Saturday, August 11, 2018

Fireside is at it again. #BlackSpecFic 2017

Yes friends, it is that time of year again when SJWs once again demonstrate that they don't understand how statistics works.

Summary & Conclusions

Key facts:

  • 2017 saw a Black-authored publication rate of about 4.5%, which is essentially double what it was two years before

  • Half of 2017's authors are new to this set of magazines

  • More debut stories by Black writers were published in this set of magazines than in 2015 and 2016 combined

  • Fiyah Magazine published close to the same number of debuts (10) as the pro magazines in this dataset (12) in 2017, despite being significantly smaller in number of stories published (22 versus 1,112; about 2%)

  • 5 of the 23 pro-rate magazines in this dataset are publishing Black writers at rates approximating U.S. population levels or greater

  • 9 of these 23 magazines published over 80% of the field's stories by Black authors (when adding Fiyah Magazine, it's over 90%)

  • These same 9 magazines collectively published Black authors at rates approximating U.S. population levels

  • These 9 magazines constitute 26% of the field by number of stories published

The fact that the top quartile of pro-rate magazines is currently publishing Black writers at levels approximating U.S. population figures strongly suggests that it is perfectly possible for the field as a whole to do so.

The field is segregated16, and whether that's due to variable submission rates, variable acceptance rates, and/or other factors, the data expose a clear instance of structural racism.

In order to assist Black writers navigating17 the submissions process and to measure magazines' progress according to parameters that aren't available in this report, Fiyah Magazine has created the Presence of Blackness score; see L.D. Lewis' upcoming "POB Score: Growth and Accountability" for a retrospective on creating this metric.

Once again this year, I'm left asking these same questions:
  • How is it not the most purulent racism to tally up science fiction authors by skin colour?
  • Once again, there's no baseline, no real information here. Its all self-report. How do you get meaningful information out of that?
  • How many of these authors self-identify as conservative, or had conservative themes in their work?
But now there's something new, as mentioned in the report there are a few magazines actively seeking new black authors, and those magazines were responsible for most of the increase in black authors getting published this year. My new question is:
  • Is it selling? Did those magazines do well with their new push?
Because the authors of the study made this conclusion: "The fact that the top quartile of pro-rate magazines is currently publishing Black writers at levels approximating U.S. population figures strongly suggests that it is perfectly possible for the field as a whole to do so."

To which I must add, yes it is perfectly possible for the field as a whole to do so, but only if it sells. Fiction magazines are not charities, you know. So if those magazines with lots of new Black authors did well, awesome. Go you guys. But if they didn't, then they won't be around long. Too bad so sad, but that's how Capitalism works, kids.

The Phantom

3 comments:

Orvan Taurus said...

Like I even *know* the color/race of the author unless the info on the book (or magazine... what's a magazine?) goes and blabs it or there's a picture. And even then... does the story appeal? A great story and the author's color/race/sex/gender/preferences/religion doesn't matter. If the story is great, who cares if it was written by an emu or an elk, really?

And a crap story by a straight WASP is still a crap story.

Wanna sell? WRITE. Doesn't have to be High Art (better if it isn't, I'd say) but has to be a good story.

The Phantom said...

What's most annoying is that underneath everything, this little project is MARKETING.

They're pursuing racism as a fucking marketing ploy to boost their Fireside magazine numbers.

Dear SJWs, we can SEE you.

Rez Zircon said...

I suggest a requirement that all submissions be accompanied by a DNA profile, so editors will know whether they've truly met their diversity targets.

I predict a lively black market trading diversity-qualified saliva.