the Little Red Reviewer

Women Destroying Science Fiction, a guest post by Robyn Lupo

Posted on: February 6, 2014

WDSF kickstarter

Rumored to have been born from a twitter conversation, the special Women Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed Magazine is coming this spring.  This issue features not only all female authors, but an all female editing staff, all female audio fiction staff, even only ladies get to do the slush reading.  Funded through Kickstarter, WDSF was fully funded in less than 24 hours, and is crashing through stretch goals.  Editor Christie Yant already has guest editors signed up for Women Destroy Horror and Women Destroy Fantasy.

The Kickstarter runs through Feb 15th, and submissions are open until Feb 14th. Click here for the submissions page, but the quick answer is Lightspeed is accepting fiction up to 7500 words, and flash fiction up to 1500 words for WDSF.

You can imagine I jumped at the chance to have Flash Fiction editor Robyn Lupo write a guest post on science fiction, destroying it, and her flash fiction agenda!


Destroying Science Fiction, by Robyn Lupo

robyn lupoRobyn Lupo has been known to frequent southwestern Ontario with her graduate student husband and elderly dog. She writes, reads, and plays video games. She is personal assistant to three cats.




I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but science fiction isn’t going to be the same after this.

We’ve been using the word ‘Destroy’ a lot (along with ‘flense’ and ‘defenestrate’) but I’d like to shift over a little bit, and look at the generative force that destruction brings. After this, the science fiction world must look at women writers as peers, contenders, and Grand Maestras of the genre.

We’ve got Mur Lafferty, for Crom’s sake.

Destroying Science Fiction means leaving a brave new world in its wake, one where not only do women have a seat at the table, but had a hand in chopping down the tree. Shaping the wood. We’re here, with our women’s voices, telling our stories and maybe garnering a little more understanding from the people who said we were wrecking the tree house.

We love it, so we got to wreck it. Homogeneity is dangerous; the same type of story told over and over again is like a brainwashing. It makes our minds slow and susceptible to stereotypes and other forms of sloppy thinking. It gets us used to the idea that not all people have voices and stories to contribute when they do. It gets us used to dismissing people different from us, and what future is there in that?

Reading was an escape for me as a kid, like so many of us, right? I read dog eared hand-me-down copies of all the usual suspects: Heinlein, Asimov, Gibson, you name it. Well. It was, as it turned out, missing a few things. After reading Jack L. Chalker’s Rings of the Master series, something clicked. There were women of all sorts, even a being that changed its sex throughout the course of the series. And I realized through the female characters in the series that I was reading works by men, not women. I don’t know why that clicked for me then.

I read Frankenstein in high school, then Anthem by Ayn Rand, then went looking for women. I found Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild somewhere. I snuffled around some more and found Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. And here I am now, a larval writer and a big-pants-on editor for not only Lightspeed, a magazine that strives for gender parity, but the Destruction of Science Fiction!

I got involved in the simplest way imaginable. I was asked by Christie [Yant]. We work well together, and I leapt at the chance to be involved in such an important project.

I’m Flash editor over at WDSF, and we are somewhat underrepresented in the category: Remember you can submit a flash piece as well as a longer piece; we’d love it. And what I’m looking for is something that really showcases what the medium can do – you can hint or imply a lot of stuff in a flash piece that you couldn’t get away with omitting in a larger work. Show me something sparkly. Something new. Something, if you will, flashy.

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3 Responses to "Women Destroying Science Fiction, a guest post by Robyn Lupo"

Thanks so much for this! I will submit and subscribe.
I think, though, that you should check your link to the submissions page. It took me to a review you once did on Destroyer of Worlds.


Whoopsie! It’s fixed now. thanks for catching that!


[…] Lightspeed’s Women Destroying SF […]


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