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suggestions > Favorite sci-fi written by women

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message 1: by Georgia (new)

Georgia Portuondo (georgiamaria) | 2 comments I'd love to hear your suggestions. Here's my list so far:

Octavia Butler
Marge Piercy (Woman on the Edge of Time)
Ursula Le Guin
Joanna Russ (Female Man)
Margaret Atwood
Nalo Hopkinson (Midnight Robber)
Madeleine L'Engle

message 2: by Rindis (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Lois McMaster Bujold. No question, male or female, she's my favorite.

message 3: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 12 comments I'll second Bujold and Octavia Butler. I also like Connie Willis and Nancy Kress.

message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jwesterk) | 3 comments I like Jacqueline Carey and Julian May.

message 5: by Carl (new)

Carl | 38 comments Kathy Tyers-- though I mention her primarily for her book "Shivering World". The others are good, but don't hit me as hard.
From Sweden, Karen Boye's Kallocain is a classic, but I've only read excerpts myself.
I read something by CS Friedman once that was good, but for some reason haven't gone back to it.
I also am getting into Bujold, though I'm not enjoying her two prequels as much as I'd like. I also second Butler and L'Engle
And if you don't mind going really far back, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein-- foundational for so much of the genre, and so much more interesting than I expected when I finally read it.

message 6: by Tani (new)

Tani | 8 comments I don't read a lot of science fiction, so I can't add too much, but I do like Elizabeth Moon (particularly her Vatta series).

message 7: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 25 comments Don't forget Andre Norton

I also like Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, CJ Cherryh, and LeGuin

message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 1 comments I love James Tiptree Jr (aka Alice Sheldon)
For me, the short story collection 'Her Smoke Rose Up Forever' is some of the most affecting science fiction I've ever read.
Also, there is an amazing biography called James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips that is well worth checking out.

message 9: by Michele (new)

Michele I'm so glad someone mentioned Tiptree! One of my all-time favorite writers; she can do a short story like no one else. And a hearty second for Octavia Butler -- I had read and like her novels but recently ran across an early collection of short stories by her (Blood Child) and was mightily impressed.

Sheri S. Tepper - amazing work, and (thankfully) a good amount of it so if you like her, there's lots to keep you busy. (There's nothing more frustrating than reading a fabulous book and then finding out the author hasn't written any more!) Quite a lot of her books have something to do with gender roles; her worldbuilding is topnotch, and there's usually a little flavor of mystery thrown in as well. Top picks: Grass, The Gate to Women's Country, and Gibbon's Decline and Fall.

Sylvia Louise Engdahl is also excellent (This Star Shall Abide and its two sequels, plus The Far Side of Evil and Enchantress from the Stars).

Meredith Ann Pierce's Darkangel trilogy (a fantasy/vampire/sci fi, set if I recall correctly on the moon of all places).

Sharon Shinn's Archangel series (I think there are four or five now) -- they start out a bit fantasy but like Pern you find out there is a sci-fi underpinning.

message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori Nobody has mentioned Cherryh? Some of her stuff is not great, but some is just fantastic. I loved the Chanur series - great characters, plus quick reading which I can't say for Cyteen, altho that's a great one too.

Love all the Miles books by Bujold. Couldn't get into the Chalion stuff, maybe I should try again because I wanted more Miles at the time, and quite obviously this is completely different. Wrong time?

Doomsday Book and Passages bu Connie Willis - it doesn't get any better that that.

I've not read Butler, I have no idea why. So much to do, so little time? But after reading your comments, I'll place her on the top of the pile. Any suggestions for best novel? I prefer them to short stories.

message 11: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments I am so glad that Michelerc brought up Sylvie Louise Engdahl. I second her nomination! Enchantress from the Stars and Far Side of Evil are some of my favorite scifi, ever.

message 12: by Caryn (new)

Caryn | 1 comments The first book I read by Butler was Kindred, and it was great. It made me a huge fan and I've read most of her work now, so that's my personal recommendation for a first read.
What about Mary Doria Russell? The Sparrow was one of the most intense books I've ever read (I'm still working up the courage to read the sequel).

message 13: by Michele (last edited Feb 12, 2008 04:28PM) (new)

Michele Yes, Engdahl is a real original, there's nothing else like her books out there. The Children of the Star trilogy is hands down my favorite.

