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Author Gender Distribution by Award

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This project demonstrates that SFF books by or about cis women are less likely to win awards than books by or about cis men. Trans and nonbinary authors win in vanishingly small numbers, and trans or nonbinary protagonists are extremely rare. Overall, there were more award-winning books written by cis men about cis men than there were books by women about anybody. While there have been recent gains in terms of diversity in awarded books, this is likely part of a cycle of gains and pushback that has repeated itself throughout the history of SFF awards. SFF awards have a problem when it comes to gender: they privilege cis men and the cis male experience over that of cis women and trans and nonbinary individuals.


I am [personal profile] justira and I am the lead editor on this project. I collaborated on it with [personal profile] renay (Data Monkey & Culture Consultant) and [personal profile] owlmoose (Reality Checker), whose help was invaluable. We would also like to thank Kate Elliot, Niall Harrison, and Paul Weimer, who helped us in some cases where we were unsure about protagonist gender. Finally, we'd like to thank Nicola Griffith for her support of this project and for starting the conversation about this.

I've been wanting to look at gender breakdowns in SFF awards for a while, and then Nicola Griffith did her post about gender and awards, and it showed exactly what I was afraid of. But I wanted more — I wanted all the major SFF awards, for the life of each award. This post represents over 100 hours of work by me and over 130 hours total spent researching awards, authors, and books.

This post is limited to considerations of protagonist and author gender. While race and sexuality might be other interesting measures, information on these is less likely to be publicly available, and so fell outside the scope of this particular project. All our data is public; readers are encouraged to build on this project and create their own metrics.

This post is also available on tumblr. We also have a twitter hashtag: #SFprizedata.

This post has a corrections comment thread where we will make note of all corrections and edits to the post. Before commenting, please check the corrections thread to see if your point has been addressed.

When commenting, please follow the Lady Business Comment Policy.


This project is specifically about award winners: about which books and authors are celebrated and recognized by the community. A full study of all SFF published, broken down by author and protagonist gender, would be valuable but far beyond our scope. Our goal was to examine which authors/books won awards.

The general focus of this project is "books that win awards" not "awards for SFF novels". Breakdowns by award are offered in Appendix B, but the overall approach of this project focuses on the winners, not the awards.

If a book won multiple awards, it was counted as many times as it won. So if a book won three awards, it was counted three times.(1)

All of our data is publicly available for perusal and correction.

Award Selection

We put together a list of awards based on our knowledge of the SFF community. Once an award was chosen for inclusion on the list, it stayed no matter what results we were getting from it, and indeed there were some awards that surprised us. Some awards are long established, like the Hugos, while others are very new, like Goodreads. We chose awards based on name recognition, prestige, and effect on book/author visibility. For example, the Goodreads awards may be seen as relatively minor, but have a strong effect on winners' visibility on Goodreads and being added to to-read lists.

Timeframes included the life of each award, though we devote some special analysis for the period of 2000-2015.

We excluded retrospective awards.

Genres and Categories

The scope of this project is award-winning speculative fiction novels written in or translated to English. Categories for shorter works, graphic novels, or nonfiction works were excluded. Works that were not prose novels or a series of prose novels were also excluded when they won general categories. Short story collections were not included(2).

The focus of this project is on SFF specifically, not horror. While general SFFH awards with horror winners were accepted, categories/awards specifically for horror were excluded.

Age Groups

The project scope covers general and YA awards/categories. It does not cover age groups below YA. Some YA awards did have occasional middle grade winners. The Mythopoeic Award has a Children's category, but as most of the winners were marketed as YA, we included it.

List of Awards/Categories

The final list of awards and categories is as follows:

  1. Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book [2006 - 2015]

  2. Arthur C. Clarke Award [1987 - 2015]

  3. Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction [1995 - 2014]
    • Best Fantasy Novel
    • Best Science Fiction Novel
    • Best YA Novel
  4. British Fantasy Awards [1972 - 2014]
    • August Derleth Award for Best Novel
  5. British Science Fiction Association Awards [1969 - 2014]
    • Best Novel
  6. Cybils Award (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards) [2006 - 2014]
    • Fantasy & Science Fiction
    • Speculative Fiction
  7. David Gemmell Legend Awards [2009 - 2015]
    • Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel
    • Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer
  8. Ditmar Awards (Australian SF Award) [1969 - 2015]
    • Best Novel
    • Australian Fiction
    • Australian Long Fiction
    • Australian Long SF or Fantasy
    • Australian Novel Or Anthology
    • Australian Novel
    • Australian SF
    • Long Australian SF or Fantasy
    • Long Fiction
    • Long Fiction Or Collection
  9. Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction [1992 - 2015]
    • Hal Clement Award for Young Adult
  10. Goodreads Reader's Choice Awards [2009 - 2014]
    • Best Fantasy Novel
    • Best Paranormal Fantasy
    • Best Science Fiction Novel
    • Best Young Adult Fantasy
    • Best Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
  11. Hugo Awards [1953 - 2015]
    • Best Novel
  12. James Tiptree, Jr. Award [1991 - 2015]

  13. John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel [1973 - 2015]

  14. The Kitschies [2009 - 2014]
    • Golden Tentacle (best debut novel)
    • Red Tentacle (best novel)
  15. Locus Award [1971 - 2015]
    • Best Fantasy Novel
    • Best First Novel
    • Best Novel
    • Best Science Fiction Novel
    • Best Young Adult Book
  16. Mythopoeic Fantasy Award [1971 - 2015]
    • Adult Literature
    • Children's Literature
  17. Nebula Awards [1966 - 2015]
    • Best Novel
  18. Philip K. Dick Award [1982- 2014]

  19. World Fantasy Awards [1975 - 2015]
    • Best Novel

Determining Gender

Gender for authors and protagonists was divided into five categories:
  • Cis Man
  • Cis Woman
  • Mixed
  • Trans or Nonbinary
  • Not Sure
Author gender was determined from publicly available information online such as Wikipedia articles or author pages.

Protagonist gender was determined by researching each book using Wikipedia, Goodreads, and various publicly available reviews both professional and casual. In some cases where gender could not be easily determined from this research, we asked a pool of individuals to see if anyone had read the book and could tell us about the protagonist(s).

If after all of the above we still could not determine a gender with certainty, the Not Sure category was used. We ended up with 4 or 0.5% entries in Not Sure.

Protagonists were in most case identified as the point of view characters or narrators. In some cases, when stories clearly centered on one individual but were told by others or by multiple narrators, we had to make judgement calls on whose story it was. For example, we determined that American Gods was Shadow's story, and placed it in the Cis Man category. Similarly, Seeker by Jack McDevitt is narrated by a woman, but is about a man, like the Sherlock Holmes stories are narrated by Watson.

All protagonists of a given gender went into their respective category regardless of age. So "Cis Woman" covers cis women, cis girls, etc. If there were multiple authors/protagonists but they were all of one gender, they went into that gender's category. If there were authors/protagonists fitting more than one category — be it Cis Man, Cis Woman, or Trans or Nonbinary — then the Mixed category was used. Only one differing gender was necessary to qualify for the Mixed category.

For protagonist genders, our gender categories held regardless of species. For humans, animals, robots, cyborgs, or AIs who are identified as a particular gender in the narrative, that gender is used. For aliens or mechanical beings with gender systems that differ from our own, Trans or Nonbinary was used if all protagonists were of that type, or Mixed if they were featured alongside cis individuals.

Publication Date

Since some awards are given for the same year as the work's publication (e.g. the Kitschies) while other awards are given the following year (e.g. the 2015 Hugo awards were given to 2014 works), we felt publication date was a more consistent measure for timelining purposes. Therefore, publication date, rather than year of award, is used in matters of chronology.

