Author Ursula K. Le Guin in 2004. Photo by JuTa via Creative Commons.
Women have written some of the best, most ground-breaking sci-fi around. But you wouldn’t know that to look at mainstream sci-fi anthologies, which often tend to skew male.
Guardian column Letters of Note dug up an awesome 1987 letter that celebrated author Ursula K. Le Guin wrote to a publisher who asked her to write a blurb for a sci-fi anthology called Synergy: New Science Fiction, Volume 1. The problem with the anthology? It didn’t include any women.
Le Guin’s response was absolutely perfect:
Dear Mr Radziewicz,
I can imagine myself blurbing a book in which Brian Aldiss, predictably, sneers at my work, because then I could preen myself on my magnanimity. But I cannot imagine myself blurbing a book, the first of a new series and hence presumably exemplary of the series, which not only contains no writing by women, but the tone of which is so self-contentedly, exclusively male, like a club, or a locker room. That would not be magnanimity, but foolishness. Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Physical proof that Le Guin has been a badass since before many of her younger readers were even alive.