Kickstarters We Love: Women Destroy Science Fiction

by Tee Tate

lightspeedWe love, love, love this awesome kickstarter from Lightspeed magazine. It’s an issue completely written and edited by women.

From the Kickstarter info page:

It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley wrote what is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel (Frankenstein). Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t—or can’t—write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE‘s June 2014 issue—our fourth anniversary issue—will be a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue. And we will also—for the first time in LIGHTSPEED’s history—have a guest editor at the helm.

The original announcement of this special issue generated so much excitement that we wanted to find ways to include even more amazing science fiction by women. So—with your help—we’re going to make the special issue twice the size of a normal issue of LIGHTSPEED.

Our Inspiration

Women aren’t writing “real” science fiction, the fallacy goes. “Real” science fiction is . . . whatever science fiction certain men like. Some days this makes us sad. Some days it makes us angry. And some days it just seems hilarious. . .and a quip on Twitter turns into a special issue of LIGHTSPEED in the space of roughly half an hour.

When we announced the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue in September, the response was immediate and overwhelming. All people had was a title and an email address, but the enthusiasm was boundless. The special “I Want to Destroy SF” inbox we setup filled with subject lines like:

  • Helping my sisters destroy science fiction since 1983
  • If anyone’s going to destroy SFF—
  • Please sir, may I destroy science fiction?

Why, yes. Yes, you may.

LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people (roughly 50% of whom are women), just as much as it’s about ideas. Science fiction is about us, our perils and our promise; it’s about our collective future. LIGHTSPEED has also been committed to gender parity from the beginning, and we have achieved it consistently for nearly four years now. But looking around at media at large, it’s clearly just not enough—and thus the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue was born.

The Special Issue

A regular issue of LIGHTSPEED contains an equal mix of science fiction and fantasy short fiction, consisting of 4 original stories, 4 reprints, plus a novella reprint (exclusive to our ebook edition). Each issue also includes feature interviews, an artist showcase, and spotlights on the authors who appear in the issue.

The special issue will contain the following:

  • All science fiction (no fantasy)
  • 5 original, never-before-published short stories
  • About 5,000 words of original flash fiction (about 5 flash stories)
  • 2 previously-published short stories
  • 1 previously-published novella
  • Author Spotlights on our authors in this issue
  • Assorted nonfiction features
  • An original cover by Hugo Award-winning illustrator Galen Dara
  • Some super snazzy title design by Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios

If we successfully fund, the special DOUBLE issue will contain the following additional material:

  • 5 original, never-before-published short stories (for a total of 10)
  • About 5,000 additional words of original flash fiction (for a total of about 10 flash stories)
  • 2 previously-published short stories (for a total of 4)
  • In lieu of a second novella, we’ll include about 25,000 words of essays (i.e., about a novella’s worth) by women about their experiences with science fiction and the SF field
  • Author Spotlights on our authors in this issue
  • Even more assorted nonfiction features

And naturally, all of the above will all be authored entirely by women.

We are absolutely thrilled that the publishers and supporters of Lightspeed are tackling the highly documented issues that seem to have been evident in the SciFi/Fantasy community and hope you LitStackers will show your support to this amazing Kickstarter.

To donate and learn more, check out their page here.

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