On yesterday’s blog, I talked about my interaction with a professional paying science fiction publishing group who decided to berate me on Twitter for asking a simple question about anti-male discrimination in Science Fiction. It’s been obvious for a long time in publishing that men need not apply, you’re not welcome. But now in the 2% where men were actually allowed to compete, it’s been completely taken over by social justice warriors who don’t care in the least about equality, but want to actively harm men both as professionals and readers.
Many normal science fiction readers saw the results of this year’s hugo awards — where every individual award was won by a woman in a small group of insular votes of industry professionals, who are predominantly women or an extreme SJW, and so there’s no surprise there. This was contrasted to the Dragon Awards, where it was men who won, in a large sample made up of primarily science fiction readers — not industry professionals. The establishment in publishing freaked at this result, stating the sexism involved in the Dragons, while the Hugos wasn’t mentioned. The reason for their vitriol was their fear: their rampant politicizing of women’s sex through fiction is making people not read their works, and is as a result destroying their power bases.
The truth is, there’s no sexism against women in the professional paying field. Readers may discriminate by not buying these over-politicized nonsense rags, but if anything, these companies are actively not buying stories from men. It is much harder as a man to get published in the field than a woman — and this doesn’t even go over the “female protagonist” angle, where almost every protagonist has to be a “strong female lead” whether it’s a male or female writing. There’s plenty of research to be done there, but I think if you look at those numbers it’ll be even more staggering. None of these groups produce content for men/boys.
My first look was into Escape Podcast, the group running this Artemis Rising event where they spend a month only looking at women’s fiction. I brought the numbers to someone who works for the company who was mocking me, and naturally excuses were made about the rest of the industry. The original claim of Escape Podcast was that women are deterred from Science Fiction and therefore need additional representation. Here’s what Escape Podcast looks like through every month of the year:
As you can see, they not only have their Artemis Rising month in May, but they have a second women-only month that was not part of an event. The months where there are more female stories than men outnumber the men dominated months by a significant margin, and the only month where there was a men-only function was one where they produced significantly less stories for whatever reason. Overall, you are a full 50% more likely to get published as a woman than a man.
When I brought this number to the person mocking me, he told me that they have to do this because the industry is so discriminatory in favor of men. Another interesting tidbit was given to me: they get so many more SUBMISSIONS from men that it’s discouraging to them.
That fact was staggering to me. It means these numbers aren’t the result of average submissions and just who submits to the podcast because of their leanings, their submissions by men heavily outweigh women. I reached out to someone who works for the company for comment, but they have not replied as of the writing of this article.
Let’s as an exercise say that the male to female submissions ratio is roughly 4:1 (which I believe it is in science fiction as it seems to range via Submissions Grinder’s stats and what I know from Asimov’s publication rate of about 2.5:1 to more than 10:1 depending on the publication). Yet Escape podcast has a publishing rate of 2:3 in favor of women. It means the odds of acceptance per submission, just for the crime of being born a man are significantly lower in an already difficult market to get published (estimates of how many stories are accepted in these markets even without the demographic issues is in the 0.5-3% range depending on the outlet). The only conclusion is, even outside of Artemis Rising month, that Escape Podcast actively throws out stories by men for the sake of being men.
Now this could be a low sample size and not representative of most of the industry… let’s proceed through other pro-paying markets and find out what they look like.
Podcastle is another podcast set up, with many of the same employees as Escape Podcast. You see here that the numbers look even worse for this podcast. This is in fact the 2nd most hostile market toward men out there by acceptance rates, but I wanted to show it with Escape Podcast because both are part of this Artemis Rising discrimination. The myth of needing to represent women more is looking completely false. But we’re still talking a range of about 160 stories out of, what I found to be, approximately 900 total stories in the pro-paying monthly magazine fiction market (disclosure: I was unable to find data on Science Fiction Daily because their website only posts “recent stories”. If you have all the information for the past year, I will provide that data and amend this post). Fortunately, I went through all of them for you, dear reader.
Clarkesworld is a bit of an outlier (edited: updated 9/11/2017 after speaking with Clarkesworld) . Like much of science fiction, they publish quite a bit of foreign fiction that’s translated which Clarkesworld has told me is to give a breadth of different fiction. Clarkewsworld’s totals over 2016 and 2017 alike are going to be very close in terms of a male/female split in terms of publication.
A friendly professional author who will remain nameless so this author doesn’t have to risk the blackballing that is rampant is the industry did some math based on self-reporting statistics from submissions grinder. This author worked on Clarkesworld in particular, and it shows that despite the even-handedness of what’s published, when it comes to submissions it’s a different can of worms.
Based on Submission Grinder’s stats, there’s a likelihood that Clarkesworld gets about 545 submissions per issue of 6 stories. Via the site, about 436 of those would come from men, 109 would come from women, about a 5:1 ratio of submissions. Already, only 1.1% of submissions get accepted, but if there are slightly less men than women who get accepted, it makes it near impossible for a man to get published just because of the submission rates. Even if equal published it means a man’s odds are 0.7% while a woman’s odds are 2.8%.
Update 9/11/2017:. The magazine receives 60-70% male submissions to female submissions. They also receive a whopping 1200+ submissions per month, so about double what I was anticipating, wow! I have every reason to believe based on my conversation with Clarkesworld that they are a fair publication at this point and I will follow up with that on a future blog post detailing my conversation with them.
