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Speculative Fiction by women

What are your top ten SF books by women from the last ten years?

Which reminds me, I enjoyed reading about Kat's adventures in stephanieburgis's A Most Improper Magick. For the first half, I kept feeling that it wanted to be an Aventure story, but was stuck indoors in a small house; then it took off, cross-country, with ruins, highwaymen, magic, and punching people. Symbolism threw me out of the story very briefly once: anything painted olive long ago, in a place where there used to be an Olivia, is implicitly connected for me, even if it's not meant to be. Overall, it's like Georgette Heyer for 12 year olds, with magic.

I'm currently reading papersky's Lifelode; so far, so very good.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
I never know when things are published but my top ten would include:

Body of Glass -Marge Piercy

The gate to women's county -Sheri Tepper

The female man -Joanna Russ

The tombs of Atuan or The left hand of darkness -Ursula Le Guin

Temeraire- Throne of Jade -Naomi Novik

Living with Ghosts -Kari Sperring

Sunshine -Robin McKinley

Shards of honour Lois Mc Master Bujold

Poison Study Maria v Snyder

Guardians of Paradise Jaine Fenn

The handmaid's tale Margaret Atwood

Empire of bones Liz Williams

Oh, I seem to have failed to count but can't bear to delete any of these.If I was doing a unisex list, I would have to add "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson, "A canticle for Leibowitz" Walter J Miller and "The star fraction" Ken Macleod .

Oct. 13th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
Oops -wrong Jaine one - am brainless tonight.
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
The Temeraire books would all count. Also Living with Ghosts, Sunshine, Poison Study, Guardians of Paradise, and Empire of Bones.

Consider sending your list of Niall, who's collecting them?

P.S. This is a really interesting list in its own right: what you come up with off the top of your head when asked for your top 10 sf books by women, regardless of publication date.

Edited at 2010-10-13 07:20 pm (UTC)
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
It's probably fantasy more than scifi, but CS Friedman's Magister Trilogy is great so far - at least the first two (I don't have the third yet but don't think it's been published).

And I JUST discovered a brand new author that I am loving - Glenda Larke. I suppose hers are more fantasy also but her world-building is wonderful.
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendations!
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
I recently read Lifelode too, and enjoyed it very much. In fact once it was over I had to stop myself immediately starting again from the beginning.
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed Kat! That makes me really happy. :)

And agh, what a tough question...especially since it's SF rather than fantasy. (I'd have a much easier time with that!) But here goes:

Justina Robson's Living Next Door to the God of Love and also Natural History and Mappa Mundi
Tricia Sullivan's Lightborn
Connie Willis's Passage
Liz Williams's The Poison Master and Empire of Bones
Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign (I think it was published within the last ten years, although I'm not 100% certain)
Sandra Macdonald's The Outback Stars
Ann Aguirre's Grimspace

Wow. Now I want to go back and re-read all of those!
Oct. 13th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
I was debating whether or not to put Grimspace on my own list. I might well on the grounds that I think about it frequently. The compelling successfulness of its first-person present-tense narrative riveted me - enough that I hadn't noticed how much of a set-up it is for the rest of the series. As a result, liking it so much as a potential standalone, I haven't read the rest of the series yet. C. read it after I did, found it oddly paced, a blatant series set-up, and has clearly forgotten all about it since he couldn't remember it when I was telling him about this 10-book challenge the other day. It's true, the frog thing in the middle didn't do a lot for me.

Do consider emailing Naill with your list! vector.editors@gmail.com
Oct. 13th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
It's funny, I really enjoyed Grimspace but then never read the later books in the series either - because, to be honest, I really, really liked where it ended and didn't want to watch anything then get screwed up for the heroine and hero! A very wimpy choice, but by stopping there, the series ended just where I wanted it to.

And I've just emailed Niall. :)
Oct. 13th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
Stretching the genres a little, but I vote for Mary Gentle. Both 'Ash: A Secret History' and '1610: A Sundial In A Grave' are wonderful rollicking alternative histories with science fantasy elements.
Oct. 13th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
In no particular order:

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Justina Robson, Mappa Mundi
Sheri S Tepper, The Margarets
Frances Hardinge, Fly By Night
Diana Wynne Jones, The Pinhoe Egg
Naomi Novik, Temeraire
Ursula K Le Guin, The Other Wind
Elizabeth Moon, Speed of Dark
Connie Willis, Passage
Lloyd Rose, Doctor Who: Camera Obscura

A few others that would have been on the list but weren't quite published during the last ten years:
Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow
Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr and A Civil Campaign
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog and Bellwether
Oct. 14th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
Yay, I'm glad someone brought up The Sparrow! (And three cheers for Passage as well. :-)
Oct. 14th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
I would add Octavia Butler's Fledgling to my list! And, although Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow just misses the cut-off date, it's one of my favs. :-)
Oct. 14th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
I'll have to check these out! I've been reading Patricia Briggs' urban fantasy Alpha and Omega / Mercy Thompson series and would love to read some narratively-similar sci fi.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )