Women Rule The 2010 Nebula Awards!

Five! Out! Of! Six!

(Yes, the cover illustrating this post is meant to be ironic!)

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.

Further Reading:
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!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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6 Responses to Women Rule The 2010 Nebula Awards!

  1. Eeleen Lee says:

    This is a huge riposte to those who moan about the presence (mainly, the lack of) of women in science-fiction! Yay!

  2. They’re there, and hopefully will be even more there in the future.

  3. Hi! I’m one of the nominated authors in the short story category. I ran across your tweet about this blog post and stopped by to read your commentary — I found this year’s ballot surprising that way, myself!

    I did just want to note that by my count, there are five women and two men in Short Story. The three of us first-time nominees (Vylar Kaftan, Amal El-Mohtar and I) are all women, plus Jennifer Pelland and Kij Johnson. So it’s even more striking than you previously supposed!

  4. You’re right! I miscounted! *even more excited* I’ll edit the post to correct.

  5. Vera says:

    Perhaps this is the beginning of a trend of recognition of women writers in SFF by the Nebula and perhaps even the Hugo nominators? How delightful that would be.

    Thanks for all the links in your post.

  6. That would be really excellent!

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