For awards given to series as a whole, we use the publication date of the last entry published before the award was given. Some works were first serialized, then published as novels. If the award was given to the serialization, we use the year the final installment was published. For works in translation, we use the English-language publication date.(3)

Results and Analysis

All results and analysis are on the scope of analyzed award winners only. We will clearly mark when we are talking about trends or contexts outside the scope of these award-winning books. In total we analyzed 19 awards and 751 award-winners. All data and figures include books that were counted multiple times for multiple awards.

Figure 1(4)

The most prominent and dismaying conclusion is that there were more books written by cis men about cis men alone (294) than there were books by cis women about anybody (267). Overall, books by or about cis women were less likely to win awards than books by or about cis men. As is shown in Figure 2, 63.9% of award-winning books were by cis men, and only 35.6% by cis women. Cis men, then, won at nearly twice the rate of cis women. There was, to the best of our knowledge, only one trans or nonbinary winning author. Similarly, cis male protagonists made up nearly half of the pool at 46.5%, with cis female protagonists making up only just over a quarter at 26.2% (Figure 3). The Mixed category also conceals a fair amount of cis male domination in mixed-gender protagonist groups, which were often majority or overwhelmingly cis male.

Figure 2
Figure 3

The numbers for cis female authors closely matches the oft-cited magical one third: as soon as women make up one third of a population, the perception becomes that there is gender parity, and more than one third is seen as a majority.Another interesting trend with respect to the numbers of cis women is the phenomenon of waves of progress and pushback (Fig 4).

Figure 4

Here we see clearly progress in terms of including cis women, followed by sharp increases in the numbers of cis men. For example, 1996 followed by 1997, 2003 followed by 2004, and 2011 followed by 2012. Sometimes the pushback takes an extra year or two to occur, but gains by cis women are always punctuated by sharply increased percentages for cis men. We are likely in the middle of such a cycle right now, with 2013 and 2014 being majority cis female years, and unless this problem of pushback is actively acknowledged and addressed, there will likely be another year soon that is strongly majority cis male.

This yearly data also shows another trend, which is the overwhelmingly cis male history of SFF awards (Figure 5). When taken as percentages, the trend shows a heavily cis male dominated history. The flip side of that is that diversity in both authors (Figure 5) and protagonists (Figure 6) increased over time and as more awards were added.(5)

Figure 5

Figure 6

It's also interesting to ask who writes which genders. Figure 7 shows that only about 10% of books by cis men are about cis women, while cis women write cis men at about twice that rate. In general, cis men write more narrowly and cis women write more widely. This is likely related to the idea that women are expected to sympathize with male protagonists but men are not expected to sympathize with female protagonists. No books by cis men were about trans or nonbinary protagonists, although some aliens and AIs snuck into the Mixed category. The numbers for women are better, but are skewed by Ancillary Justice, which makes up 6 of the 11 entries in that category.

Figure 7(6)

This data can also be visualized as a pie chart showing a slice for each author and protagonist gender combination (Figure 8).

Figure 8

This again shows the preponderance of books by and about cis men, coming in at 39.1% of all books. By contrast, books by and about cis women totaled only 18.6%, less than half of those by and about cis men.

All of these numbers refer to general-audience and YA books combined. If we separate the two out, we get a starker picture of the adult SFF award world (Figures 9 and 10):

Figure 9
Figure 10

If we compare general and YA (Figure 11), we get a disheartening picture: cis women are pushed to YA, and out of the more prestigious general category. This is not to say that YA literature is in any way inferior, but in terms of cultural prestige, adult literature is more highly regarded, and it is where cis women are less likely to be rewarded. In a positive sense, this means YA is a sort of safe haven for cis women in SFF, as well as cis female protagonists. However, no books about or by trans or nonbinary individuals won in the YA category. Further information on YA and general results is available in Appendix A. Ana previously wrote about gender and YA for [community profile] ladybusiness.

Figure 11

Similarly, cis women are less likely to win the more prestigious awards (Figure 12).

Figure 12

The most prestigious awards, like the Hugos, the Nebulas, and the Philip. K. Dick award, all lean significantly towards cis men. These same awards are less likely to feature cis female protagonists (Figure 13).

