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bear by san

December 2021



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bear by san

pursuant to the girl cooties theory of science fiction

[12:08] katallen: so there are two Campbell awards
[12:09] leahbobet: Yep.
[12:09] leahbobet: The not-a-Hugo and a juried one.
[12:09] katallen: ::rolls eyes::
[12:09] leahbobet: Obviously we need more influential editors in SF. *g*
[12:11] matociquala: Gee, why not a Judith Merril award?
[12:11] leahbobet: The Datlow Award for Sheer Imposingness.
[12:11] matociquala: Oh right, she's a girl.
[12:12] matociquala: Nope, Ellen's a girl too.
[12:12] matociquala: :-P
[12:12] leahbobet: Damn.
[12:12] leahbobet: *casts around*
[12:12] leahbobet: Um, um...
[12:12] leahbobet: :-P
[12:13] matociquala: Can't just go naming awards after girls.
[12:13] matociquala: Unless they're awards that have to do with girlness.
[12:13] matociquala: or gender.
[12:13] matociquala: 'cause women have that.
[12:13] matociquala: Actually, there *is* the Norton award now too.
[12:13] leahbobet: *thinks* yeah, the Lydia Langstaff is a girl award too.
[12:14] leahbobet: You have to be a girl for it.
[12:14] matociquala: So I'm being slightly unfair.
[12:14] matociquala: But that's for YA, because babies are a girl problem.
[12:14] leahbobet: Well, you get to have an award if you're a girl with a boy name.
[12:14] leahbobet: Because it confuses, y'see.
[12:14] matociquala: Maybe the Judith Merril award for SF story most likely to become an instant classic....
[12:15] matociquala: That'd be fair.
[12:15] matociquala: The Ellen Datlow Girl Cootie Award.
[12:15] leahbobet: LOL
[12:15] matociquala: You could award it to men, as long as they have girl cooties.
[12:15] leahbobet: Okay, please tell me someone's blogging this one.
[12:15] matociquala: like John Kessel, say

(Shh. I have 1500 words. It's lunch break.)


Girl cootie award. *snicker*

Ah, don't they have a masculine equivalent for that, too? =^~,0^=
At this point you could just about justify a Judith Merril award for best "Best Of" anthology.
"The Cooties" - I think it has quite the professional ring to it. :D

On the one hand, you're right. On the other ...

We tend to name awards after prestigious dead authors or editors, right?

And SF writing was predominantly a male preserve until the 1960's and later. Yes, there were exceptions (C. L. Moore, Andre Norton, etcetera) but they kept their heads down and there weren't many of them. The tide began to turn with Ursula le Guin and Joanna Russ and the crowd who began showing up in the mid-sixties, and now female SF authors are unexceptional. But it could be argued that not enough of them have died and been canonized as part of the genre pantheon to make a major award named after one of them seem natural.

NB: This is not an argument that makes any attempt -- either for or against -- to take into account the pros and cons of positive discrimination and empowerment. It might turn into an argument for renaming the James Tiptree Award the Racoona Sheldon Award, but the counter-argument to that is that Tiptree/Sheldon is only really known to most people via the nom de plume, so it might diminish the perceived significance of the award. (Personally I think the counter-argument is pants, but I don't really have a dog in this race.) Finally, this is not an argument for shooting Ellen!
There was just some discussion at SFRA of a "Racoona Sheldon" award for women science fiction writers. I'm not sure that's the answer, because somehow awards for women always seem to be considered less important than awards for everybody. It's like winning the Kentucky Oaks. It's nice, but it just means you're not good enough to run with the boys.

And yeah, no shooting Ellen.

I think maybe a C.L. Moore or Judith Merril award wouldn't be a bad idea, though. Possibly the Judith Merril award for Best Anthology, as timprov suggested above. Or something to parallel the Dick award for best original paperback--the Merril award for best anthologized original story.


...that's not a half-bad idea.

The Tiptree award was sort of implicit in the above, as it's *the* major SFF award named for a woman, even one writing under a male name. *g* We all knew we were talking around it, I mean.
I bet you have enough girl cooties for a Datlow.... *g*
I might point out that if we broaden the scope to genre fiction in general there's the Agatha for mysteries. One of the oldest awards, in fact, unless I'm mistaken.
Mysteries are much more generally considered a female preserve. You *still* hear twits say "there are no female scence fiction writers"
"Twits" is such a polite way of naming them.
Fu*ktards is the preferred term, I believe.

Of course, I still hve Award Bitterness over the entire "best editor (we mean only for short fiction, sorry)" Hugo deal...

I've never had the misfortune to encounter such a twit. I'd certainly have corrected his or her assumptions. One problem which mysteries avoid, however, is the fact that the line between fantasy and science fiction is not always clear, a distinction which these twits may have been relying upon. Certainly all this sophistication in nomenclature is a relatively recent phenomenon.

I wouldn't have considered mysteries to be a female preserve. I haven't noticed any...preponderance of gender among authors, in that genre.
Well, preserve is the wrong word. But I'd say that there are as many or more well-known female mystery writers as male. and have been for Some Time.
Female mystery writers have always been around, though in the early days some of them wrote under male or male sounding names (Craig Rice anyone?). For the last 20 years or so women writers and women series characters have been really really THE thing. Started with Marcia Muller I think, but she's my favorite so I would. For a while there some male writers wrote under female names because female authors were so hot and male writers were thought to be undesirable (the reading demographic for mysteries is also skewed heavily female). I've noticed more men turning to thrillers and serial killers of late...

*bursts out laughing* So true!

*then sighs* So true.

You know, far too many otherwise-seemingly-intelligent people say they've never liked a female author. I would give them your stuff, but They Are Not Worthy, and if they liked you, they would probably insist you were really a man, writing under a pseudonym to attract a larger audience.

And another thing I get a lot is Male Authors Can't Write Women, But Neither Can Women, which really makes me mad because it seems like people are suggesting that there should be no female characters like, ever.
Heh. Women are people, and so are men. They're not *that* hard to write.
Ahahahhaa! That is great!(-:

My story has Girl Cooties

And I'm darned proud of it!

Congrats on finishing yet another. You rock! My copy of Scardown will arrive soon, hopfully after your check.


Re: My story has Girl Cooties

Thank you, Walt!

Watch out for those Girl Cooties.... once you get them, they're pretty much permanent...
The Golden Duck Awards for excellence in children's science fiction literature give three awards each year, segregated by reading level. The "middle grades" award is the Eleanor Cameron award. Just sayin'...