I still believe the Submissions Grinder data is interesting to look at. It may not apply directly to Clarkesworld in such proportions, but if my source is correct that Asimov’s publishes proportionately, it is an interesting look for the entire industry nonetheless.
The Smaller Markets:
A few more here with Cast of Wonders (Part of Escape Artists), Diabolical Plots and Beneath Ceaseless Skies tell much the same story.
Where You Can Still Be A Man And Get Accepted
The oldest of the old guard of magazines still seem to be a safe place to submit if you’re a man. Now the numbers look very skewed in men’s favors and a feminist might cry foul here saying that these magazines actually discriminate against women. This is where they’re wrong. A source that will remain nameless told me that the editor of Asimov’s, Sheila Williams, prints male to female stories in the ratio of submissions she receives. Even though the monthlies look a little suspect, if these periodicals still work in an old way of proportionate representation of submissions, this is probably an accurate picture of what Science Fiction authors make ups are overall, and what one should expect were that more the case. Even with these magazines skewing, the overall industry picture is dire for men, as we’ll see more examples of below.
The Worst Of The Worst Of Discriminatory Markets
Some are more discriminatory than others, and there’s certain markets where men need not apply at all, not even in the small numbers where they get printed. If the ratios of men to women submissions hold true in these markets, as a man, your story is likely thrown directly in the trash and maybe not even read. A frightening proposition.
No surprises here. Tor.com has led the way in their social justice narratives. Those who follow the blog know this dating back to #SpaceOperaWeek — a week in which they claimed was to celebrate the genre, but were mostly articles about fake discrimination both in the markets and the content of the pieces. I took the hashtag and talked about the actual art, much to the chagrin of Tor.com who banned the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction from commenting as a result. Of course, being a man, they don’t want my voice anyway, clearly.
It’s more than a pattern at this point, it’s clearly rampant discrimination across the entire industry against men. I reached out to Apex’s editor for comment but have not received any response as of this writing.
In the middle of a fundraising drive, this is the 3rd most egregious market I could find. It’s no surprise, as they have editor Anaea Lay, who is part of the Mean Girls cabal at Codex Writers who banned me for no reason other than telling another mean girl there to stop picking on a writer. They called me “hostile” for questioning those antics and Ms. Lay proceeded to defame me on that site. They’re in the middle of a fundraising drive now. Hopefully no men are contributing to this cuz yikes, talk about self-hate!
Uncanny Magazine: (Most Man-Hating Bigoted Discriminatory Magazine and Hugo Award Winner)
Well, they like to Destroy Science Fiction as their kickstarters say regularly, and here you go. They are actively and intentionally doing just that. This was the first magazine I questioned regarding when they were going to do something for men, the magazine shot me some nasty remark back in public, wholly unprofessional, and blocked me. No wonder — they are obscenely hostile according to the numbers!
If you’re a man, even with the skewed results of the legacy three magazines of Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF, that are vocal about the fact that they’re proportionate in representation of submissions, you’re hosed. An analysis of all the markets that accept these submissions on a monthly basis (I left out Lightspeed Magazine from graphics but are included in the total which has dead even results), the total discrimination against men is big. The totals of all stories published in this market survey over a year are:
Which means women have a 14.3% advantage just in sheer numbers of stories published. If the industry holds with ratios of 4:1 submissions, and say the accepted represents about 1% of all submissions, it means there’s about 91,300 submissions in the industry. Rough estimates puts men at 73,040 submissions and women at 18,260 submissions.
Update 9/28/17: I added in Intergalactic Medicine Show into these numbers. Once alerted to the magazine, I added it for accuracy. The overall rates did not change much though they do skew slightly toward males in publishing.
Complete acceptance rate odds:
Staggering. Men are at an extremely severe disadvantage in the industry. Of course there’s anthologies and all that — and those mostly get their big name authors and only have a couple slots for submissions anyway based on editorial invites. There are several women only anthologies per year, and never any men’s only.
Really, if you’re a man, you cannot submit to these markets. It is a waste of time for your career because you will fail, and it’s because you’re a man. If you’re intent on being in this industry I highly recommend taking an androgynous or female pen name so you don’t get discriminated against, and don’t give the editors clues to your sex until after a story’s been accepted.
And if you’re white, it gets worse. I didn’t track race because it’s very hard to do and I don’t have time to look up everyone’s profile, but of the non legacy 3 magazines, there were only a handful of white acceptances, many from the same couple of authors who already have names and probably weren’t blind submissions. You will not get an acceptance as a white male ever. Self-Publishing and indie markets are your only options, sad as it may be. The discrimination against whites who happen to be male is frankly at near blackballing levels. It’s utterly insane.
For those who are women cheering this on: I’ll also note for you that I see the same handful of names across these magazines. Most these magazines have about the same 50 authors they print over and over, you’re competing for a smaller spot than you think even with your better odds than men. The submissions aren’t truly open, and if we opened that can of worms, the stats would get far worse I’m sure, but this is the best I can do under the assumption that everyone is equal, which we know is not true.
As the Hugo and Dragon awards showed us, there’s a huge disconnect between what the industry insiders hail and what fans of the genre want to read. Don’t give up hope, but these institutions are beyond repair. Don’t support them just to keep these markets going, as many authors do. They are only out there to hold your career down.