Pat Cadigan (author of Dervish is Digital, Synners, and Tea From an Empty Cup, mystery novels set in a digitized cyberpunky world of win!) issues a call to arms for book-lovers everywhere. She writes:
This is not a rant about how much better things were in the good old days, the candy bars were bigger and the people were nicer and you kids blah blah blah. It’s not a rant about how culture today is trash next to what we used to have. We are losing our culture. Why? Because too many books don’t sell themselves. Because a fucking corporation can’t be arsed to work for a living. Because, like a spoiled supermodel, they don’t get out of bed for less than a million dollars an hour.
She’s writing in response to Tobias Buckell’s discovery that Borders will NOT be restocking his work, unless Sly Mongoose continues to rock the sales. What Cadigan’s describing is a serious issue. It’s not that there isn’t a long history of feminist SF — it’s that it’s not retained in a way that’s easily accessible to the everyday reader. That’s one of my conflicts as a reader/reviewer. I really WANT to situate feminist/womanist SF in a longer history, but at the same time, I want to talk about books people can actually get their hands on. It’s a conundrum. Plus, I don’t always think Amazon’s the answer. While it’s convenient, I think it takes away from the magic of browsing and discovery. Oh, ambivalence, thy name is Maria, lover of books. :-/
ETA: Cadigan offers some follow-up here: http://fastfwd.livejournal.com/362297.html.