We have the end of the author of the month being posted today, so today will be focused on Neil Gaiman, but I just wanted to talk about a site I found through Lynn Flewelling's Live Journal. Earlier, Nath posted a list of the nominees for the Hugo Awards, and while there was a nice list, it was predominately a male list. The Broad Universe did what they call a "Bean Count." In these statistics they take a tour of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror department. It is scary just how uneven things are. You can read the whole list, but here are some of the hightlights:

For Starters, Romance is the most popular reading choice: (no wonder they are womanizing other genres, women appear as the predominant readers, although men read romance too)

Sales of popular fiction in 1999 including hardcovers and paperbacks. From Publishers Weekly (13 Nov 2000, p.42)

Science fiction/fantasy: 7.3% of sales
General fiction: 12.1% of sales
Mystery/detective/suspense: 25.7% of sales
Romance: 38.8% of sales
Now, let's get into the point of this. While these are older numbers, I would still think that people would find similar results in 2007:

Authors of Forthcoming Books

From Locus (Dec 2000), list of Complete Books by (American) Publishers for Nov 2000 through Sep 2001. Note that not all these books represent new works of fiction; many are reissues of older works.
373 female authors (31%)
812 male authors (67%)
21 authors are of unknown gender (2%)
Total: 1206
Authors/Editors of Books Received
From Locus, Jan-Dec 2000
(Fractional points indicate two, three, or four editors.)
636.75 female authors/editors (31.4%)
1331.75 male authors/editors (65.7%)
57.5 authors/editors of unknown gender (including house names and anonymous) (2.8%)
Total: 2026
The statistics go on, you can read the rest, but these two numbers illustrate why the Hugo's are so male-dominated. If they were to come up with an award for women only, I think, in my opinion, that would not make things much better. Awards, like the Orange Award, are for women. If there was equality in the world, though, would these awards need to be made for women only? Or, do men just write better books? In my experience, I will read both male and female authors, but I know lots of people that will only read their own gender. Men only reading male authors, and women only reading female authors. People say that feminism is dead, but it is not. There is still so many avenues in daily life that are sexist. It is just not the 70's anymore, and people are not as geared up for protests.

Also, this is only one publishing company, there are others.

Before I wrap this up, what started this was the list for the Hugo's being mostly men. Here are some other years numbers for fantasy, science fiction, and horror awards. As you can see, it is an on-going thing:

1973-79: 2 women, 6 men (25%, 75%)
1980-89: 5 women, 5 men (50%, 50%)
1990-99: 6 women, 5 men (55%, 45%)

1982-1989: 1 woman, 7 men (12%, 88%)
1990-1999: 1 woman, 10 men (9%, 91%)

1953-59: 0 women, 13 men (0%, 100%)
1960-69: 1 woman, 26 men (4%, 96%)
1970-79: 11 women, 30 men (27%, 73%)
1980-89: 9 women, 31 men (22%, 78%)
1990-99: 13 women, 28 men (32%, 68%)

1965-69: 3 women, 19 men (14%, 86%)
1970-79: 10 women, 27 men (27%, 73%)
1980-89: 14 women, 22 men (39%, 61%)
1990-99: 19 women, 21 men (47%, 53%)


1987-89: 3 women, 14 men (18%, 82%)
1990-99: 14 women, 44 men (24%, 76%)

1991-1999: 15 women, 1 man, 1 transgendered (88%, 6%, 6%) <-- never heard of this one

World Fantasy

1975-79: 1 woman, 13 men (7%, 93%)
1980-89: 6 women, 32 men (16%, 84%)
1990-99: 11 women, 33 men, (25%, 75%)


These numbers don't surprise me. And I do prefer reading books authored by women, not just necessarily romance.

Yeah, these numbers didn't really surprise me either, but I have seen them surprise other people on other blogs that posted the same numbers.

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.



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