This challenge hopes to help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011. It actively promotes the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women’s writing.
The goal of the challenge is to read and review books written by Australian women writers.
My participation in the challenge last year highlighted a concerning imbalance in my reading habits: although I read more male authors than female authors in general, I read many more Australian female authors than male authors. I read 14 Australian female authors throughout 2012, compared to 4 Australian male authors. The main reason for this is, in my opinion, that female representation in Australian Speculative Fiction is amazing. Sara Douglass, Glenda Larke, Kate Forsyth, to name a few, are internationally acclaimed and generally acknowledged to be some of the strongest voices in modern speculative fiction.
To remedy this, I have challenged myself to read ten female and ten male Australian authors this year. This has actually promted me to research into Australian male Speculative Fiction authors. Note my emphasis on counting the number of authors I read, not books. A necessary evil, I think, given that most speculative fiction is part of a series, and it defeats the purpose if I read a ten book epic by the same author.
I was also disappointed in my readership of Australian Science Fiction over the last year, so in 2013 I will endeavour to read more of it! To this end, I will be emulating my good friend Tsana at Tsana’s Reads and Reviews in participating in an Aussie Science Fiction Reading Challenge. While Tsana has pledged to read ten Science Fiction books by Australian authors (no gender specified), I will be aiming to read a paltry four – two by women and two by men.
These books stay on my reading list from last year:
- Dragonclaw by Kate Forsyth
- The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke
- Medalon by Jennifer Fallon
- Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Casey
- The Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington (Embrace, Enticed, Emblaze, Endless)
But I have added the following as well:
- The Dragon Sword Histories by Duncan Lay (The Wounded Guardian, The Risen Queen, The Radiant Child)
- Justice by Ian irvine
- A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
- Shifting Reality by Patty Jansen
- The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells (Besieged, Exile, Sanctuary)
- Tender Morsals and The Brides of Rollrock Island (also known as Sea Hearts) by Margo Lanagan
The authors I have read for the challenge are:
- Tara Moss (The Spider Goddess, The Skeleton Key)
- Karen Healey (When We Wake)
- Marianne Curley (Hidden)
- Rachael Johns (Jilted)
- Jessica Shirvington (Between the Lives)
- Sean Williams (Troubletwisters, The Monster, The Mystery of the Golden Card)
- Garth Nix (Troubletwisters, The Monster, The Mystery of the Golden Card)
- Allyse Near (Fairytales for Wilde Girls)
- Isobelle Carmody (The Red Wind, The Cloud Road)
- Jo Spurrier (Black Sun Light My Way)
- Duncan Lay (Valley of Shields)
- Nicola Marsh (Banish)