Figure 13

While we did look at juried vs popular awards, the results were very close (available in Appendix A). This may be due to our definitions of "Popular" and "Juried". For example, we counted the Hugos and Nebulas as popular.

There did appear to also be a tendency on the part of British awards to be more cis male-dominated.

Further charts are available in Appendix A. Individual award data is available in Appendix B.


SFF Awards have a problem. Despite some gains towards diversity in recent years, books by and about cis men still dominate nearly all the major awards. The gains in recent years have been encouraging, but they're offset by long histories of privileging cis men and their writing over cis women and trans and nonbinary individuals. Most of the longest-running awards have heavily male-dominated histories. Let us be clear that this is not because cis men produce superior work. Despite their difficulty in getting published and publicized, cis women and trans and nonbinary individuals have been putting out quality work for as long as they've been getting published. But the SFF field by and large prefers to recognize and award books by and about cis men.

The Puppies claim that the Hugos are being taken over by liberal interests. But taken against the history of the Hugos and other awards as a whole, this is merely a correction of long-standing imbalances. As stated in the Results and Analysis section, we are likely in the middle of another cycle of pushback, and unless we spread awareness of this issue, we are likely to see another heavily cis male year soon.

SFF awards have a long way to go to reach gender parity, even longer to go in terms of representing trans and nonbinary individuals. For a field that is supposed to celebrate explorations of science and society, SFF awards woefully underrepresent expressions of gender outside of cis norms, whether in authors or in protagonists.


Please recall that this post has a corrections comment thread where we will make note of all corrections and edits to the post. Before commenting, please check the corrections thread to see if your point has been addressed.

When commenting, please follow the Lady Business Comment Policy.

Appendix A: All Non-Award Specific Charts

Chart Type Combined (General+YA) General Young Adult
Award Winners by Year and Author Gender
Award Winners by Year and Author Gender (Percentages)
Award Winners by Year and Author Gender (Percentages - Truncated)(7)
Award Winners by Year and Protagonist Gender
Award Winners by Year and Protagonist Gender (Percentages)
Award Winners by Year and Protagonist Gender (Percentages - Truncated)(8)
Authors vs. Protagonists
Authors vs. Protagonists (Other)(9)
Who Writes Which Genders?
Who Writes Which Genders? (Percentages)
General vs. YA
Juried vs. Popular(10)
Author Gender Distribution by Award (Alphabetical)
Author Gender Distribution by Award (Sorted)
Protagonist Gender Distribution by Award (Alphabetical)
Protagonist Gender Distribution by Award (Sorted by Cis Man)
Protagonist Gender Distribution by Award (Sorted by Cis Woman)

Appendix B: Individual Awards

Award Name Author Gender Protagonist Gender Author vs. Protagonist Gender
Andre Norton
Arthur C. Clarke
British Fantasy
David Gemmell
Golden Duck
James Tiptree, Jr.
Philip K. Dick
World Fantasy


  1.  Two books swept the awards in their respective years and skewed the data for those years. They are Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (5 wins in 1973) and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (6 wins in 2013). Ancillary Justice also skewed the numbers for trans/nonbinary winners in so doing. (back to text)

  2.  The Tiptrees award short stories and collections in the same category as novels, and so more winners than usual were omitted from this award for not being prose novels. (back to text)

  3.  There are two books that won is multiple years due to publication editions. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente won in 2009 for the serialization and in 2011 for the novel edition. Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith won in 1994 for the original publication and in 2000 for the American edition. (back to text)

  4.  There is a third category of authors, Mixed, missing from this graph due to scale. There were 4 books by mixed author teams, 3 about cis men and 1 about mixed protagonists. (back to text)

  5.  Figure 5 and Figure 6 begin with 1974 because prior to that year there were too few awards to compare with the later years with any degree of intellectual honesty. Non-truncated versions of Figures 5 and 5 are available in Appendix A. (back to text)

