Women have had noteworthy roles in science from the earliest times. Historians with an interest in female roles and science have illuminated the scientific world and achievements of women as well as the difficulties they have faced and how they overcame them. Science fiction has contributed to women’s progression in science over the past years. Here are some important facts on how and why I’m so interested in this essay.
Science fiction began as a novel in the 18th century. Mary Shelley’s books Frankenstein and The Last Man aided in categorizing the novels as science fiction. It has even been argued that Frankenstein was the first work of science fiction. Science fiction is derived from potential scientific or technological advances as well as any important social or environmental change. It often pictures space or time travel and life on other planets.
Women in science fiction soon grew after that, 10-15 percent of the writers were women. Women’s role in speculative fiction has expanded since that time. In 1999 women comprised 36 percent of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American professional members.
The first women to write a science fiction novel was Mary Shelley, her science fiction novel were called Frankenstein, although women wrote utopian novels even before that. Science fiction was first created for men although there were women science fiction novel writers such as, Clare Winger Harris, Miriam Allen DeFord and Gertrude Barrows Bennett from the start. Women did not win any awards or notations in science fiction until the late 1960’s. They did not list any novels by women either.
Science fiction came into play between the 17th and early 19th centuries. Science fiction grew rapidly in the 20th century. Science fiction has become a major interest and topic in current society and culture. Everybody started taking science fiction more serious as women started making stories pertaining to it and winning awards for it.
The Hugo awards are a set of awards presented annually for the best science fiction novel and fantasy works and achievements. Women in science fiction started winning the Hugo award in the early 1970’s continuing up to 2017. The percentage of nominated fiction that’s written by female authors has varied, but it has always been under 40 percent, just until the 2010’s.
The first women to write a science fiction novel were Mary Shelley. She was a teenager who invented the entire genre when she wrote the famous book Frankenstein and others. She started writing at the age of eighteen and ever since everyone else followed along because they seen how successful science fiction for women was becoming over the years.
Grand Master of science fiction by the Science Fiction and Fantasy writer of America has only been awarded to six women. Their names are, Andre Norton, Ursula K LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey, Connie Williams and C.J Cherryh (1984-2017) women in science fiction is still popular ’til this day and it’s getting better and better each year.
Science fiction without women wouldn’t be recognized. Women have been the solution to the genre since before it had a name. Women voices are essential to the genre just like men voices. Science fiction wouldn’t be what it is today without the voices of women who are pushed back.
Science fiction is important to women because they give it a meaning to life. Female writers were in a minority during the 50’s and 60’s. Almost 1,000 stories were published in science fiction magazine by over 200 female-identified females between 1926 and 1960, making women writers 10 to 15 percent contributors.
In the late 1948’s, female writers only made up roughly 10 percent on the genre. Still till this day female writers make fewer than 40 percent, but the highest paid author is a woman. In this world today, women get more leads in movies than ever before.