Fantasy fiction is being feted as never before, trumpets John Mullan in the Guardian and proceeds to laud all the usual suspects: Tolkein, Pratchett, Gaiman and the ‘reigning laureate’ George RR Martin.
Mainstream press coverage for fantasy has got to be good, right?
Wrong, when it’s as unbalanced as this.
You see, despite having a thousand words or so to play with, Mr Mullan forgot to mention that women write fantasy too. Quite a few of them, at that. Here’s a selection:
*takes a deep breath*
Diana Wynn Jones, Anne Rice, Mary Gentle, Ursula Le Guin, Robin Hobb (also as Megan Lindholm), Sofia Samatar, NK Jemisin, Octavia Butler, Mary Shelley, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, RA MacAvoy, Freda Warrington, Ellen Kushner, Katherine Kurtz, Fiona Miller, Katherine Addison (also as Sarah Monette), Emma Bull, Judith Tarr, Evie Manieri, Helen Lowe, Anne Lyle, Jen Williams, Leigh Bardugo, CL Moore, CS Friedman, Courtney Schafer, Marie Brennan, ML Brennan, Mary Victoria, JK Rowling, Angela Carter, CE Murphy, Lois McMaster Bujold, Nalo Hopkinson, Patricia Briggs, Susan Cooper (no relation!), Kameron Hurley, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Hope Mirrlees, Jacqueline Carey, Silvia Moreno Garcia, Susanna Clarke, Naomi Novik, Samantha Shannon, Suzanne McLeod, Patricia McKillip, Elizabeth Bear, Rebecca Levene, Helene Wecker, Ekaterina Sedia, LA Gilman, Elizabeth Moon, Lucy Hounsom, Sabaa Tahir, Juliet E McKenna, Gail Z Martin, Tanya Huff, Trudi Canavan.
*takes another, even deeper breath*
Mary Stewart, Mary Renault, Madeleine l’Engle, Andre Norton, Liz de Jager, Liesel Schwartz, Gail Carriger, Julian May, CJ Cherryh, Elizabeth Hand, Vonda McIntyre, Leigh Brackett, Jo Walton, PL Travers, Martha Wells, Kate Elliott, Joan Aiken, Robin McKinley, Deborah Harkness, Kari Sperring, Michelle Sagara, Mary Robinette Kowal, Joyce Chng, Malinda Lo, Storm Constantine, Andrea Downum, Clea Simon, Maria Dahvana Headley, Barbara Hambly, Anne Bishop, Teresa Frohock, Mazarkis Williams, Suzanne Collins, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Tanith Lee, Veronica Roth, Jennifer Fallon, VE Schwab, Steph Swainston, Laini Taylor, Susan Ee, Elizabeth May, Karen Lord, Kristen Britten, Sarah J Maas, Aliette de Bodard, Stina Leicht, SL Huang, Sharon Shinn, Betsy Dornbusch, Rachel Aaron, JV Jones, G Willow Wilson, Kristin Cashore, Cindy Pon, Patricia C Wrede, Nnedi Okorafor, Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen, Margo Lanagan, Sarah Douglass, Alison Croggon, and your humble correspondent.
And that’s just the ones I thought of this morning while I ate my breakfast. Give me the rest of the day and I could probably double that list.
Women write fantasy. Why do we have to keep telling the world this? Why do we have yet another article that implies that the only fantasy worthy of calling out as remarkable is that written by white, straight men?
Seriously, Mr Mullan? Seriously?
Women have been writing fantasy, epic fantasy, fun fantasy, serious fantasy, dark fantasy, for a long, long while. We’re pretty good at it, too, judging by the various Hugos, Nebulas and World Fantasy Awards that women have won. Maybe Mr Mullan should try reading around the subject a bit. There’s lots to choose from.