  6.  There is a third category of authors, Mixed, missing from this graph due to scale. There were 4 books by mixed author teams, 3 about cis men and 1 about mixed protagonists. (back to text)

  7.  Dates have been restricted to 1974-2015. See Note 4. (back to text)

  8.  Dates have been restricted to 1974-2015. See Note 4. (back to text)

  9.  The following categories have been combined into "Other": By Cis Man about Not Sure, By Cis Woman About Not Sure, By Mixed About Cis Man, By Mixed about Mixed. (back to text)

  10.  For the purposes of this chart:
    Popular: Andre Norton, BSFA, Ditmar, Gemmell, Goodreads, Hugo, Locus, Nebula
    Juried: Arthur C. Clarke, Aurealis, British Fantasy, Cybils, Golden Ducks, John W. Campbell, Kitschies, Mythopoeic, Philip K. Dick, James Tipree, Jr., World Fantasy (back to text)

Date: 2015-09-29 07:43 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Oooooooooooh... Thank you for this!

Re: Classification

Date: 2015-09-29 08:47 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Hi! We screened your comment because it did not follow our comment policy. You're welcome to keep participating in the discussion if you follow the policy.

To address your concern, we wanted to have the same categories for authors and protagonists, and to highlight how few stories were by or about trans or nonbinary individuals. One of the reasons we made our data public was so that we could be corrected if we misgendered anybody, although we did our best to research.

Date: 2015-09-29 10:42 pm (UTC)
emperorzombie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperorzombie
Some data nitpicks I spotted:
Gwyneth Jones is listed as cis man for 2004 Philip K Dick.
Caitlin Kiernan is listed as cis woman for 2012 Tiptree (she is trans).
Re: footnote 2, I think Air is also counted under two different years due to publication date.

(frozen) Re: Corrections Thread

Date: 2015-09-29 10:46 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Gwyneth Jones Was listed as a Cis Man for for Philip K. Dick in 2004. She has been corrected to Cis Woman in the Google document and the Excel spreadsheet. Updated charts to follow.

Caitlin Kiernan was listed as a Cis Woman for James Tiptree, Jr. in 2012. She is a trans woman, and this has been corrected in the Google document and the Excel spreadsheet. Updated charts to follow. The post has also been changed from "Trans and nonbinary authors do not win awards at all" in the abstract to "Trans and nonbinary authors win in vanishingly small numbers". In the Results and Analysis section, changed from "There were, to the best of our knowledge, no trans or nonbinary winning authors." to "There was, to the best of our knowledge, only one trans or nonbinary winning author."
Edited Date: 2015-10-02 11:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-09-29 10:47 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thank you so much for these! We are correcting them right now.
Edited Date: 2015-09-30 12:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-09-30 12:01 am (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
Thanks for putting this together!

Some corrections:

You're missing 1998, which would be "'Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation' by K.N. Sirsi and Sandra Botkin" by Raphael Carter(nonbinary author, protagonist ... cis female? mixed? It's in the format of a scientific paper by two cis women about, basically, nonbinary gender and featuring multiple people of multiple gender.)

Matt Ruff, Put This House in Order - Protagonist is nonbinary (MPD person with female body, mostly male personalities).

World Fantasy Award

Rachel Pollack is a trans woman.

Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer - Protagonist probably better described as "mixed" than "cis man" (it has four POV sections, two men and two women).

Louise Erdrich's The Antelope Wife is probably also better described as "mixed" protagonists than "cis woman".
Edited Date: 2015-09-30 12:01 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-09-30 12:20 am (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thank you so much for these corrections! This is exactly why we shared the data =)

We'll make the changes as soon as we can!
Edited Date: 2015-09-30 12:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-09-30 01:17 am (UTC)
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
From: [personal profile] alias_sqbr
This is fantastic (your work, not what it illustrates, sigh) and very interesting! Would it be possible to have text based summaries of the main results for those who can't read the graphs?

Thank you

Date: 2015-09-30 07:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the hard work and effort put into this important collation of data. This is illuminating and important stuff.

