SF Classics of the Last 10-12 Years Written by Women

Clearly my list is limited by what I have read. There will be some significant omissions, no doubt, simply because certain books haven’t found their way into my sphere. So taking that and subjectiveness into account:

Tricia Sullivan – Maul

Maxine McArthur – Time Future

Octavia Butler – Fledgling

Nancy Kress – Probability Moon

Karen Traviss – City of Pearl

Nalo Hopkinson – Brown Girl in the Ring (just outside the ten year mark, but I’m ignoring that)

Kathleen Ann Goonan – Queen City Jazz

Nicola Griffith – Ammonite ( replaced Bujold but should have been on here in the first place anyway)

Joan Slonczewski – Door Into Ocean

Mary Gentle – Ash: a secret history

Year of Our War – Steph Swainston

The sad thing is that publishers are not buying much SF currently, and I fear that our current crop of talented female SF writers will wither and die, or be waylaid. Truly, if I had the funds, I would start my own imprint.

And here is a name to watch out for:

Joanne Anderton – Debris (forthcoming from Angry Robot)

  • It’s a lovely list!

    (cough, though you have a lot outside the 10 year range – Mirror Dance is 15 years old! though I agree, one of her best)

    Tricia Sullivan’s comment in her interview was interesting, about how there was so little SF being published – but there IS still some being published, and it’s the female authors who seem to be squeezed out first.

  • Marianne

    opps yes. must have checked the wrong edition. what else is older? I’ll substitute Bujold for another.

  • Marianne

    And yes, the market seems to have shrunk to broadscope space opera written by male authors.

  • Time Future & Ash are both 11 years old.

    I really have to read Ammonite.

  • Marianne

    I’ve changed my parameters to fit them!

  • Lingeorge

    Somehow overlooked in this is 3 authors whose works are already being considered classics:
    C J Cherryh – she has been producing great SciFi for decades. Her most recent is “Regenesis”. She has her Foreigner Series, which is on its 4th trilogy – “Conspirator”, “Deciever”, and “Betrayer”.
    Elizabeth Moon. Her book “Speed of the Dark” is destined to be a classic. Her Vatta’s War series, “Trading in Danger”, “Marque and Reprisal”, “Engaging the Enemy”, Command Decision, and Victory Conditions” are really great reads. As was her Serrano Legacy series.
    Catherine Asaro is, actually, a rocket scientist. Her Skolian Empire Universe books are great – “Diamond Star”, “The Ruby Dice”, “The Final Key”, “Schism”, “Skyfall”, “etc.
    Yes, these authors have been around much longer. But they remain great examples to show women can write in this genre and be taken seriously.

  • I’m not sure if they have been entirely overlooked – certainly I have heard both Elizabeth Moon and Cherryh widely discussed over at Torque Control in the last few posts of discussion. It is, however, absolutely important to keep talking (& shouting) about women writers in SF from all eras, regardless of the current parameters of the conversation.

    Much though we might like to think that books are destined to be classics, there is a horrible history of women’s science fiction being ignored/forgotten/not reprinted/left off the lists at the expense of male “classics” and the best way to combat this is to remember the best books by women and to keep telling people how good they are, even five and ten and twenty and thirty years later.

  • Marianne

    Hi Linda, all great authors indeed, and as Tansy said, some have been mentioned on other lists. My list is by no means definitive, rather a personal choice that I’m using to raise consciousness that there are some great female SF writers around. Why don’t you raise your own list and link to it? Get people talking.

  • Have you though of starting an e-book imprint. I am participating, by way of reviewing in Joe Konrath’s latest e-book experiment see his article at the Huffpo

  • Marianne

    Anything is possible, Sean! You never know …

  • While on the subject of e-books do you if your publishers have required drm on your kindle books. I don’t use Kindle (have a Sony instead)so I can’t read kindle versions of your books but I can convert them using calibre if they aren’t clogged with drm.

  • Marianne

    I’ll find out for you Sean. Check back here for an answer.

  • Hi Marianne — thanks for linking and posting your list! Do you want me to count this (excluding the 2000 books) towards the poll?

  • Marianne

    Hi Niall,
    yes please. Thanks for getting everyone talking about it.
    If I have any additions I’ll send them on to you.

  • Marianne

    p.s. Steph Swainston was an addition I’d like included.

  • Sure — which novel?

  • Marianne de Pierres

    The Year of Our War

  • Marianne de Pierres

    Sean, my agent seems to think so (required drm). But the good news is that I’ll be bringing the Sentients series out with Smashwords soon.Keep an eye on my site I will announce it.

  • Excellent news – I will promote it when It comes out. I will await the smashwords release then. I can convert the excerpt from Kindle site, but that’s no guarantee that I can do it for the full version. Already have two of the Paris series in paperback so will probably continue to collect them in paperback.

  • Marianne

    Appreciate that Sean!

  • Got it, thanks.


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Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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