A Fresh Start

SF Mistressworks is back! After a nine-month hiatus, SF Mistressworks will once again be posting reviews in 2018.

Since June 2011, we have posted over 400 reviews of science fiction novels, collections, anthologies and novellas, published before 2001, by women writers. When we began, very few women science fiction writers had publishing contracts in the UK – and things were not that much better in the US. And the SF Masterworks series published by Gollancz contained only a handful of works by women writers. Since then, the situation has improved considerably – with the SF Masterwork series now featuring many more women writers, and women dominating sf awards over the last couple of years…

But there is still a persistent myth that women writing science fiction is a recent phenomenon. This is simply not true. Women have always written science fiction. Before the appearance of Amazing Stories in 1926, Francis Stevens, AKA Gertrude Barrows Bennett, was an enormously successful writer of genre short fiction. ‘The Fate of the Poseidonia’ by Claire Winger Harris came third in a competition in Amazing Stories in December 1926, and she became one of the magazine’s most popular writers…

It has always been this website’s mission to show up the lie that women did not historically write science fiction. And to demonstrate that many female-authored science fiction works of the twentieth century are in many ways superior to those of their male colleagues. We think the reviews on our site show this.

Now that we’re back, we’ll stick to the same schedule as before, one review per week, posted on the Wednesday. Again, the reviews will be of science fiction only books – novels, novellas, collections or anthologies – published prior to 2001 by women writers. Lined up already, we have reviews of works by Emma Bull, Joanna Russ, Katharine Burdekin, Leigh Brackett, Tanith Lee, Gwyneth Jones, Margaret St Clair and Kate Wilhelm. But we are always looking for new reviews, and would welcome reposting ones that have appeared elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the review is of a book we have previously reviewed. We will, of course, include a link back to the review’s original appearance.

You might also notice a slight change in appearance. We decided a redesign was a good way to signal our re-appearance. We hope you like the new layout.