The summer of 2013 was a rough one for women in science fiction. Every few weeks there was a new reminder that to a certain subset of the field, women are not welcome. There were multiple articles returning to the tired accusation that women aren't writing "real" SF; disputes about the way the field is represented by vintage cheesecake art on the cover of a professional trade publication; the glib admonition that if women are to succeed, they should be more like Barbie, in her "quiet dignity." For many readers, it was a very nasty surprise to discover this undercurrent running through the ocean of imaginative fiction we love.
And it just. Kept. Coming.
We got tired. We got angry. And then we came out the other side of exhaustion and anger deeply motivated to do something.
Thus the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of Lightspeed Magazine was conceived. We did a Kickstarter campaign in early 2014 to help make the issue into a double issue; we crushed our fundraising goal in about 7 hours and ended up funding at more than 1000% of our original funding goal, with more than 2800 backers. Because of that tremendous success, we unlocked two major stretch goals which resulted in the publication of companion volumes Women Destroy Fantasy! and Women Destroy Horror!, which are being published as issues of Lightspeed's sister publications, Fantasy and Nightmare.
Women Destroy Science Fiction! contains more than 150,000 words or material, including eleven all-new, original science fiction short stories, plus four short story reprints, a novella reprint, and for the first time ever, an array of fifteen flash fiction stories. In addition to all that goodness, we also have more than two dozen personal essays by women talking about their experiences reading and writing science fiction, plus seven in-depth nonfiction articles.
Thanks to the efforts of more than one hundred women, our Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue includes a wealth of original short stories, flash fiction, reprints, essays, articles, and original art highlighting the work of women in the field, past and present.
I hope you enjoy this sampler of Lightspeed's Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. If you'd like to purchase the full issue, it's available in trade paperback for $17.99 and in ebook for just $3.99. Visit DestroySF.com to learn more about the issue (and/or the Fantasy and Horror volumes), including where you can buy it. Or to preview the full table of contents for Women Destroy Science Fiction!, see below.
Thanks for reading!