So, the newest SF Signal Irregular, James Wallace Harris had a post on staying on the Cutting Edge of SF. Go read it, I’ll wait.
The list of works that he cites has, become, rightly, something that Juliet McKenna has pointed at for a large and fatal flaw: There are no works by women in it.
“erasing women authors impoverishes SF&Fantasy for everyone by limiting readers’ awareness and choices today and by discouraging potential future writers”
She’s right. But here comes my small dilemma. I see this, I see the issue but what should I do, and what shouldn’t I do about it? I don’t want to come off as White Knighting. Women like Juliet McKenna, and Aliette de Bodard, and Elizabeth Bear and many others are perfectly capable of defending themselves, and advocating for us all doing better. I don’t want to be seen as trying to horn in and speaking louder than they are. I don’t want a problem addressed only because a man is talking about it–I want their voices to make the change. But I also want to show my support for their position at the same time. Its a balancing act I am still learning about.
It’s not a matter of diversity for the sake of diversity, its a matter of avoiding the deliberate or unconscious erasure of works by women and other minorities.