In the past, the Nebula Awards have been dominated by male authors. However, this year the number of nominations written by woman are astonishing, and I am so happy. It’s a start.
The Nebulas are voted on by the membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I am a member, and have been for many years; all that time, I’ve been watching, and waiting for change, and trying to help that change along by voting for women’s works when I thought they were the best (which, because of my tastes, I often did). I nominate works by women every year. I vote, every year, for my choices, even if I’m sure they’ll never win. This is the first year when I’ve felt truly represented.
This year, for the first time ever, five of the six nominated novels were works by women, and in the short story category, female authors outnumbered male authors five to two. In the novelette category, there are four male writers and three female writers. Only in the novella category are women outnumbered four to two.
Nominations for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy are evenly split, gender-wise, which is less surprising since women have, since this award began, been the majority of nominees, so it’s great in a different way! Go male YA authors!
See the complete list of nominations here. Laurie Mann maintains an updated list of final ballots and winners from the beginning of the award.
Here’s a list of works that have won both the Nebula (voted on by writers) and the Hugo award (voted on by fans, some of whom are writers). Note the lack of gender balance. VIDA: Women in Literary Arts uses pie charts to show gender disparities in a whole range of awards and “best of” lists. Jessa Crispin of Bookslut on Addressing the Gender Gap in Literary Publishing.
For more history about gender disparities in science fiction and fantasy, check out this important, statistic-laden 2002 article by Susan Linville, and then read this blog post by editor Jed Hartman from 2006.
Me, I’m off to celebrate. And think about how I’m going to vote!