Writer’s Life: Female Roles in Science Fiction

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Jul 29, 2010 in Writer's Life |

John Scalzi’s got an interesting article up on filmcritic.com about Sci-fi movies passing the The Bechdel Test. It’s a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.

This has got me thinking about the roles of females in long short stories and novelettes as well, especially in the pro markets. Works of this length are similar to movies, since they work within stricter space constraints than television series or novels. I know I get annoyed if too many stories in an issue seem to forget that straight white males aren’t the only people who can play an important part in our future. A good percentage of the stories I’ve reviewed here (almost all) don’t fit into that mold, not that I’d aimed to do that intentionally. They’re just the types of stories that keep my eyes glued to the page, but in any case, I’m glad so many magazines are actively seeking out diverse (and engaging) short stories.


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