Women in SF&F Month Banner

It’s April, spring is in the air (or soon to be in the air, I hope, for those of us who just had another snowstorm this weekend)—and the sixth annual Women in SF&F Month is here! Since 2012, April has been dedicated to highlighting wonderful speculative fiction by women at Fantasy Cafe, and this month will once again feature a series of guest posts by authors and reviewers, beginning tomorrow.

The schedule for this week is below, but first, here is some background on the event in case this is the first time you’re joining us (if so, welcome!):

For the last few years, I’ve set aside reviews and other book coverage during the month of April and instead held a month-long series of guest posts highlighting some of the women doing amazing work in speculative fiction. Throughout the month, guests will discuss a variety of topics—many of which will be related to women in science fiction and fantasy but not necessarily all since the goal is simply to gather a group of women invested in the genre in one place for a month and showcase the wonderful work they are doing. Past contributions have ranged from women discussing their own work and process to what they find best about the works of other women to issues of representation and equity in fandom.

Before the first Women in SF&F Month, I had been making an effort to read and review a lot of speculative fiction books by women on this blog—but it wasn’t always that way. After I started reading fantasy and seeking more book recommendations online, I found that very few of the books I heard about the most were written by women. I didn’t actually notice this for quite awhile since I just read the books that were supposed to be good without giving much thought to who wrote them beyond whether or not I considered them an author worth reading.

It wasn’t until I saw an online discussion about women writing science fiction and fantasy that I realized I found it a lot easier to name men writing books in these genres than women. After that, I started paying more attention to women’s names when they were mentioned (which was usually here and there instead of everywhere like a lot of well-known fantasy and science fiction authors). I discovered there were all kinds of women writing speculative fiction that I’d missed out on since I read a lot of the (mostly male) authors praised all over the Internet. While many of these recommended authors do write books I enjoy, there are also many women who deserve to be read and lauded just as often.

Once I realized women’s books did not seem to be discussed as much, I turned to reading and reviewing more books by women to try to make my small corner of the Internet a place where some of these books were featured. Then, in 2012, there were a couple of discussions on the Internet about both review coverage of books by women and the lack of blogs by women suggested for Hugo Awards in the fan categories. After these discussions and some of the responses to them (one of which was that women weren’t being reviewed or mentioned because they weren’t writing and reviewing science fiction and fantasy), I wanted to show that there were lots of women writing, reviewing, and discussing speculative fiction whose work should be recognized. I decided to see if I could pull together enough guest posts to spend about a month highlighting women in science fiction and fantasy. At the time this decision was made, it seemed most reasonable to aim for an April event—and that’s how April became Women in SF&F Month on Fantasy Cafe!

And now, I’m excited to announce this week’s guests:

April 3: Renay (Lady Business, Fangirl Happy Hour, B&N SF&F Blog)
April 4: T. Frohock (Los Nefilim, Miserere: An Autumn Tale, “La Santisima“)
April 5: Rin Chupeco (The Bone Witch, The Girl from the Well, The Suffering)
April 6: Sarah Ash (The Tears of Artamon, The Tide Dragons, The Alchymist’s Legacy)
April 7: Cassandra Rose Clarke (Star’s End, Magic of Blood & Sea, Our Lady of the Ice)