(urth) Book of the New Sun won the contest!

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 2 12:25:12 PDT 2011

> From: James Wynn <crushtv at gmail.com>

> 1) Since this is a democratically selected list, you would probably have to  
>limit the voting to exclusively to women to hope that a woman author would make  
>the top 10. We're talking about authors whose work would inspire someone in high  
>school or early college--at an age when a writer helps set the concrete of a  
>reader's tastes. Stil, I wouldn't have been surprised to see "Frankenstein" on  
>this list. But the most successful female authors among females in my experience  
>are Rowling, Meyer, and Lackey. None of which are going to make this list. I  
>haven't read "The Time Traveler's Wife". Is it as deserving of being on this  
>list as "The Name of the Wind"?
> 2) The big names are Feminist authors  whose work simply feels dated now 
>(imagine a Pro-Suffrage SF writer).   LeGuin, Atwood, Yarboro...These are all 
>skilled writers but their Great Works  are essentially museum pieces to certain 
>themes that were current in the 1970s.  An exception IMO is Joanna Russ, whose 
>novels are still worthwhile for study by  budding writers -- but I'm not sure 
>I'd call them pleasurable.

This comment strikes me as very strange.  Atwood is still quite successful.  I 
just finished /The Year of the Flood/ (set at the same time as /Oryx and 
Crake/), which there's nothing particularly feminist about.  Even /The 
Handmaid's Tale/ seems no less current now than it would have in the '70s.

And Le Guin?  What about her Great Works is stuck in the '70s?  Unless you 
consider "The Word for World is Forest" to be one of them, which I don't.  
Incidentally, /The Dispossessed/ was the only novel by a woman on the 
science-fiction shortlist.  I can hardly see that kind of anarchism as being to 
the 1970s what women's suffrage was to the 1910s.

> 3) The  woman authors whose work still carries today, do their best work in 
>short story  format: Tiptree, Willis, and Nancy Kress (yeah! I said it!).

Tiptree is the one some of whose stories I might have called museum pieces, such 
as the excellent "The Women Men Don't See".

Jerry Friedman

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