Best Feminist Science Fiction/Fantasy

Science fiction or fantasy (including alternate histories, dystopias and utopias) with sex inequality as a major theme, or showcasing particularly compelling female characters.
1

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,609,290 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.08 avg rating — 134,130 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.11 avg rating — 199,560 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.20 avg rating — 98,359 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.23 avg rating — 126,438 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.06 avg rating — 12,562 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,096,942 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.32 avg rating — 6,865,355 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
4.18 avg rating — 89,873 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.03 avg rating — 13,322 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.07 avg rating — 417,705 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.14 avg rating — 199,148 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
4.36 avg rating — 16,133 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.51 avg rating — 6,396 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.13 avg rating — 758,638 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.08 avg rating — 99,280 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,360,245 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
3.86 avg rating — 68,671 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 236,933 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
3.99 avg rating — 79,931 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
3.94 avg rating — 14,737 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
3.50 avg rating — 16,255 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
4.01 avg rating — 158,149 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.13 avg rating — 34,633 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
4.19 avg rating — 55,901 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.08 avg rating — 32,527 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.21 avg rating — 50,860 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
4.09 avg rating — 174,841 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
3.95 avg rating — 42,675 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.06 avg rating — 240,312 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.96 avg rating — 20,178 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.97 avg rating — 90,204 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.30 avg rating — 2,750,524 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.08 avg rating — 133,527 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
4.28 avg rating — 184,780 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
3.97 avg rating — 42,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.09 avg rating — 71,546 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.13 avg rating — 193,090 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.19 avg rating — 68,683 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.09 avg rating — 20,919 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.19 avg rating — 717,796 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
3.84 avg rating — 40,323 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.28 avg rating — 43,411 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
3.78 avg rating — 335 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.11 avg rating — 90,824 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.88 avg rating — 4,601 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
4.26 avg rating — 69,918 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.90 avg rating — 21,047 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
3.86 avg rating — 5,471 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.02 avg rating — 53,686 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
3.82 avg rating — 10,080 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.19 avg rating — 49,990 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.25 avg rating — 249,775 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.24 avg rating — 102,083 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3,295 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
3.95 avg rating — 11,990 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.28 avg rating — 53,723 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.20 avg rating — 23,274 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.83 avg rating — 5,522 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.21 avg rating — 3,772 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
4.03 avg rating — 760,355 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
3.86 avg rating — 22,419 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 114,921 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.77 avg rating — 15,280 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.71 avg rating — 52,589 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.92 avg rating — 64,727 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.99 avg rating — 4,275 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
4.02 avg rating — 24,904 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
3.91 avg rating — 42,625 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.09 avg rating — 144,191 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.59 avg rating — 484,889 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.05 avg rating — 2,547,329 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
3.92 avg rating — 4,999 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.82 avg rating — 22,522 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.12 avg rating — 131,694 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
3.92 avg rating — 87,521 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.50 avg rating — 76 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.11 avg rating — 69,687 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.06 avg rating — 59,050 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
4.11 avg rating — 984 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.92 avg rating — 2,053 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.64 avg rating — 276 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.06 avg rating — 11,909 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
3.71 avg rating — 4,650 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.87 avg rating — 3,656 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.17 avg rating — 8,699 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.30 avg rating — 12,529 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
4.19 avg rating — 59,601 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
3.70 avg rating — 22,491 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
3.78 avg rating — 1,584 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.86 avg rating — 63,899 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.88 avg rating — 109,219 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
2.05 avg rating — 930 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
4.40 avg rating — 105 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
4.22 avg rating — 140 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
4.25 avg rating — 3,613 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
4.22 avg rating — 188,041 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
4.08 avg rating — 42,446 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
4.17 avg rating — 15,081 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.91 avg rating — 36,347 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
637 books · 603 voters · list created December 14th, 2008 by Lindsay (votes) .
313 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Lindsay 700 books
51 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3261 books
860 friends
jo 2567 books
350 friends
Ashley 4640 books
528 friends
Allyson 1348 books
153 friends
Laura 55 books
0 friends
Britney 673 books
41 friends
Kevis 1711 books
807 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel How in the world is Robert Heinlein on a list of feminist SF/F?


message 2: by Sarah (last edited Jul 02, 2010 08:56PM) (new)

Sarah Rachel wrote: "How in the world is Robert Heinlein on a list of feminist SF/F?"

I'm with you on that. I'm very fond of Heinlein, but there is no way I'd ever categorize Time Enough For Love and The Notebooks of Lazarus Long as feminist.


message 3: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Rachel wrote: "How in the world is Robert Heinlein on a list of feminist SF/F?"

I can think of maayyyyyyyyyyyyybe including Friday. Maybe. But not really.


message 4: by Serene (new)

Serene Hmm. A lot of good sci-fi and fantasy on this list, but some titles I def. would not consider specifically feminist.


message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Hey everyone!

I only just now figured out how to see comments on these lists, and as the creator of the list I can tell you I did not put Heinlein on it. (I can't find him now, so maybe someone removed him in the two years since y'all first posted these comments).