Nike S

Date: 2015-09-30 01:07 pm (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
Hi again!

First, I wanted to say I'm sorry if the ratio of nitpicks:praise gave the wrong impression. I'm so glad you did this, and appreciate the MASSIVE amount of work you did. This is a really great resource to have.

Second, re: the Tiptree - Having looked more closely, I see you omitted all the short story winners, not just the Carter, and am thinking maybe this was purposeful, because your remit was books, not short fiction. I'd like to argue for another call for this case, though. The other awards are specifically dedicated to books and/or have separate categories for short fiction. For the Tiptree, it's all one award category -- jurors consider short fiction and novels on the same weight. When Kelly Link's "Travels with the Snow Queen" and Candas Jane Dorsey's Black Wine won in 1997, it wasn't one award for the short fiction category and one award for the novel category -- it was one co-award for feminist sf, just the way 1991's Tiptree was awarded to both White Queen and China Mountain Zhang and 2009's was awarded to both Cloud and Ashes and Ooku.

(2009 was also left out of the spreadsheet.)

Anyway, even if you decide to just go with the novel winners, maybe you could add a note about this in the text.

... And again, I hope this isn't too discouraging! I really love this post, and I don't think any of the corrections mitigate the force of the results.

Re: It's a pity

Date: 2015-09-30 06:11 pm (UTC)
spindizzy: A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic style portrait of me. (Lady Business)
From: [personal profile] spindizzy
Hi! We've screened your comment because it doesn't follow our comment policy. You're welcome to come back and comment again if you follow the comment policy.

Date: 2015-09-30 07:36 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
RE nitpicks/praise: Nope, you're all good! Corrections are welcome and encouraged =)

RE short stories: We did say that we are only considering novels; there's a short paragraph about what lengths/types of work we included right under the "Genres and Categories" heading. Do you mean adding a note about the Tiptrees in particular?

Date: 2015-10-01 03:35 am (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
Yes, a note about the Tiptree in particular -- otherwise it's a misrepresentation of the award.

Problematic framing

Date: 2015-10-01 09:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] phidaissi
I realise this is well intentioned to highlight lack of diversity, but it hits on a few cisnormativity issues that would be easy to correct.

1. The notion that you can tell if someone is cis or trans, or that authors would be public about this. This is not true and should be noted as a significant limitation.

2. That trans people are treated as a third gender. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Putting trans women and trans men into a third box separate from cis men and cis women in their own boxes is horrendously cissexist.
There's either two boxes (man + women, or cis + trans) or four boxes (cis man + cis woman + trans man + trans woman). There's no circumstance in which you combine trans men and trans women into a third gender box.

3 - That trans men and trans women are grouped with non-binary people in opposition to cis men and cis women. Yet again implying that they are not men and women, because non-binary people aren't. This is so wrong and actually constitutes degendering on trans men and trans women.

I get that it's useful to break out the cis male figures to show the clear disparity, but degendering trans men and trans women to do it isn't the right way. It all appears to be well intentioned, but that's really problematic framing.

As it stands though, the categories clearly imply that trans + non-binary is a third gender group, when at best it's three separate groups that shouldn't be combined in this way. Given how commonly trans men and trans women *actually are* treated as a third gender instead of their actual gender, this seems like a really important distinction to make clear.

If you were to group those people then the proper term would simply be 'non-cis', though still imperfect, it would at least avoid degendering trans people. Which is what happens when you present "cis male, cis female, trans" as boxes. It looks a hell of a lot like a third gender box instead of a catch-all 'other' box.

some extra Clarke Award data to add to the mix

Date: 2015-10-01 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] clarkeaward
One of the big questions people seem to be asking about this data (especially over on io9.com where I first saw this story) is how does it compare to the split of M/F writers etc in contention for an award each year.

It's only one award out of many here but the Clarke Award has been releasing its submissions data for a few years now, though not all the way back, and you can find lists of all submitted books over on ClarkeAward.com for 2011 onwards if you want to check it out.