She's got a new one coming out, did you know? See her website, . This one she says is for adults, not kids.

message 14: by Michele (new)

Michele Caryn said:
> What about Mary Doria Russell? The Sparrow was one of the most intense books I've ever read (I'm still working up the courage to read the sequel).

Oh, the sequel!! I was afraid to read it only because I couldn't believe that she could go anywhere but down after the first one -- so layered, so complex, so intellectually demanding and yet so heart-wrenching. But she does, she does! And it's a real true sequel, you find out a lot more about the characters and what happens to them. Go get it and read it :)

message 15: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments Michelerc,
Sylvia Engdahl also has a group on Goodreads where you can talk to her about her books, ask questions, etc. Check it out!

message 16: by Carl (new)

Carl | 38 comments I'm glad someone mentioned Mary Doria Russell-- read the Sparrow ages ago, and also haven't have the nerve to go back for the sequel, but I thought it was a great sci-fi tale which did not feel like every other sci-fi novel out there.

message 17: by Kelleya1 (new)

Kelleya1 | 1 comments Joanna Russ' earlier books, Elizabeth Lynn's Chronicles of Tornor (3 vol.), R.A. MacAvoy's "Black Dragon" series. Suzette Hayden's novels about a separate women's society within a "family" of linguists (I LOVED these!), Chris Moriarty is a new favorite of mine in "harder" sci fi. Anne McAffrey's books about sentient ships . . .

Chris Moriarty has a nice website complete with discussion about women in various types of sci-fi

message 18: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments Wow, thanks for all the amazing leads!

I'll second, third and fourth Octavia Butler, Joanna Russ, Ursula K. LeGuin and Nalo Hopkinson. If you haven't heard of Hopkinson, try her novel Brown Girl in the Ring.

Some other great women authors:
Jean Stewart Her Isis series is fun, quick reads but not too deep about an all-female society that has broken away from the rest of the US (addictive none-the-less)

Starhawk she writes mostly non-fiction by her novel The Fifth Sacred Thing is my favorite utopian sci fi out there.

Colette Phair's Nightmare in Silicon. I met her through another Goodreads group and she is a great writer!

Nicola Griffith, especially her novel Slow River

message 19: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments Donald, I'm interested in Andre Norton... where should I start?

message 20: by Foxthyme (new)

Foxthyme | 2 comments Oh, my faves include:

Lois McMaster Bujold. In the last year I've just read almost every book she's written.

Nalo Hopkinson for her short story collection--awesome and I intend to read more of her works.

Sarah Micklem whose recently written Firethorn. I eagerly await her second book. You can't get grittier and more real than this.

Jo Clayton the Diadem Series--which I've read and reread over the years so it's infused within me.

And closest to my deep heart R.A. MacAvoy who just taps into something incredibly profound for me. I cherish her work.

message 21: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 25 comments It depends on what you like.

If you want to read her fantasy novels, the best place to start is Witch World. Other really good titles include Year of the Unicorn, The Crystal Gryphon, Jargoon Pard, Sorceress of the Witch World

If you like science fiction, she has a few nice little series:

Solar Queen books -- Sargasso of Space, Plague Ship, Voodoo Planet, Postmarked the Stars

Time Travel: Key out of Time, the Time Traders, Galactic Derelict, the Defiant Agent

Central Control -- Star Guard, Star Rangers

Some of my favorites are:

Star man's Son
Witch World
Star Gate
The Zero Stone
Moon of Three Rings and Exiles of the Stars

message 22: by Shannon (last edited Feb 28, 2008 08:20AM) (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) I'm more a fantasy reader than a sci-fi one, but there have been some that I've really enjoyed - and are a bit of a blend too.

