It’s been three years since VidaWeb published its remarkably damning assessment of the representation of women (as both authors and reviewers) in literary magazines in 2010.
They’ve updated it now, and it’s surprising how little has changed.
Here are the real offenders, whose subscriptions I will (or would) be canceling:
The Times Literary Supplement
The Threepenny Review
The Paris Review
The New Yorker
The New York Review of Books
The New Republic
The London Review of Books
Edit: I just unfollowed The Paris Review and The New Yorker. It was painful.
Writing and Compensation
I follow John Scalzi at Whatever because he is great, and there you have it. He has two posts that are really distressing me:
and while we’re at it, here is Neil Gaiman’s
I agree whole-heartedly with Scalzi and Gaiman. Writing is a valuable public good, and writers should be compensated for their work.
What distresses me is this: why aren’t I following their advice? My entire industry is built on free (and in my estimation, copyright abusive) publication, with the anticipation of indirect reward (tenure, raises, etc., for publication). I’m not, however, seeking tenure at my current institution. Even if I were, why should someone else choose whether or not to compensate me for work published elsewhere?
Additionally: my enthusiasm for open-source work might be seen as transferrable to writing. If, for example, innovation in engineering can best serve the public if it’s easily accessible to the public, regardless of income, should that also be true of writing? Of translation?
This much is certain: if I demanded compensation for the writing I do, I would likely not receive it. See here for previous thoughts on the matter.
Also: it’s 2013 already isn’t it?
EDIT: This might be interesting, in light of my above-mentioned love for all things open-access (not all the points here are about free publication, but many are pertinent).
DOUBLE EDIT: Why is Scalzi great? Because of Science Fiction, dogs, and Ohio.
Many of you already know that humblebundle.com regularly bundles games by independent developers for sale at a price you name. Doing so allows buyers to decide how much a product is worth to them and how they want to divide their investment between game designers, distributers, and related charities. It’s a great way to be more engaged as a consumer, to support people who utilize alternative marketing practices, and to be more thoughtful about what it means to spend and consume in an online marketplace.
Well! Humble bundling is not just for gamers anymore. There are two more days to buy the humble e-book bundle. You can purchase books by big authors who already support alternative publication models (Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, etc.) and find some new names there also.
Go buy books. Read using all your devices. Read all the time.