Last month I joined a team of women who wanted to publish an all-female-produced SF/F anthology about female protagonists. The project ATHENA’S DAUGHTERS had some established authors, a goal of $8,500, and stretch goals that would bring in even more great writers to the project while also giving new writers a chance. It’s been said here at FANgirl and elsewhere that we still don’t see enough heroic women working together in fiction as a team. ATHENA’S DAUGHTERS fictional writing team showed how powerful a team of women can be, smashing the stretch goals and exceeding $44,000 in pledged funding. The ATHENA’S DAUGHTERS Kickstarter is over, but you can still order the anthology at Silence in the Library. The team is not done, either. We plan to go to conventions and share our excitement for the strong female characters in science fiction and fantasy.
Last week, Hugo Award-nominated magazine LIGHTSPEED launched their Kickstarter for their June 2014 issue “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” This special issue will be entirely written and edited by women. When they announced the idea a few months ago, I was one among many who offered their support in getting the “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” issue off the ground. From their Kickstarter page:
Women aren’t writing “real” science fiction, the fallacy goes. “Real” science fiction is . . . whatever science fiction certain men like. Some days this makes us sad. Some days it makes us angry. And some days it just seems hilarious. . .and a quip on Twitter turns into a special issue of LIGHTSPEED in the space of roughly half an hour.
When we announced the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue in September, the response was immediate and overwhelming. All people had was a title and an email address, but the enthusiasm was boundless. The special “I Want to Destroy SF” inbox we setup filled with subject lines like:
- Helping my sisters destroy science fiction since 1983
- I CAN HAZ DESTROY?
- If anyone’s going to destroy SFF—
- Please sir, may I destroy science fiction?
Why, yes. Yes, you may.
LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people (roughly 50% of whom are women), just as much as it’s about ideas. Science fiction is about us, our perils and our promise; it’s about our collective future. LIGHTSPEED has also been committed to gender parity from the beginning, and we have achieved it consistently for nearly four years now. But looking around at media at large, it’s clearly just not enough—and thus the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue was born.
Here’s the amazing thing – which clearly adds to the perception that science fiction has been turning its back on a huge chunk of potential audience to its own detriment – LIGHTSPEED’s Kickstarter has met its funding goal of $5,000 and exceeded $12,000 in less than a week. Projects like ATHENA’S DAUGHTERS and LIGHTSPEED are gateways for female storytellers into the industry, to reach a potential audience, and also a way for all fans to be exposed to different types of stories.
Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com and Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Assembly of Geeks and RebelForce Radio Presents Fangirls Going Rogue.
Tricia has completed her first novel, Wynde – a military science fiction with a fantastical twist that features heroines Vespa and Gemini. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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