For all that the SF-SJWs posture and pose about their anti-racism, mainstream SF/F, and in particular, SF/F editors, have proven to be some of the worst racists to be found outside the Ku Klux Klan. You know it’s true, as not only has Tor’s Patrick Nielsen Hayden publicly confessed to being a racist, but a statistician has conclusively proved how virulently and structurally racist the mainstream science fiction publications are.
For many science fiction and fantasy writers, the value of a solid bibliography of short fiction cannot be understated. While sales often aren’t lucrative enough to be an independent income stream, it can lead to novel solicitations, columns, editorial positions, and other work that can lead to a higher profile and more opportunities. Having published short fiction helps a writer expose their ideas to the wider community and build an audience, a brand, and a foundation from which to grow their careers.
The field of short science fiction and fantasy — at least U.S. publications, which make up the bulk of the field — is essentially not publishing black writers. This locks them out of this valuable process.
I first noticed this in the anthology market. Several anthologies that I looked at, that I read, and even that I initially reviewed positively looked pretty diverse until I took a closer look at their table of contents, which appeared to have zero stories written by black people. I knew of several other anthologies with missions of publishing black authors specifically or people of color generally, so I was pretty sure that this pattern wasn’t in alignment with the actual demographics of the field. At the same time, someone I know, Ethan Robinson, was noticing the same thing about the magazine markets.
And he began to count.
The methodology is flawed, as it’s based in self-reported data whenever possible, but such data was not always findable or clear. I consulted an actuary, Weston Allen. He and I assumed that there may have been a few false positives and false negatives, but not in such numbers as to unduly dilute the study. And the numbers are very damning. Out of 2,039 original stories published in 63 magazines in 2015, only 38 stories could be found that were written by black authors.
That’s just under 2%. The median number of stories by black authors in these magazines is zero, which means that more than half of all speculative fiction publications measured did not publish a single original story by a black author in the year of 2015.
Very damning indeed. I don’t know about you, but obviously, the only solution is for Tor Books, Orbit, DAW, and all the various science fiction magazines to publicly commit to devote at least 14 percent of their total published word count and book advance money to African-American authors, and another 2 percent to Native American authors. Also, all future science fiction awards should go to African-American and Native American authors until the historical percentages are in line with current demographics.
Anything less would only prove that they are horrible racists who want to murder blacks and Indians.
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