Everyone claims that they evaluate a book, or movie, or other work of art based on the quality of the work, and not the identity of who made it. But that isn’t true. A woman writes a Star Trek-inspired story in which characters who were not involved romantically on screen are, or the characters cross-over with the characters of another fictional series, and it’s relegated to fanfic archives and looked down upon by serious people. A guy who has had several science fiction novels published writes a Star Trek-inspired story in which the fictional characters cross-over into the real world and discover a strange relationship between the real and fictional world, and it’s awarded a Hugo.

Knowing who did it changes our perception of the quality and importance of the work. Even though we don’t like to admit it.

fontfolly on origination bias.

Incidentally, fandom itself is just as guilty of this as anyone else. It’s like, protip guys. If you want to complain about fanfic being “better” than mainstream fiction because it has more x representation, don’t subsequently use “it’s like bad fanfic!” as your go-to insult for any professionally produced work containing said representation.

2016-05-14T11:09:20+00:0023rd February, 2016|Tags: culture, fandom, pop culture, sff|
2 ♥  littlelostsock  sweetbeeeeee


  1. Vickie 23rd February, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I’m currently reading through the boyfriend’s physical bookshelf and noticed a distinct lack of female authors (to be rectified!). The one book he has that was written by a woman was Frankenstein, and I absolutely could not stand the writing. I reminded myself it’s not because the author was female, and what I couldn’t stand was the writing style typical of the time.

    Incidentally, it is outrageously hard to find fiction written by women that is not about romance. I can’t be the only woman on earth who doesn’t like the genre, so maybe… they just don’t get published? Not so incidental then!

    • Alis 24th February, 2016 at 8:15 am

      To be fair, I think it’s relatively harder to find fiction written by women that isn’t marketed as being about romance. I can think of a tonne of books I’ve read by men (Horns being the most recent) that, were they written by women, would be packaged and marketed as romance. But because they’re by dudes, the romance gets subsumed in favour of whatever other genre the book is playing to.

      The other thing (which I’ve experienced), is that I think there’s a lot more pressure on female authors, when compared to male authors, to include or exaggerate the romantic elements in their works. :\

      Fun fax: I spent the last year doing the no-books-by-white-men thing, which meant I ended up reading a lot of books by women. It was harder to start–male authors tend to get more promotion, more shelf-space, and so on–but once I kind of got the feel of where to look, I ended up with way more books that I actually managed to get through, heh.

      • Vickie 24th February, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Marketed, edited, I don’t know. I would often read a blurb and thought oooh that sounds pretty interesting, and then I would notice about a half thousand users have tagged “romance” as one of its genre on the Goodreads sidebar, and that’s enough to put me off. Badass ladies can fall in love, too. Why I’m so anti-romance is a mystery.

        • Alis 24th February, 2016 at 1:46 pm

          To be fair, people on GR tag for content, not genre. So something tagged romance might just have a romance in it, not actually be Capital-R Romance.

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