January 29th, 2007

Preliminary Stoker ballot

So the preliminary Stoker ballot should be out shortly. Any member of HWA can look at the final list of the 2006 recommendations and see how the preliminary ballot will shake out.

While I'm thrilled to see so many good works on the ballot this year, especially those by Gary Braunbeck, Glen Hirshberg and Norm Partridge*, I'm particularly dismayed by the lack of female names in there. I mean, c'mon...we'll be looking at two names out of ten for Novel? Two women authors in Long Fiction? Three in Short Fiction (and one of those is questionable, since it's one of those names that can be either male or female and I don't know the author)? None in Anthology or Non-Fiction?

The sad part is that I suspect this is a fairly accurate representation of the number of women being published in horror. I'm not sure why that is. I don't really buy the notion of a deliberate "boys' club"; and goodness knows there are plenty of terrific female authors writing in the genre, although they do seem to be published more by the mass-market publishers than the small presses.

Huh. It's a head-scratcher.

*=Just finished Mr. Partridge's novella Dark Harvest, and it deserved all the accolades I'd heard. What a pleasure.