Taking the Russ Pledge
The big dust up in the science fiction and fantasy community this week was Nicola Griffith’s Russ Pledge. Named in honor of Joanna Russ, the pledge is designed to foster increased focus on women writers in speculative fiction. Basically, try to read more works by women and discuss those women writers on whatever social media you use.
The point is to confront one’s own bias as regards women writers. Now, the pledge can (and should) be expanded to encompass other minority or dispriveleged writers. Looking at my own readings, I know that I need to try harder in reading women writers (other than Arakawa) as well as others.
For me, it is important to try and expand one’s own literary palette. Do I like all of the works I’ve read? No. I tried to read N.K. Jemisin and found her work too stylized at the cost of the story she tries to tell, and Catherynne M. Valente is at times great and at times disappointing. Conversely, I enjoy Tanith Lee’s work and of course Arakawa. But I’ve made the commitment to try and improve my reading. That is all that can be asked.
Next time: My thoughts on Mark Charan Newton’s Nights in Villjamur and what my research entails.