2011 is the year Lauren Beukes won for Zoo City, and broke a long trend of male winners going back to 2002 when Gywneth Jones was the last female winner.

Since 2011 the award has been much more mixed and won by Jane Rogers, Chris Beckett, Anne Leckie and Emily St John Mandel. During these years the award was also been very proactive in calling in books from across the UK publishing industry but while the total number of submissions rose considerably the ratio of men to women writers remained fairly consistent: approx 1 in 4 basically.

The year Chris Beckett won, the shortlist was made up of all male writers which many saw as a step back but many others who watch awards had predicted as a likely outcome at some point given the submissions ratios and generally that year's shortlist was very favourably received across the board other than on the point of gender parity.

The fact an all male shortlist has only occurred in two years out of the Clarke Award's history (the other was 1988) and would seem to run against the raw probabilities for what it's worth. Also of potential interest here is that the judging panel gender ratio for that year was 4 female to 1 male.

Much of our data on submissions and judging panels is online, but if the Clarke can contribute any more to this research to help interpret the data on show here please do let us know!

Tom Hunter

sfbookclub: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfbookclub
Well said Tom. It's always heartening to see the Clarke Awards out there leading from the front and putting their data where their mouth is. So to speak.

British Fantasy Award

Date: 2015-10-02 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] garycouzens
I'm not very surprised that the British Fantasy Award scores so badly. I do have a vested interest of sorts: I was BFS Chair 2000-2003, Award Administrator 2002-2005 and was a juror in the Best Fantasy Novel category last year and this.

The award was decided by vote (BFS members and Fantasycon attendees) up to award year 2011, from then onwards vote to create four of the shortlist, jury can add up to two additional titles to the shortlist, then juries decide the winner. Also, from 2012 onwards there have been two novel awards: the original August Derleth Award which became speciically for horror and the Robert Holdstock Award for a fantasy novel. The listing above is just for the August Derleth, and the number of female winners will depend on how you define the 2011 award. That year, the winner was announced as Demon Dance by Sam Stone (female) but following the controversy that blew up - which was much discussed at the time, so I won't go into it now - she returned the award. So other than her, the only female winners of the August Derleth were Tanith Lee in 1980 and Lauren Beukes in 2012. In fact, Tanith Lee was the only woman to win a BFS fiction award until 2009 when Allyson Bird won Best Collection and Sarah Pinborough won Best Short Story. (There were other winners in other categories.)

The winners of the three Robert Holdstock awards so far are:

2012 - Among Others by Jo Walton (female author - female protagonist) [this has been on my TBR list for ages so I haven't read it, but I think that's correct]
2013 - Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce (male author, male protagonist)
2014 - A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (female author, male protagonist)

(frozen) Re: Corrections Thread

Date: 2015-10-02 11:29 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
  • Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff (2003) — protagonist has been changed from Cis Man to Trans or Nonbinary.
  • A note has been added regarding the higher number of works dropped from this award for nor being prose novels.

World Fantasy Award:
  • Rachel Pollack (1996) is now listed as a trans woman.
  • Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner (1990) — protagonist has been changed from Cis Man to Mixed.
  • The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich (1998) — protagonist has been changed from Cis Woman to Mixed.
    All changes have been made to the Google spreadsheet and to the Excel file. Updated charts to follow.
Edited Date: 2015-10-02 11:31 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-02 11:32 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
A note has been added regarding the Tiptrees and all the other corrections have been made. Thank you so much for all your feedback!

Date: 2015-10-02 11:36 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thanks very much! We can probably work on some text-based summaries (or perhaps just showing our tabular data) for the charts featured in the post, but we don't have the resources to make summaries for each of the charts in the appendices. Probably when we have time, we'll offer an Appendix C with tables and/or text-based summaries for as much as we can handle.

Re: Thank you

Date: 2015-10-02 11:36 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thank you! =)

Date: 2015-10-02 11:38 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Hi there! Your comments have been screened for not following the comment policy. You are welcome to come back and comment some more if you follow the comment policy.

