Women Writing SF

Fred Pohl, in a 1978 discussion with Alfred Bester (transcribed and posted recently here):

“No woman writer has been in any way handicapped by being female in science fiction in the last 10 to 15 years, with one single exception.”

Pohl, with his career as writer, agent, and editor, was in a better position to have an opinion than most people.  On the other hand, as a male insider, he was in a better position to harbor self-serving delusions than most people.   Also, his statement doesn’t address any possible prejudices harbored by the readers; even if the publishing chain was completely sex-blind, it would take account of how things sold, and so if the readers cared, it would end up being reflected in publishing.

It’s Great to be Back!

Probably nothing—but I just noticed that that title comes from 1947. Heinlein didn’t publish any short fiction in 1943-1946, according to the ISFDB.  So that title, in addition to being very appropriate for the story, could be a reference to getting back to writing.

Or not; it was published in July, looks like, and other things were published earlier in the year.

I’m still amused.

Lensman Series Reading Order

This article contains major spoilers for the Lensman books. If you haven’t read them yet and are looking for advice on reading order, I’ll say here that I’m currently mostly, and cautiously, recommending that one start with Galactic Patrol, and then loop around to pick up the “first two” if you want to when you get to the end. This is reading in roughly but not precisely publication order. The reasons why are themselves spoilers.

There are some considerable difficulties in recommending a suitable reading order for Edward E. “Doc” Smith’s famous Lensman series. These are caused partly by the content of the books themselves, and partly by their somewhat convoluted publication history. Continue reading Lensman Series Reading Order