Some wonderfully inventive discussions/rants have been underway about the underrepresentation of women writers in speculative fiction. Justine Larbalestier, Meghan McCarron, and David Moles have hosted much of the fun on their blogs and the happy hullabaloo seems to have gestated with the publication of this Village Voice article by Cynthia Cotts on gender bias in the New York Times Book Review.
Obviously, this whole issue concerns me because I’m a writer and a woman. I can not for a second tolerate even the possibility that my memes will be stymied by gender bias whether it be unconscious, unintended, or entirely flagrant.
That’s why I’m beginning a new project as of today. Every short story I write from here on in will in some way be categorizable as ChickLit. Why? The stuff moves. And given that women are big into SF these days, as evidenced by the viewing numbers of the SciFi channel, I think I’m on to something. By writing SF with a ChickLit sensibility, 2 goals can be accomplished:
1) getting more people (esp. more women) to read SF
2) getting more women writers published
First things first, how to define ChickLit. To be honest, I haven’t read much of it, but if Candace Bushnell and Helen Fielding are any indication, it seems to be defined by an overt concern with being a modern woman. So let’s take that as our starting point. Now just add a speculative element (i.e. haunted shoes, cyborg lovers, a coven of spellcasting gal pals) and voila SpecChickLit .
Maybe other women can write this stuff and we can collect it then pitch it as an anthology to a publisher.
After that, I’ll edit a companion volume of stories concerned with being a modern man and call it SpecDickLit.