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Author Topic: Artemis rising - good or bad?  (Read 205 times)
Varsha
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« on: August 02, 2017, 11:26:18 AM »

I am sorry if this is wrong forum section, but couldn't find more relevant one.

When I first encountered the Artemis Rising event on escape pod, I thought it was strange.
I mean doesn't this say in effect "We have lower standards for non-male authors during this event" ?

Wouldn't the best way of selecting stories be to pick the best, regardless of author's identity?
Best would be blind, so person selecting the story doesn't know who the author is.
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danooli
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 12:25:52 PM »

I mean doesn't this say in effect "We have lower standards for non-male authors during this event" ?

Nope. What it is saying is "Men have traditionally had a much easier time getting published than women and non-binary folk, so lets remove a barrier and, for one month, spotlight some great fiction by great writers who are female."

We do not, and will not, "lower our standards."
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eytanz
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 12:39:27 PM »

First of all, you did post in the wrong board - "metachat" is for discussion of the forums themselves. I've moved it to a more appropriate place.

Secondly, what in the world makes you think that Artemis Rising involves a lowering of standards? There is none. Every story published in Artemis Rising is subject to a stricter standard, because it has to meet all the normal criteria for publication, both objective and subjective, AND it has to be published by a non-male author.
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Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 01:22:50 PM »

A Nest of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle is hands-down one of the best collections I've read in the past couple years and it is tragic that I cannot purchase a paper copy. A ratty used paperback copy is on Amazon right now for $20, but I've seen them as high as $250. I'd rather put the money into the author's hands than a used book seller.[1]

Artemis Rising provided a nice excuse to do that and to introduce a significant portion of our audience to more of her stories. This is just one example from one podcast. I find the implication that the quality drops absurd.





[1] I love used book sellers, too. I have multiple favorite stores. Today's favorite is the one with the feral cat colony. I just love authors more.
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Varsha
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:33:28 AM »

Thank you for answers. I am not saying these stories are bad quality at all, In fact I like them.
Question was about principle, not specific examples.

Quote from: eytanz
it has to meet all the normal criteria for publication, both objective and subjective, AND it has to be published by a non-male author.
It could also be said, that this eliminates about half the competition right away.

But in general I think I understand it better now, as danooli said, it is a spotlight.
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astrokath
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 08:40:01 AM »



Quote from: eytanz
it has to meet all the normal criteria for publication, both objective and subjective, AND it has to be published by a non-male author.
It could also be said, that this eliminates about half the competition right away.

But in general I think I understand it better now, as danooli said, it is a spotlight.

It's more than that. It's a welcome, and an open door. The "[marginalised group] destroy [genre!]" anthologies do a very similar thing, for a very similar reason: because society eliminates members of marginalised groups from the competition right away. Publishing is like most other things out there - it's not a level playing field. Expecting people to act as if it is may be well intentioned, but it only reinforces existing inequities.

[My opinion only]
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 08:43:34 AM by astrokath » Logged

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Varsha
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 09:55:16 AM »

Thank you for clarification, astrokath
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 03:04:15 PM »

There *is* a fundamental problem that a project like Artemis Rising runs face first into. It's that assumption that Varsha made in his first question...and it's one I see every time someone asks a version of this question. It's a trap I fell into myself, once upon a time.

Long ago, I picked up a paperback sci-fi anthology that highlighted female writers. I paid my 75ยข, took it home, and started reading. And I hated it.

The opening essay seemed to drone on and on about how unfair the market was, and by the time I got to the stories, I was primed for the Most Amazing Undiscovered Treasures Ever...but I was ultimately disappointed, and put that book away. I thought to myself, "I don't think that collection was a great example of women writing sci-fi," and thought about it every time this very subject came up.

Years later, after I had developed my own tastes, and come to enjoy a variety of writers, I found that I had a special place in my heart for certain authors - Le Guin, McCaffery, Judith Merrill - and I started using those examples to interject into conversations about highlighting under-represented groups, particularly women, in fiction.

But it bothered me to remember that terrible book I had rattling around in my closets, knowing that it was a counter example to the whole idea of quality writing from women. Eventually, it occurred to me that I should give that book another try. Maybe it would give me some new insight, and maybe I would enjoy it more with my now-refined tastes. Or maybe it really was just an unfortunate collection of poor writers chosen just for their gender, and I could argue that we have better writers to highlight, now.

That book was called Women of Wonder.

And when I found it, and looked at the table of contents, I learned a very valuable lesson about implicit bias.

So, whatever criticism I hear people throw at EA for doing this, I see how important it is. We don't need to "lower standards" to get an awesome collection together. But if we want awesome people to keep writing, they need to see that they will be valued.

And by the way, one story from that collection ran on Pseudopod, and was included in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, so... it is sometimes worth challenging your own assumptions.
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FictionPhial
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 07:00:28 PM »

That's a great story Smiley

The thing is - and this happens absolutely everywhere, not just fiction writing - if a woman does something that's not so great the response is "ALL women are bad at that thing!" Men are more likely to be treated as individuals, not representatives for men in general. This happens because men are (often) in the majority, so there are lots of other men to compare against. It's easier to see them as individuals when a mixture of ability is on display.

So create a situation where women are the majority group, and suddenly each woman is judged on her own merits.


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