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Women Destroy Science Fiction!

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It could (and has by some) be said that women invented the genre of science fiction; after all, it was Mary Shelley that wrote what is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel ever published (Frankenstein). Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t — or can’t — write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of actually destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. Therefore, in order to help prove how silly that notion is, Lightspeed Magazine‘s June 2014 issue — their fourth anniversary issue — will be a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. And they will also — for the first time in Lightspeed’s history — have a guest editor at the helm.

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As the original announcement of this special issue generated so much excitement that the publishers of Lightspeed wanted to find ways to include even more amazing science fiction by other amazing women authors. So — with they are going to make the special issue twice the size of a normal issue of Lightspeed. Women Destroy Science Fiction! is a special issue of the Hugo Award-nominated magazine Lightspeed that is entirely written — and edited — by, well, women.

According to the age-old fallacy women aren’t writing “real” science fiction, apparently this is because “real” science fiction is, well, whatever science fiction certain men like. Some days this kind of thinking makes folks sad. Some days it makes them angry, and some days it just seems hilarious. Then a random quip on Twitter turns into a special issue of Lightspeed in the space of about half an hour. When it was announced that Lightspeed was producing a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue in September, the response was immediate and overwhelming. All people had was a title and an email address, but the enthusiasm was boundless. The special “I Want to Destroy SF” inbox that was setup was almost immediately filled with inquiries by interested authors.

Lightspeed was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people (roughly 50% of whom are women), just as much as it’s about ideas. Science fiction is about us, our perils and our promise; it’s about our collective future. Hence Lightspeed has also been committed to gender parity from the beginning, and they have achieved it consistently for nearly four years now. But looking around at media at large, it’s clearly just not enough — and thus the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue was born.

The special issue will contain the following:

  • All science fiction (no fantasy)
  • 5 original, never-before-published short stories
  • About 10,000 words of original flash fiction (about 7-10 flash stories)
  • 2 previously-published short stories
  • 1 previously-published novella
  • Author Spotlights on our authors in this issue
  • Assorted nonfiction features including a roundtable interview with some of the great women of our field, conducted by Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • An original cover by Hugo Award-winning illustrator Galen Dara
  • Some super snazzy title design by Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios

If they successfully fund, the special double issue will contain the following additional material:

  • 5 original, never-before-published short stories (for a total of 10)
  • 3 previously-published short stories (for a total of 5)
  • 1 previously-published novella (for a total of 2)
  • Even more assorted nonfiction features and author spotlights

And naturally, all of the above will all be authored entirely by women.

The guest editors for this special issue of Lightspeed Magazine include Lightspeed assistant editor Christie Yant — who has been with the magazine nearly since its inception; 2011 Nebula Award winner, Rachel Swirsky; Gabrielle de Cuir, Mur Lafferty, Robyn Lupo , and Wendy Wagner.

This project will be funded on Sun, Feb 16 2014

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Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.

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