I quite like some of his works --- I *love* Stranger in a Strange Land --- but you can't ignore the sexism in so many of them. Even Friday, his one book (that I know of) with a female protagonist, wouldn't pass muster with me because 1) there's the rape scene where Friday is being interrogated, and she just decides to lie there and enjoy it, as if that's possible, and 2) I remember distinctly getting the impression that Friday thought of herself as somehow owing sex, and sexiness, to men. I liked a lot of things about the character, and could relate to her in several ways, but anything to do with sex just left me cold. I can't think of a way to describe it that would explain it to someone who didn't feel that about Friday ...


message 6: by Serene (new)

Serene I enjoyed friday. I thought the fact that she lay there was somewhat different than anything else I've read and probably better advice than just getting the crap kicked out of her because she was outnumbered. I thought she had more of a male mental voice, which could be just the way heinlein wrote, and why she didn't entirely work as a character. But it is been a while since I read that book, so I don't entirely recall everything about it.


message 7: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Oh, I liked Friday --- it was just that one scene, and a few other random things here and there, that bothered me. They probably bothered me more just because I liked the book, and the character, so much overall, that the stuff that felt wrong stuck out more.


message 8: by Emily (new)

Emily Thanks for making the list! It's interesting seeing what you initially included instead of what's accumulated. I've come to the conclusion people like pushing buttons. Anyway, I'm trying to add some fiction to my feminist reading. I definitely added some of your suggestions to my list. It's also fascinating to what people think of as "feminist". That's some of the joy and agony of the term though. I'd love to hear the reasoning behind some people's additions - particularly, with some of the YA stuff like On the Edge and Moon Called. I could be doing that proverbial book judging by a cover.


message 9: by Kelley (new)

Kelley I am currently reading Cinder (no. 76). I'm over halfway through it. I like it quite a bit, and it does have a strong, smart, complex female lead. But I don't think it belongs on this list. Having a strong, smart, complex female lead does not automatically make a book feminist -- particularly when all the female authority figures in the novel are portrayed as thoroughly evil.


message 10: by Petergiaquinta (new)

Petergiaquinta How is there no Doris Lessing on this list???


message 11: by Kelley (new)

Kelley "Stranger in a Strange Land" is no. 107 (actually, one of several 107s).

I venture to say that the only thing remotely feminist about this book is that it does include female characters, at a time when most of the major science fiction writers (even the women) were leaving female characters out of their stories altogether, or granting them only the most miniscule of roles. But as for the actual portrayal of those women... well...


message 12: by Christy (new)

Christy Yes, Stranger IASL is still there, and needs to go! unless it's some parallel universe edition where it is actually a feminist rather than an incredibly sexist book! I agree about Doris Lessing (Four-gated City, Memoirs of a Survivor.)


message 13: by Sparrowlicious (new)

Sparrowlicious Apparently, a list of feminist books should be made by feminists and not random users. I know how that sounds. A list where no one can add books except one person would be good with the comment section as a way to make suggestions.


message 14: by Mary Margaret (new)

Mary Margaret Sparrowlicious wrote: "Apparently, a list of feminist books should be made by feminists and not random users. I know how that sounds. A list where no one can add books except one person would be good with the comment sec..."

I second this idea.


message 15: by BookLovingLady (last edited Nov 06, 2016 07:30AM) (new)

BookLovingLady I don't quite see how Oryx and Crake (#23) is feminist science fiction / fantasy? I thought the characters in the novel were meant...? Not even to mention the fact that personally I would not consider this science fiction or fantasy.

Nor am I sure why The Penelopiad (#63) is on this list? My idea of science fiction / fantasy is completey different, which is what made me wonder.

The Handmaid's Tale (#1) is not 'fantasy' either, as I see it, as in my book, fantasy is something completely different (The Lord of the Rings, I'd consider fantasy, for instance).

Don't get me wrong, they are all great books, but still, I have strong doubts about them being on this list.

Addition 6 November: I see the description has been altered/adapted. Still makes me wonder about Oryx and Crake though.


message 16: by Kelley (new)

Kelley Regarding Oryx and Crake: I have a hard time considering any piece of fiction truly feminist unless there's an important, interesting female character in it somewhere, and from what I could tell from reviews, this book doesn't have one (though its sequels do). I can't really buy into the notion of "feminism without women."


message 17: by BookLovingLady (last edited Nov 24, 2016 09:34PM) (new)

BookLovingLady Kelley wrote: "I can't really buy into the notion of "feminism without women." ..."

I agree...


message 18: by Kelley (new)

Kelley An issue with "Persepolis" (#51): it's a wonderful graphic novel, and I agree that it's enjoyably feminist. What it isn't, is science fiction or fantasy. It is a memoir/autobiography.


message 19: by Z (new)

Z Republic's Chosen features achieved equality on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, culture, and gender identity.


message 20: by Z (new)

Z Republic's Chosen features achieved equality on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, culture, and gender identity.


message 21: by Kelley (new)

Kelley Browsing through the list again. “Liberator (The Liberators Book 1)” doesn’t look very feminist to me. It looks like another man-saves-the-day story. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it’s not feminist.


message 22: by Minda (new)

Minda Carpenter Some people seem to have a very broad definition of feminist books. Personally I recommend The Memoirs of Lady Trent. It doesn't just have a female character protagonist she also has to navigate inequality in the books. Also dragons. Who doesn't love dragons?


back to top



Related News

At Goodreads, we love reading (shocker, I know). There's just nothing like curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea and burying...

Anyone can add books to this list.