I liked Ann MacCaffrey's Crystal Singers trilogy (I didn't get past the first Pern book). I also loved her short story about the Ship that Sang - not sure of the exact title. I read one Starhawk novel years ago but couldn't finish it.

I absolutely love Isobelle Carmody, who writes both fantasy and sci-fi. Her Obernewtyn Chronicles are post-apocalyptic, so they classify them as sci-fi, and Scatterlings too - both are excellent and I really recommend them. They're generally put in the YA section but that never stops me!

Another YA sci-fi book that I loved when I was a teenager is Polymer by Sally Rodgers-Davidson, hard to come by now, sadly.

I second the Sharon Shinn rec. Especially good if you're not huge into sci-fi.

Oh, and I loved Karen Traviss - I read the first book, City of Pearl, and I'm keen to read the rest of the series. Anyone else read her?

message 23: by Rindis (new)

Rindis | 80 comments Norton:
I would actually give Witch World a pass at first. However, The Crystal Gryphon is my favorite from her, and I recommend it and its sequels. I also recommend The Jargoon Pard, Catseye, Forerunner, Perilous Dreams and... darn, can't think of the title. -_-;;

I'll have to try Clayton's Diadem series. I've read some of her books, but they've generally been near misses for me.

For McCaffery's Pern, I really recommend the Harper Hall trilogy over the original.

message 24: by Michele (new)

Michele My two favorite Andre Norton's, which I rarely hear anyone talk about, are Dread Companion and Breed to Come. Dread Companion is an updated retelling of the old old story about straying through into another realm, e.g. entering the fairy hill, and finding when you come out that things are not the way you recall. Breed to Come is about intelligent evolved cats. Very cool.

She's not much for depth or complex plots, I have to say, but her books are good fast reads and always entertaining.

message 25: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments Thanks for the Andre Norton ideas, I'm gonna see what is available at my library for my next read.

Also, Michelerc, thanks for the lead on Sylvia Engdahl. I just read Enchantress from the Stars and absolutely loved it!

message 26: by Luis (new)

Luis Odicio (windguaerd) | 2 comments I got into Elizabeth Moon through her "Vatta's War" series of books. A+ in my eyes, i highly recommend her. I will be looking into the other women writers mentioned in this thread and see what books to add to my list as well.

message 27: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalowry) I definitely recommed Sheri S. Tepper. Start with The Gate to Women's Country. Also how about Sharon Shinn's Samaria Series? Fist in that series: Archangel

message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (schez) | 1 comments Butler, McCaffrey, and L'Engle are all awesome.

Has no one read anything by Kristine Smith? I love her work.

message 29: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) Nobody's mentioned Kage Baker yet. I've just recently discovered her and am enjoying her books very much.

C.S. Friedman is very good too.

message 30: by Pax (new)

Pax (paxela) | 1 comments Julie E. Czerneda! She writes the best aliens ever. Start with Beholder's Eye, and go from there.

I also really like Melissa Scott, and Nancy Kress.

I second Butler, Le Guin, Tepper, Russ, Willis.

message 31: by Jeffrey (last edited Apr 08, 2008 12:03AM) (new)

Jeffrey | 25 comments jennifer

I have read all of Smith's books up to the last one and I like her a lot.

If you want to look into fantasy works by woman, I would recommend the Sharon Shinn books in her Mystic and Rider series.

