If you’ve come to my website the past few days, you might have seen the bundle on the slider at the top. The Women in Science Fiction Storybundle started last week.
I’m the one who curated (read: assembled) the bundle. I suggested it to Storybundle’s Jason Chen as I was putting together a proposal for the women in sf book that I’m doing for Baen.
Over the past few years, I’ve heard a lot of young writers tell me that women don’t write science fiction (present company excepted, they would add, looking at me). For a while, I thought these writers simply weren’t paying attention. Women have always written science fiction.
Then I started looking around, and realized that the anthologies that fed my imagination as a young writer were out of print. The compilation anthologies, those that examined the history of the sf field, usually didn’t include women writers.
(And, as I look at those compilation anthologies now, I realize those anthologies–supposedly complete–don’t include any of the most influential writers of sf, because their prose isn’t up to “modern” standards, whatever that means, or because their stories are “pulpy” which means they aren’t “literature.” That’s an argument for another day, and one I’ll have, editorially speaking, with my colleagues.)
Suffice it to say that it became apparent to me that from the young writer/reader point of view, women didn’t write science fiction, because by the year 2000, most of the sf by women had gone out of print and was almost impossible to find.
Thanks to the revolution in publishing, a lot of these wonderful books have returned to print. I’m handling the short stories in a series of anthologies. (The Baen anthology will simply be the first; I’m hoping for more through Baen, and I know I’ll do more for other venues.)
But the novels need attention as well. So, I approached Jason with this bundle. After he approved it, I made a list of authors I wanted to include. The thing about Storybundle is this: the writer has to control the rights to the ebook, meaning (in most cases) that the book must be indie published.
Two authors on my original list didn’t have indie published books and one author, who does, never answered my e-mails. (Pout.) I’ll be honest, though. The writers in this bundle were all at the very top of my list. I contacted them all, and they all agreed to participate.
I’m limiting the Baen anthology to works published before the year 2000, but for this bundle, I wanted representation from this century and the last century. Every one of these authors publishes regularly in 2015, but most of them got their start in sf before the turn of the century. Together, though, we all have at least 240 years of sf writing experience.
And the fiction here, the novels, the short stories, the novellas—all stellar (pun intended). You’ll find every kind of sf story to fill every kind of taste.
The writers who join me in this bundle are all favorites of mine. Nancy Kress, Jody Lynn Nye, Linda Nagata, Judith Tarr, Vonda N. McIntyre, and Catherine Asaro have all contributed novels. I contributed a bundle of novellas (yes, a bundle within a bundle), and an extra novella when one author had to drop out at the last minute. Cat Rambo, one of the best new short story writers around, contributed a short story collection. And singer-songwriter Janis Ian provides even more short stories. A longtime sf fan, she co-edited an anthology of short stories based on her marvelous songs. Her co-editor, Mike Resnick, is our token male.
If you sign up for the Storybundle newsletter, you’ll get one of my favorite Janis Ian songs. It’s called “Welcome Home,” which she wrote for the Los Angeles Nebula Awards where she acted as toastmistress.
I think of this as the ultimate fannish bundle. If you’re an sf fan, you’ll want to read these books. If you’ve never tried sf, then here’s a way to get works by some of the field’s best writers for an amazingly low price. For as little as $5, you can get five of the books. If you pay $15, you’ll get everything.
The other great part of the bundle is that you can give money to charity. We give you three charitable options, including Janis Ian’s Pearl Foundation, which endows scholarships at various colleges and universities. Get a few books, learn about the sf field, download a marvelous fannish song, and help needy students get an education.
I think this is a good deal all around. I hope you do too.