Big Idea Gender Breakdown

Via Annalee Newitz’s Twitter feed, I see that Strange Horizons has done a gender breakdown of reviews in SF publications, and learns that more sf/f by men is reviewed than sf/f by women. This made me curious as to how my Big Idea feature here at Whatever has been doing, gender-wise, in terms of authors/editors featured.

So I tallied up the gender of writers who contributed Big Idea pieces between 4/23/12 and 4/24/13 (I’m counting tomorrow’s Big Idea piece, as I already have it in hand). Here’s how it turned out:

44 men wrote or co-wrote Big Idea pieces during that span of time;

48 women wrote or co-wrote Big Idea pieces.

Some notes on that: One, Big Idea pieces aren’t reviews, although they perform one of the publicity-related functions of reviews, i.e., raising awareness of the work in question. Also, not every Big Idea piece was for a science fiction or fantasy work, although most were (there were several works in other genres, including non-fiction), and a couple of them were for non-books, including one for a video game and one for a calendar. The male/female division on individual works featured is closer to 50/50 because three Big Ideas were co-written by women who wrote/edited the same book, while one book was co-written by a man and a woman.

(No trans authors in the mix, so far as I am aware; if there were I would have tallied them by their preferred gender. No authors who would identify as genderfluid, as far as I know.)

I should also note that I don’t generally actively check to see if I’ve gender-balanced Big Idea posts over any span of time; I mostly operate the Big Idea on a “first-come, first-served” basis in terms of slotting people in. It would be interesting to see whether the gender balance of the Big Idea feature is this balanced over time. Someone else will need to check that, however, since I’m not planning to do it at the moment.

But in any event, interesting data. And I don’t mind admitting being happy that the Big Idea gender mix seems to be mostly balanced.

Reminder About Signed Books From Jay & Mary’s Plus a Plea to Those Going to My Tour Events

First: Remember that through April 28 — that’s this upcoming Sunday — you can pre-order The Human Division hardcover from Jay & Mary’s Book Center (my hometown indie bookseller) and I will happily sign and personalize the book for you. All the details are here.

Second: If you are coming to see me on my book tour this May (tour itinerary here) and plan to have me sign books for you, may I make a small request?

Please purchase your copy of The Human Division from the store you will see me at.

The reason for this is simple: I want the store to see some benefit to me showing up. If you show up to the store with copies of the book that you bought elsewhere, and don’t otherwise buy any books from the store itself, then you’re not making a good argument for the store to bring in authors. And that will be no good for me, or for other authors who might otherwise come through town.

I’m not saying you have to wait until I show up in your town to buy the book; go ahead and buy it from the store earlier and then bring it in on the day of my appearance. Likewise, you can always pre-order the book from the bookstore and they will have it for you on the day or release or on the day I’m in town.

But please, support the bookstores that are gracious enough to lend me their space and attention. Buy the new book there. And maybe some of the other books I’ve written. Heck, even buy a few books I didn’t write! But let them know you appreciate that they are there. It actually does matter.


Yardwork, 4/23/13

No, not by me. I have allergies (which reminds me, time to take my Claritin for the day. Okay, there we go). But others are here to do a little work for me. This fellow for example, is doing a bit of reseeding; there are some bald patches in the lawn due to a few years of heat damage and dry spells, and if you leave them too long you start having erosion and other problems. So this guy’s out there putting down new seed over those spots. And not bad timing at all, because tonight and tomorrow have showers in the forecast, followed by a couple of days of temperate, partly sunny skies. Perfect for seed to take root. Grow, little grass, grow.

Kitchen After, 4/23/13

I know some of you have been waiting days to see the final results of the kitchen counter rehab, and so, to make you happy, here it is. For contrast, here’s what the kitchen looked like before, and during the rehab. The end result is, I should say, very nice when you’re up close to it.