Did you know that science fiction was invented by a female writer? I didn’t when I first started out. Somehow, the women of scifi were sidelined. It happened pretty early on. And even know, we see the fake geek girl meme going around the internet, claiming that girls only like scifi in order to sleep with a geeky dude. This just isn’t true.
It is also a fact that Publishers, in tune with this societal norm, that this genre fiction is so male, that female authors are told to take male pen names, or use only their initials. In order to hide from the general populace. And especially from men. Because women don’t read science fiction, you know. And men won’t read books by lady authors:
The 19th century saw an major acceleration of these trends and features, most clearly seen in the groundbreaking publication of Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein in 1818. The short novel features the archetypal “mad scientist” experimenting with advanced technology. In his book Billion Year Spree, Brian Aldiss claims Frankenstein represents “the first seminal work to which the label SF can be logically attached”. It is also the first of the “mad scientist” subgenre. Although normally associated with the gothic horror genre, the novel introduces science fiction themes such as the use of technology for achievements beyond the scope of science at the time, and the alien as antagonist, furnishing a view of the human condition from an outside perspective. Aldiss argues that science fiction in general derives its conventions from the gothic novel. Mary Shelley’s short story “Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman” (1826) sees a man frozen in ice revived in the present day, incorporating the now common science fiction theme of cryonics whilst also exemplifying Shelley’s use of science as a conceit to drive her stories. Another futuristic Shelley novel, The Last Man, is also often cited as the first true science fiction novel. (Wikipedia)
So please, in remembrance of Mary Shelley, let us all read as many of these works as possible, and remember that this genre belongs to everyone.