manifesta: (Saving the World)
manifesta ([personal profile] manifesta) wrote2010-07-14 02:22 pm

female fantasy authors: fact or fiction?

A quick thank you to all those who posted some love on [personal profile] petra's Be Excellent to Each Other meme. I really appreciated all your comments about my work here at [personal profile] manifesta, especially considering how burnt out I've been feeling lately. <3 I'm hoping to join in with some more love of my own soon, too.

There's been some discussion recently regarding the presence of women fantasy writers over at [ profile] xicanti's journal. Apparently the general consensus seems to be that female authors are not nearly as prevelant in secondary world/epic fantasy as much as contemporary, urban, or romantic fantasy. I find this interesting, because my bookcases are filled with female fantasy writers.

Some examples include Anne Bishop, Melanie Rawn (who, to me, defines the term 'epic fantasy'), Holly Lisle, Mindy L. Klasky, Trudi Canavan, Jacqueline Carey, Amanda Downum, Violette Malan (currently reading), Sara Douglass, Elizabeth Haydon, Sherwood Smith, Tamora Pierce, and more. Women have been incredibly influential in the evolution of the genre. Margaret Weis and Laura Hickman were two out of the three leading authors of Dragonlance. And what about Mercedes Lackey? So to quote [ profile] xicanti: "It’s not that women are producing little in the way of quality fantasy--it’s just that they get less press."

Indeed. I do think that there is an underrepresentation of women in epic fantasy in comparison to male authors, but female fantasy authors are not unicorns.
green_knight: (Eagle)

[personal profile] green_knight 2010-07-15 01:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I think you can get to a definition of 'epic' that involves 'lots of battles against monsters or evil overloards' which does, indeed, seem to be dominated by male writers, but that's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Personally, I find that while I'm probably reading about half and half male/female in the genre, a lot more female writers stay on my shelves. I love traditional subgenres - second-world fantasy, with adventure/mystery plots/subplots. Barbara Hambly, CJ Cherryh, Elizabeth Moon, Juliet McKenna... all names that come to mind immediately, but somehow the first names when people talk about the genre are still male: Robert Jordan, GRR Martin, and what other endless series there are. They get a lot more publicity, which sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy.