Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist
Science fiction only (no fantasy / urban fantasy), and only 1 book from a series, to keep it organized.
101
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 77 ratings
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104
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 166 ratings
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105
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 669 ratings
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106
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 30,326 ratings
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107
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 7,051 ratings
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108
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 1,158 ratings
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109
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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51 avg rating — 22,364 ratings
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110
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 1,690 ratings
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111
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 44 ratings
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112
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 11,876 ratings
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113
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4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings
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113
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4.92 of 5 stars 4.92 avg rating — 37 ratings
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115
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 49 ratings
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116
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 10,689 ratings
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117
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 2,173 ratings
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118
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 653 ratings
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119
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 31,470 ratings
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120
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 14,379 ratings
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121
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 214 ratings
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121
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 58 ratings
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123
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3.11 of 5 stars 3.11 avg rating — 63 ratings
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124
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 12,000 ratings
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125
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 6,755 ratings
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126
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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 331 ratings
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127
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 33,425 ratings
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128
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 4,751 ratings
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129
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 1,951 ratings
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130
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 2,371 ratings
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131
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 100 ratings
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132
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 4,312 ratings
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133
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 4,213 ratings
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134
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 85,825 ratings
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135
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 6,412 ratings
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136
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4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 38,598 ratings
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137
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 9,425 ratings
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138
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 39,635 ratings
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139
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 2,363 ratings
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140
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 30,822 ratings
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141
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 2,371 ratings
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142
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 3,739 ratings
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143
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4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 308 ratings
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143
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 1,294 ratings
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145
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,537 ratings
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146
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 2,367 ratings
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146
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 12,021 ratings
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148
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 457 ratings
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148
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 390 ratings
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148
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 34,101 ratings
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151
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 1,865 ratings
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152
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 275 ratings
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153
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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48 avg rating — 3,295 ratings
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154
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 37 ratings
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154
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 24 ratings
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154
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4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 17 ratings
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154
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4.65 of 5 stars 4.65 avg rating — 31 ratings
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158
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4.42 of 5 stars 4.42 avg rating — 26 ratings
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159
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 11 ratings
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160
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 2,418 ratings
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161
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 22,979 ratings
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162
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 1,336 ratings
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163
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 31,438 ratings
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164
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165
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 198,037 ratings
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166
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167
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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47 avg rating — 853 ratings
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167
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 838 ratings
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169
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 1,489 ratings
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170
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 5,363 ratings
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171
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,825 ratings
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172
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 666 ratings
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173
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4.59 of 5 stars 4.59 avg rating — 51 ratings
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173
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4.46 of 5 stars 4.46 avg rating — 68 ratings
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173
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 13 ratings
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176
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 411 ratings
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177
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 60 ratings
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178
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 12,053 ratings
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179
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 413 ratings
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180
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4.62 of 5 stars 4.62 avg rating — 8 ratings
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180
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 110,480 ratings
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182
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 1,428 ratings
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182
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 1,556 ratings
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182
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 2,766 ratings
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185
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 203 ratings
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185
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 13,988 ratings
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187
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 1,131 ratings
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188
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 41 ratings
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189
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 1,836 ratings
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190
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 8,311 ratings
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191
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 42,491 ratings
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192
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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 1,003 ratings
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193
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 1,143 ratings
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194
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 2,510 ratings
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194
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 23,793 ratings
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196
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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 50,227 ratings
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197
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 38,673 ratings
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198
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 399 ratings
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199
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 7,843 ratings
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648 books · 1,738 voters · list created January 3rd, 2009 by Dara S..
178 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Emily 1275 books
5 friends
Molly 676 books
51 friends
Snail in Danger (Sid) 5119 books
12 friends
Bernice 68 books
6 friends
Kirstin 136 books
12 friends
Michael 864 books
46 friends
Eugenia 41 books
1 friend
Maebhe 800 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary J.D. Robb

any of "In Death" series


Em~Lost In A Dream~ IsTwilightScience Fiction or not?


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Erm Harry Potter is male. If you're voting on a list of books at least know what it is you're voting about for Pete's sake!

pro·tag·o·nist/prōˈtagənist/
Noun:

1.The leading character or a major character in a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text.


message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn How is Twilight Science Fiction...? It's more paranormal than anything else.


message 5: by Lauray24 (new)

Lauray24 Why is Harry Potter on this list?


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Popham While The Dispossessed is great scifi and does address gender equality issues, its protagonist is male - not sure why it's on the list.


message 7: by Eunice (last edited Apr 21, 2012 08:06PM) (new)

Eunice Biblioceraptor Some of these books are hardly sci-fi! Like any number of the ones with vampires in it. Do those vampires time-travel?
Or even if you want to argue it's sci-fi, then I can just get any fictional book and argue it has sf/f elements in it!
And then there's freakin'
Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
and I can tell the people who voted for it don't even read sf/f and just want that accursed book on every list on goodreads!


message 8: by Eunice (new)

Eunice Biblioceraptor Emily~Boss 3~Chocoholic 6~Beast 9~^.^ wrote: "IsTwilightScience Fiction or not?"

No. So many times 'no'.


message 9: by Text (new)

Text Addict Too much fantasy on this "SF" list, such as: Twilight; Monstrous Regiment; Harry Potter; I Shall Wear Midnight; Boneshaker; Wicked; Behemoth; Airborn; The Raven Ring; The Paladin; God Stalk.

And that's not even mentioning the ones that are debatable. But I added 10 more actual SF books.


message 10: by Jessie (new)

Jessie I don't think House of Night should be on here either


message 11: by Cindy (new)

Cindy So, Emily, do you want me to remove the fantasy books from this list?

Also, some are steampunk, like Behemoth and Airborn. I could go either way on those. Want me to leave them or take them out?


message 12: by Craig (last edited Jul 30, 2012 02:48PM) (new)

Craig Fulton Emily~Boss 3~Chocoholic 6~Beast 9~^.^ wrote: "Is TwilightScience Fiction or not?"

Twilight is NOT science fiction.


message 13: by John (new)

John good


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship Harry Potter, Twilight and Graceling have all crept back on....


message 15: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Removed those three, but there's a LOT of fantasy on here. The Diane Duane Wizard series is all more fantasy than sci-fi. Lots more creeping into pages 3 &4.


message 16: by Katlyn (new)

Katlyn Hello, I moderate a small YA group called Reading is Life YA and we're currently looking for new members! Our books this month (September 2012) are Switched by Amanda Hocking and Heist Society by Ally Carter. We're also taking suggestions for our October books. We'll welcome all new members! http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/7...


message 17: by Sasha (new)

Sasha  Mizaree (Reviews) Twilight isn't sci fi. The only genre it belongs in is "crap"


message 18: by Triv (new)

Triv S. Insurgent is a second book and Divergent is already there :-)


message 19: by Triv (new)

Triv S. Sasha wrote: "Twilight isn't sci fi. The only genre it belongs in is "crap""

Haha^^


message 20: by John (new)

John hahaha Twilight...

I added a bunch of Sci-Fi-Actual. :)


message 21: by John (new)

John Apparently I accidentally added some non-sci/fi too. ugh. Editing....
sorry!


message 22: by David (last edited May 04, 2013 01:19PM) (new)

David AFAICS none of the following books belong on this list.
Betrayals
Bite Me
Code Name: Silence
Coraline
Dealing with Dragons
Defiance
Demon Inhibitions
Fall of Eden
Heir to Power
High Wizardry
I Shall Wear Midnight
Jealousy
Mistborn
Monstrous Regiment
Mortal Abomination
Reckoning
Strange Angels
Wicked
Wolfwalker


message 23: by Clyde (last edited Mar 06, 2013 08:24AM) (new)

Clyde She's not the main protag, but Maya in the upcoming book "Memories With Maya" is worthy of a mention imho.

Disclaimer: The book is written by me.

**edit**
After considering the logic of Kelley's post below, I've deleted the link and what came across as blatant advertising for my book.
Maya will be a protagonist eventually...


message 24: by Kelley (new)

Kelley Ceccato I wish this list could come with a brief explanation of why each book has been voted on. Don't get me wrong; I love reading these lists, and clicking on the titles and covers that intrigue me in order to find out more about them; but a little too often I find myself shaking my head when I read the reviews, wondering, "What the heck is this book doing on this particular list?"
An example of this would be Zelazny's Lord of Light. First, the synopsis makes it abundantly clear that the protagonist is male. Second, none of the numerous reviews I read of the book even mentioned a female character by name. Third, more than one reviewer commented on the whiff of misogyny in the book, noting that female characters are few in number and painted in a negative light. Why, with all that, would this book be voted into inclusion on a "Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist" list?

This isn't the only instance. The Maze Runner is included also, and while no reviewer accuses this book of misogyny, the reviews do make clear that the protagonist is male and that while the female character is somewhat important, her role is actually very small.

These lists are a valuable resource. We should all value them highly enough to do what we can to keep them free of books that don't belong on them.


message 25: by Carla (new)

Carla Patterson I agree with so much of what people have written (esp. about Twilight from the Crap nebula).

Why aren't the following true sci fi books on the list?

The Adventures of Alyx and Picnic on Paradise (both by Joanna Russ)

The Color of Distance and Through Alien Eyes (both by Amy Thomson) - oh and Virtual Girl is another of hers which is good

Clay's Ark (by Octavia Butler - well, actually, everything by Octavia Butler!) ;)

The Shore of Women (Pamela Sargent)

So many more...


message 26: by Kelley (new)

Kelley Ceccato I think The Color of Distance actually is on this list. It has a substantial place in my TBR pile.

I found a few more that don't belong:

First, let me say that I adore Terry Pratchett, and I don't know of any, as in ANY male writer who creates stronger, smarter, funnier female protagonists than he. Entirely too often, when male writers attempt to create a "tough female," they make her humorless (which tends to render her unlikable), and Pratchett, God bless him, lets his kick-butt heroines be funny.

But Monstrous Regiment and I Shall Wear Midnight don't really belong on this list. Both are great books with wonderful female protagonists, but they're set in the Discworld, and the Discworld is fantasy, not science fiction. Fantasy tends to feature female protagonists a bit more often than science fiction does, so science fiction really needs its own list.

It is still bugging me that Lord of Light, which features a male protagonist and no sympathetic female characters at all (would it ever have occurred to Zelazny to create a female protag?), is higher on this list than Telzey Amberdon and Biting the Sun. I'd be grateful if someone could explain how/why.


message 27: by Sidonie (new)

Sidonie Kervau Amy wrote: "Erm Harry Potter is male. If you're voting on a list of books at least know what it is you're voting about for Pete's sake!

pro·tag·o·nist/prōˈtagənist/
Noun:

1.The leading character or a major c..."


Ever heard of Hermione? The main problem with Harry Potter is that the books aren't science-fiction.


message 28: by jennifer (new)

jennifer wow, thanks so much for this list peoples of goodreads. having started reading heavily again, i have been wondering if there are any strong female leads anywhere in sci-fi/fantasy. being the mother of 2 headstrong, teenage daughters, i have become particularly cognizant of how women are treated in literature. and man, is it pretty crappy. ive bookmarked this and the fantasy list and am eager to jump in and hopefully introduce my kids to some kick-ass women.


message 29: by Coolcurry (new)

Coolcurry Deleted for not being science fiction:
- Wicked
- I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
- Graceling
- Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
- Pegasus by Robin McKinley
- the Earthsea books
- Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon
- The Wheel of Time


message 30: by Erin (last edited Aug 14, 2014 08:01PM) (new)

Erin Why is Ruby Daly #280? She should be a lot higher on the list.


message 31: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle Costa Hey sorry about this but I was looking for a book that I think shoud fall into this category but I can't remember either the name or the author. It has a female lead character that gets abducted in a spaceship run by an android. She turns out to be a living engine capable of moving whole worlds.


message 32: by Anastasia (last edited Feb 17, 2015 10:16AM) (new)

Anastasia Hey, how are Catching Fire and Mockingjay considered to be the first books in the series?

Clearly states only ONE book per series.

(Just had to point it out)

Also, The One, Insurgent and Allegiant


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