Today my blog plays host to the Blog Tour for Madeline Ashby’s new book in The Machine Dynasty Series, iD.
iD is about a self-replicating humanoid and that line was enough to sell me. Read the blurb below to get a taster of what Id is about.
Javier's quest takes him from Amy's island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation... or death.
ID is the second book in Madeline’s The Machine dynasty Series and it has been eagerly anticipated by fans.
Hence I’m really pleased to have Madeline over on the Escapism from Reality to talk about how female Sci-Fi writers are rare and far between while dystopian (which is pretty much straddling the line between fantasy and Sci-Fi) has so many female writers and no one bats an eyelash. So now, I’ll shut up and let Madeline say her piece.
I think there are dystopias out there that can be safely categorized as SF. I mean, all that's required is that their world hinges primarily on scientific endeavour. If your dystopia is about a group of girls who have to compete for a prince's hand in marriage, but the tools in their arsenal are gene therapy and chromosome splicing, then yeah, that's SF. If science plays a role in the fiction, it's science fiction. There might be other genre elements as well, like horror or comedy or romance, but if your plot revolves around the consequences of scientific endeavour, it's at least partially SF.
I think that YA dystopia draws a lot of female writers because a lot of female writers made their names there. It's an easy category to see yourself in. There are so many other women there. It's a pretty safe bet, if you're a good writer. Also, your agent will always want to represent it, because it's a proven market. Selling SF, or selling high fantasy, or selling any other genre, really, is much harder for them and they have to really think about how to package the manuscript in the most appealing way.
But in general, I think that women are writing about dystopias more frequently now because the world is more dystopian for women in general. I mean, take a look at the latest legislation in Texas on a woman's right to do what she wants with her own body. Or TSA officers telling young girls what to wear. Or women getting rape threats because they talk about misogyny online. That's some pretty fucking dark dystopian shit.
And the fact is that women have been experiencing that dark dystopian shit for years and years and years. It's nothing new. Women have been closely observed and told what to wear and told how to act and treated like property for thousands of years. For example, the Salic and Burgundian law codes ascribed less monetary value to a woman's body than to a man's, when assessing the punishment for a crime. To this day, American women earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.
Our lives, and our work, are simply considered less valuable. So the next time someone asks you why women write so many dystopias, or why they're so good at it, tell them it's because women have a lifetime of experience living in them. They have experience with actual, legal, cultural, and physical oppression. It's not fiction for them. It's reality.
Thank you so much Madeline for dropping by and talking about such an ignored matter. I truly believe that just that the dystopian genre is so popular with female writers and readers as we all have experienced it some manner or the other.
iD releases 25th of June, 2013 by Angry Robot.
Preorder iD on Amazon