Pamela Briggs
Carol Berg
Martha Wells
Emma Bull
Wen Spencer
CJ Cherryh
Rosemary Kirstein are all good authors as well

message 32: by Michele (new)

Michele FYI, Wikipedia has a great list of women sf/f authors here. .


message 33: by Chris (new)

Chris Cook | 2 comments I've got to add Kate Elliot to the list. She's slightly less Brilliant and Disturbing than someone like Butler, but she can be more entertaining if you want a book on the bounderies of junkfiction and literture.

message 34: by betsy (new)

betsy | 4 comments Hi - I'm new to the group (and good reads) and very excited to find so many great leads for sci/fi fantasy reads! this thread has me wondering if any one ever compiles all these great suggestions and if a file is created that the group can then access? I'll volunteer to do this one if someone can instruct me about where and how to post.
oh - and some of my favorite women authurs are sherri tepper, elizabeth moon, loiuse cooper, sharon shinn, marion zimmer bradley, susan cooper, maria gripe, ursula k leguin, madeleine l'engle, tanith lee, and katherine neville.

message 35: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) Sometimes, women use initials so you don't know they're women.

I love everything I've read by C.S. Friedman

And, P.D. James' "Children of Men" is way different than the movie, but still excellent.

message 36: by John (new)

John | 15 comments I'm afraid I don't have any new authors to add, but as far as Octavia Butler suggestions go, my favorites were the duology Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents, and Wild Seed.

Jennifer mentioned Jacqueline Carey--I didn't know she wrote sci-fi, I only know her fantasy works, but they *are* very good.

On that note, there are some women doing great work over in fantasy as well: Sherwood Smith's Inda series and anything and everything by Robin Hobb are the first two that come to mind.

message 37: by Desiree (new)

Desiree (jrzygrl75) | 2 comments I was so happy to see Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series mentioned above! I absolutely loved it! I love the alternate worlds that she comes up with.

The Pern series are excellent as well.

message 38: by Werner (new)

Werner It's hard to pick a single favorite work of science fiction written by a woman, because there are so many wonderful ones to choose from! And I've really enjoyed a number of the writers and books that have been mentioned. One that hasn't been cited so far, though, is Zenna Henderson's corpus of stories about the People, a benevolent human-like alien race with an array of psi abilities. When their sun went nova around the year 1890, they fled their planet; and a branch of them crash-landed and settled in the out- of-the way mountains of Henderson's native Arizona. Mostly written in the 1950s and 60s, these stories have been collected in book form in 1995 by the New England Science Fiction Assn., as Ingathering: The Complete People Stories of Zenna Henderson. If you like upbeat science fiction with a solid moral grounding, this is for you!

message 39: by Jon (last edited Feb 10, 2009 01:32PM) (new)

Jon (jonmoss) Some of my favorite women fantasy authors include:

Barbara Hambly
Sara Douglass
Mercedes Lackey (for By the Sword)
Marion Zimmer Bradley (mostly the Darkover novels and The Mists of Avalon)
Jennifer Fallon
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (for Keltia)
Katherine Kurtz (for some of the Deryni series, but not all of it)
Julian May (for the Pliocene Epic)
Elizabeth Moon (for The Deed of Paksenarrion)
Melanie Rawn (for the original Dragon Prince trilogy)
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Victoria Strauss

message 40: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 8 comments My favourites in no particular order are:

Anne McCaffrey - Crystal Singer
Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Moon - Sassinak
Lois McMaster Bujold - Miles,Chalion
Elizabeth Moon - Suiza and Serrano, Paksenarrion
Alison Croggon - Pellinor
Sarah Zettel - Camelot

message 41: by Carolyn (last edited Feb 12, 2009 11:23AM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) Wow, what a great list!
I have read many of the authors listed here already and love them! I've also found a couple I hadn't heard of before, and I'll be checking them out (and soon!)

