Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The spectre of sexism haunting horror fiction

Women play a huge role in the genre, so when they are ignored it speaks of an ugly menace

Just when you thought it was safe to venture into the murky depths of horror fiction again, back comes the re-animated, shuffling monster of a problem that seems to be dogging the genre at the moment: accusations of sexism.

The latest broadside against the lack of acknowledgement given to the role of women in the horror field is levelled against SFX magazine, one of the longest-running and most successful SF/fantasy glossy magazines on the UK market.

The magazine has just published a special horror-themed spin-off. "Our first special edition of the new decade is SFX COLLECTION: HORROR," it proclaims: "your ultimate guide to the dark side of the imagination. It features a beefy 14-page news section, oodles of in-depth new features, and six great free gifts." It also features, unfortunately, a distinct lack of female practitioners of the dark art, resurrecting an argument from five months ago that prompted an internet flurry when the British Fantasy Society published a book entitled In Conversation: A Writer's Perspective, Volume One: Horror.

read on from Guardian UK