One of the major myths of the science fiction world is that works by women were hard to come by before World War II. Recent scholars like Cal State LA College of Arts & Letters Liberal Studies Professor Patrick B. Sharp demonstrate that this is not even remotely true.
With a room full of museum guests, Sharp highlighted the major women science fictioneer contributors of the early 20th century. Beginning with Margaret Cavendish, author of The Blazing World, and with a special spotlight on Pasadena’s very own Clare Winger Harris. Harris, who retired in Pasadena, is credited as the first woman to publish stories under her own name in popular science fiction magazines such as Weird Tales.
“It’s important to portray and share stories of the past through words and imagery that restore what has been erased or possibly lost for future generations to enjoy,” says Professor Sharp.
Professor Sharp’s dedication to reclaiming the historical context in which women are spotlighted in science fiction is not just reflected in his teachings but also through his published works: Darwinian Feminism and Early Science Fiction: Angels, Amazons and Women and his award-winning title, Sisters of Tomorrow. He also serves as the director for Cal State LA’s Eagle-Con, an annual convention dedicated to diversity in comics and science fiction at the University.
By Kathleen Sanchez | Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters News Service