Some I haven't seen listed already (forgive me if I missed them in the list above):

Pamela Sargent, especially The Shore of Women
Suzy McKee Charnas
Leigh Richards
Catherine Asaro, especially the Skolian series, start with Primary Inversion
Deborah Chester, the Alien Chronicles
Flynn Connolly, only one book, but its a doozy
Suzette Haden Elgin, Native Tongue series
Tanya Huff, esp the Valor series
Katherine Kerr, has some scifi books in addition to her popular fantasy series
Joan D. Vinge, best known for Snow Queen, etc, but her Cat series is also excellent
Sharon Lee, co-writer of the excellent Liaden universe books
Louise Marley, esp The Child Goddess
Susan R. Matthews
Maxine McArthur
Colleen McCullough, A Creed for the Third Millennium
Sandra McDonald, Outback Stars and sequel
Lisanne Norman, the Sholan series is a favorite of mine
Ayn Rand, the novel Anthem is short and very good, but hardly ever mentioned
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, her Disappeared series is very good - mysteries set in outer space with alien cultures and ethics issues mixed in
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, especially Healers War
Linnea Sinclair
Joan Slonczewski - anything by her!
S.L. Viehl, StarDoc series
M. K. Wren, the Phoenix Legacy trilogy

They aren't in any particular order, but they all have books in my Read-scifi shelf (in addition to many of the authors mentioned above. = )

message 42: by Linnea (last edited Feb 13, 2009 06:42AM) (new)

Linnea (linneasinclair) | 4 comments Oy, I can see my TBR pile expanding already...

I read a combo of SF and SFR, so some of my recommendations are written to both an SF arc and a romance arc (ie: the relationship between the protagonists is one of the book's key conflicts). In no particular order:

Elizabeth Moon - love her Vatta series
C J Cherryh - the best there is, to me
Ann Aguirre - Grimspace is awesome!
Julie E. Czerneda- Love her Trade Pact
Jacqueline Lichtenberg - a mistress of the craft of fiction, and an incredibly generous person
Susan Grant - Moonstruck combines fast SF action with hot romance without sacrificing either
Stacey Klemstein- an admitted Roswell fan who writes gripping SF/SFR for small press and who has a debut YA paranormal (as Stacey Kade) coming from Hyperion/Harper in 2010
Tanya Huff - Torin Kerr rocks!
Marianne de Pierres- Parrish Plesis rocks!
Eve Kenin - don't discount Dorchester's SHOMI line for terrific post-apocalyptic SF/SFR, and Kenin, with a microbiology degree, is no wimp.
Colby Hodge - another SHOMI author with TWIST being highly recommended
Sherwood Smith- Exoridium series!
Catherine Asaro - top notch stories, incredibly nice person
Robin D. Owens - part fantasy, part SF, her HEART series is just a lovely way to pass the time (with cats)

And lots more but I wanted to add in some of the cross genre stuff some of you might not be aware of.

And Carolyn, thanks for the mention! ~Linnea

message 43: by Linda (new)

Linda | 12 comments My list includes lois McMasters Bujod,i love the sharing knife series
also C.L. Wilson Her series is printed under romance but its about a man who can change into a flying cat and do magic.
I read a lot of the list and im not relisting there are so many good female authors.

message 44: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 8 comments Thanks Carolyn for reminding me of MK Wren's Phoenix Legacy - definitely worth reading. I've read it three times and enjoyed each time.

message 45: by Carolyn (last edited Feb 18, 2009 05:34AM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) You're welcome! I've read the trilogy three times also. Haven't in a while though, might be time to get them out for another go-round. = )

message 46: by LaTrica (new)

LaTrica I highly recommend Lois McMaster Bujold and I've been enjoying the Brain Ship series with Anne McCaffrey although some lean heavily towards romance.

message 47: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 8 comments As soon as I've finished the Pellinor series I can hear the Phoenix Legacy calling.

When I read Sci Fi or Fantasy I don't expect to find romance, sometimes it works (in small doses or at the very end - ie boy meets girl, we know that they are meant to be together, but the romance doesn't detract from the main story).

Kristine (fezabel) (fezabel) | 4 comments Why only Sci-Fi? What about Fantasy authors?

message 49: by Carolyn (last edited Feb 23, 2009 10:34AM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) I presume because the OP was looking for suggestions of female SciFi authors.

message 50: by Dave (new)

Dave (davevicks) | 8 comments Did JK Rowling really sell 11 Million copies in 1

day, Hardcover to?

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