Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, Heroines of Fantasy!

Four years ago, Karin, Terri and I had a shared vision for a blog that would focus not just on our love of fantasy, but particularly the role of women-- both as authors and as characters-- in the genre. On September 5, 2011, Karin Rita Gastreich kicked off Heroines of Fantasy with our inaugural post, "Why Fantasy?" Since then, we've tried to answer that question in a variety of ways, and I think we've done a pretty damn good job.

A lot has happened since our first post. We've had over 50 guest posts, showcasing the ideas and opinions of men and women, published and aspiring authors alike. After a year or so we added Mark Nelson to our team; then, over time, we included a handful of other wonderful regular contributors: Gustavo Bondoni, Eric Griffith, Louise Turner, and Eric T. Reynolds. Last year, with Julia Dvorin at the helm as Review Coordinator and Claire Ashgrove, Eve Brackenbury, Carlyle Clark, Chris Gerrib, Harriet Goodchild and Cybelle Greenlaw keeping up with a tremendous amount of reading, we added a wildly successful review component. 

The topics we've covered here have run the gamut, exploring everything from the role of women in fantasy, to food, to textiles, to the many nuts and bolts of just getting words on the page. We've dipped the occasional toe into the often turbulent, always passionate waters of the SFF community, and celebrated the personal and professional successes of our sister and brother authors at Hadley Rille Books. But in the end, our all-time top five posts have one thing in common: they are all about women and their role in the fantasy genre. 

I am incredibly proud of this fact, because it means we have done our jobs well. The success of not just these, but many of our female-centered posts indicates that we have created something important for many people out there. We created this blog hoping to bring more attention to the roles of women in the genre, and people not only read what we had to say, but shared it with others, thought it over, commented, passed it on. Have I mentioned yet how proud this makes me?

I would like to think that through this blog we have helped contribute to the ongoing dialogue of women and genre in some important way; yet there is still work to do. Female characters still don't get the same attention that male heroes do; female authors still don't get the kinds of contracts or book promotions that their male counterparts do. Until then, it is important to continue speaking about these topics we are so passionate about and sharing our words whenever and however we can.

So on this fourth birthday of our blog, let's all raise a toast to Heroines of Fantasy. It's been a great run-- let's see where the future takes us!

~ Kim Vandervort


maz said...

Interesting. And what is the role of heroine in the upcoming Star Wars?

maz said...

Interesting. And what is the role of heroine in the upcoming Star Wars?