Sunday, March 29, 2020

A RAW prediction that's coming out nicely


N.K. Jemisin (Creative Commons photo) 

Some of RAW's predictions have not happened as quickly as many would like -- immortality has not arrived for anyone, I'm not typing these words from a space city in orbit around the Earth, and, well, many of you will notice I'm not suddenly getting any smarter.

But I've been reading Ishtar Rising, and there's a prediction in RAW's "Introduction to the 1989 Edition" that has turned out rather well:

 Ishtar and Inanna are archtypes of historical, as well as personal, psychological processes. The last 3000 years of history have followed the classic Ishtar/Inanna pattern: the Goddess has descended to Hell -- gradually at first, as Patriarchy emerged in the early city-states, and then with catastrophic speed as Christianity arose to damn the female half of humanity to sub-human status -- and now, in this century, the Goddess is beginning to rise again, through a thousand cultural transformations of which Feminism is only the tip of the iceberg.

You'd have to be asleep to not notice the more prominent role women are playing in the culture as they emerge from "Patriarchy" -- witness for example the rise of the MeToo movement, or Joe Biden's recent pledge he'll select a female running mate.

One particular piece of literary culture within the wider culture I happen to be familiar with is science fiction, once largely a male venture. Consider these names: N.K. Jemisin (Hugo Award, best novel, 2016, 2017 and 2018), Mary Robinette Kowal (Hugo Award, best novel, 2019), Ann Leckie (Hugo Award, best novel, 2014), Martha Wells (Hugo and Nebula awards), Ada Palmer (John Campbell Award for best new writer), Jo Walton (lots of awards including a Prometheus), Catherynne M. Valente, Becky Chambers, Arkady Martine (so new she hasn't won anything yet but I loved A Memory Called Empire), Johanna Sinisalo (Prometheus Award), Sarah Hoyt (Prometheus Award)  and more names could be offered. If you don't agree with me that women have been dominating science fiction, you will at least have to agree with me they've never played a more prominent role. (I like most of these writers and Ada Palmer is my favorite new writer.)

1 comment:

Psuke said...

I do not in any way wish to diminish what contemporary women writers have done, or their recognition, but I would like to point out (and this series is about), that women have been writing, and even been recognized for, writing sci-fi (and sci-fi/fantasy) a long time.

https://www.tor.com/2018/08/07/fighting-erasure-women-sf-writers-of-the-1980s-part-i/