then, okay?

My Writer’s Heaven includes Andre Norton, talking about all of her years as a children’s librarian and novelist; Judith Merril, and how she left the United States for political reasons; Leigh Brackett, with her stories about working in Hollywood; and many, many more.  Who’s in your Writer’s Heaven?

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