The sci-fi writers have a cow

From Electrolite:

I don’t understand. Are you denying that you said: “Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics” but, instead, you’re saying that some linear superposition of Barby and Ann Coulter said: “Women do not write hard science fiction today because so few can hack the physics?”

Or are you saying that a woman cannot both be a feminist and able to write hard science fiction?

Or are you saying that a woman cannot both be a feminist and a Physics professor?

Or what?

Please note that I am not attacking you. I am admitting that I had trouble understanding one paragraph of your because it seemed to deny the existence of my wife. I am giving you a chance to correct my misunderstanding.

I agree with you that Neal Stephenson is a good writer, although he needs a good editor. I agree with you that Bujold, Eco, Stross and Wrede are all very good writers. I agree with your statement that you had the best of intentions on the Nebula Jury. I did not accuse you of antisemitism.

I am just one reader of Patrick’s blog. But if you can clarify things for me, you have reduced from n+1 to n the number of readers of this blog that you need to persuade.

No, why would I deny it? Sure, it is theoretically possible for women to be feminist Physics professors writing science fiction. I have no doubt that one or two such unusual beasts exist floating about the fringes. However, because of the inclination of women towards Women’s Studies and other math-free majors, the pool of potentials is extremely small. If only 13 percent of Physics PhDs are female, as Physics Today claimed, then I don’t see why it should be controversial to state that few women are capable of writing hard SF.

I note that The Hard SF Renaissance declares the big names in hard SF in are: Greg Egan, Gregory Benford, Geoffrey Landis, G David Nordley, Paul McAuley, Nancy Kress, Kim Stanley Robinson, Charles Sheffield, Brian Stableford, Allen Steele, Bruce Sterling, Robert J. Sawyer, Poul Anderson, David Brin, Greg Bear, Hal Clement, Ben Bova and Larry Niven. With the exception of Ms Kress and Mrs. Robinson, these names strike me as overwhelmingly male. And Mrs. Robinson is one homely woman judging by her picture on her web site.

I believe I have a reasonably accurate snapshot of the state-of-the-field after getting book-bombed by genre publishers for the past year. Like my fellow jury members, I slogged my way through an astonishing amount of equine ejectus. And speaking of equine ejectus, I note that the cover of the award-winning physicist’s latest indicates rather strongly that what is supposedly the recent best in our field is nothing but a romance series. It’s not even a good romance cover… geez, win a Nebula and you STILL can’t get Fabio?