Biggest Influences on Genre Writers

Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld has published the results of his survey to find out which writers and editors are the biggest influences on the sf community.

Demographic information about the 944 participants released a week ago shows that of those who responded, 87% are published and 13% are unpublished authors, and about 75% are under the age of 50. Almost 54% are male, 44% female, and nearly 3% identify as other.

Clarke ran the survey after he began to wonder why he has selected more stories by women than men in Clarkesworld,

The survey asked short story authors the following questions:

  • Age (Under 18, 18-21, 22-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, Over 80)
  • Gender (Open ended text)
  • Whether or not they had been published by Clarkesworld
  • Whether or not they had been traditionally published (publisher model)
  • Whether or not they had self-published
  • What country they were from
  • And up to five of the authors or editors that influenced their writing

The data is sliced, diced, and presented graphically in “Once Again Down The Rabbit Hole”:

So, my grand theory of why I’ve published more women than men is that we probably don’t share the same influences. That same theory may be true for younger or foreign authors as well. I’m looking for science fiction and fantasy that takes me somewhere new. These groups might just have an advantage in that department.