This may be a short post, it may not, it is being written on the fly so please bear with me. The reason is quite simple. I do not feel female writers of fantasy fiction are being given the recognition they deserve and that needs to change.
Over the years female authors (and I'm just sticking the fantasy genre here) have had to resort to such things as just using their initials (J V Jones for example) or adopting a non-gender specific name (Robin Hobb). Now, I understand this may have been the authors choice but my point is, it comes over as if the publishing world is saying "These books would sell more copies if buyers/readers thought the author was a bloke."
Well, I call Bullshit, on that. When I first read Robin Hobb's Farseer books my first thoughts were not 'a bloke wrote this' or 'a woman wrote this, but 'bloody hell, this is a good book'. I found out later that Robin Hobb was a pseudonym for Megan Lindholm and it made not one bit of difference whatsoever. Still a brilliant series whatever the gender of the author.
When you go in a bookstore, have a look at the display tables in the fantasy section, you'll more than likely find the majority of the authors on there are male. Female authors need a bigger push in bookstores - they write some bloody good stuff.
My question to you, I guess, would be "are you more likely to pick up a book by a male or female author when you go to a bookstore for a random book?" Or does it not matter?
And my challenge to you, for October, is to give some of your reading time to a female author, preferably not one of the 'bigger' names but, hey, your choice. (And post a review - don't forget that).
Do you have a favourite female Fantasy Fiction author? If so, tell me who, and while you're at it, tell everyone else too. If you are an authoress of Fantasy Fiction, feel free to get in touch, post on here if you wish.
My final word - they say never judge a book by it's cover, I say never judge it by the authors' gender either. Judge it by the quality of the writing and the storytelling. You might just get a surprise.