To address your concern: Rachel Pollack is now listed as a trans woman; is that what you were going for?

Re: Problematic framing

Date: 2015-10-02 11:56 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thanks for the feedback! When we were setting up the categories, we realized we could basically do it one of two ways: by grouping trans people with their real genders, or by separating out cis and non-cis people. We realized we wanted to do an approach that separated out cis men in particular, because we had theorized that this would be the most privileged group when it came to awards, and we wanted to be clear about that. We also wanted to emphasize how little recognition non-cis authors and protagonists got in a genre that's supposed to celebrate expanding boundaries and explore the widest range of human experience. Given that, though, we didn't want to simply make an "Other" category for the non-cis authors/protagonists, as this would quite literally be othering, so we tried to call the category by exactly what would end up there instead. We feel doing the gender categories the other way has its own downsides, namely downplaying the significance of the two aims we mentioned we were trying to achieve. We realize now that this does play into third-gender narratives for trans people, and for that we apologize.

Date: 2015-10-03 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] garycouzens
Rachel Pollack will also affect the stats for the Clarke Award, as she won in 1989.

Date: 2015-10-04 02:47 pm (UTC)
radish: (Default)
From: [personal profile] radish
Important work and well-presented. Thank you for this!

Date: 2015-10-05 12:27 pm (UTC)
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alias_sqbr

Oh, yes, that's a lot of data! Even just a summary would be fantastic.

Date: 2015-10-16 11:19 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yep, thank you, and apologies for messing with the comment policy (it wasn't intentional)

Re: Problematic framing

Date: 2016-01-08 02:39 am (UTC)
hebethen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hebethen
It would have helped if anywhere in the writeup had actually mentioned trans women and trans men. Instead every occurrence is "trans or nonbinary", which reinforces the idea of "trans" being a third gender.

Re: Does this necessarily imply discrimination?

Date: 2016-01-08 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] justira
Hi there! Your comment has been screened for not following our comment policy, which states that you must sign a name. You're welcome to come back and comment again if you follow the policy!

Does this necessarily imply discrimination?

Date: 2016-01-08 05:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
From your charts I see that women write more about women and men right more about men, which is natural: write what you know and stuff. Is there evidence that there is actual discrimination going on? Maybe it’s just that there are more male SF writers than there are female ones, so a man is more likely to win an award as a result. Then the proper solution is not to put pressure on award bodies (who probably just pick what they honestly think are best works) but to encourage more women (of any variety), trans-men and others to write science fiction.

This actually brings me to another problem: what is the “fair” representation of protagonist genders? Is it proportional to the real-life population? Log-proportional? Just equal?


Re: Problematic framing

Date: 2016-08-23 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kimstewart
i'm just a little bit confused — when i look at the framing as 'cis men' & 'cis women' seeming to occupy 100% of the bars for e.g. World Fantasy or Arthur C. Clarke, are you rolling transwomen into 'cis men', 'cis women', or are they simply so few that the line (and the legend & color) disappear?

I'm thinking obviously of Rachel Pollack here.

Re: Problematic framing

Date: 2016-08-23 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kimstewart
oh, and yes i (now) comprehend that (a year ago) you said the charts would be updated, but the flagship chart (Author Gender Distribution by Award (Sorted)) obviously has not. A friend pointed me to the page — obviously relevant to my interests — and I look closely at the first image and just stop. It's heartbreaking.

Of course, the charts seem also to be about 'books' — excepting obviously the Campbell — but the omission of Rachel's 3.3% of all Clarkes ever awarded is hard to unsee.

and everything phidaissi said, plus tangent to the whole argument of 'transness' is that people such as Rachel are trans before their surgery (and — obviously — cis thereafter) so that the actual proportion of 'transpersons' can never be known. I suggest that the meaning of Tiptree's success as a trans-male author (without necessarily having been a trans-male person) is relevant to the extent that awarders believe they are awarding to a male and makes interesting the analysis of C. L. Moore, C. J. Cherryh, etc.


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