Women in Horror Anthologies Revisited: Coda
Having slept on it, I've decided that it might be instructive to revisit yesterday's figures (click on link below), this time excluding the four paranormal romance volumes - Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Those Who Fight Monsters and Damnation and Dames - as these score high when it comes to women writers and could skew the overall figures for horror.
On occasion I have reviewed the work of paranormal romance writers in Black Static (e.g. Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton), as I've also reviewed crime fiction, slipstream and just about anything else that might be of interest to our readers, but at the same time I don't regard them as the true grue, and neither it appears do most bookshops who hive paranormal romance off into its own section.
Besides, this way I get another blog post that will be ridiculously easy to write.
Overall then, without the paranormal romance titles, we have thirty two volumes containing 706 stories of which 168 (24%) were written or co-written by women.
And when we exclude the nine volumes that are reissues or include reprints, so that only fresh material is taken into account, we are left with twenty three volumes containing a total of 477 stories, of which 117 are written or co-written by women (25%).
Breaking it down by country, we now have:-
Australia 21 out of 48 44%
Canada 17 out of 52 33%
US 68 out of 276 25%
UK 62 out of 330 19%
Excluding the reprint volumes, the figure for the US goes up to 38 out of 121 (31%), while that for the UK drops to 41 out of 256 (16%).
Finally, breaking it down by gender of the editor:-
Male editor(s) 116 out of 554 (21%)
Female editor(s) 52 out of 152 (34%)
When reprint material is excluded, the figure for female editors rises to 37% (35 out of 95), while that for male editors remains at 21% (82 out of 382).
There are many variables here and, as I observed back in October 2010 when I first did this exercise, the sampling is probably too small to be statistically significant. Also I'm sure publishers, at least the sensible ones, take into account who will be reviewing their work, and my own gender may be a factor in determining what titles I'm sent.
Nonetheless I think it is possible to draw a few tentative conclusions based on this sampling:-
1) Fewer women are being published in horror anthologies than men
2) Women are published more frequently in the paranormal romance genre than horror
3) Anthologies edited by women will on average contain over 50% more fiction by women than those edited by men
4) Far fewer women are being published in horror anthologies in the UK than in the US, Canada and Australia
To say whether any of this is down to gender/cultural bias or simply a reflection of what women are writing and sending out for publication will take a wiser head than mine.
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