All links current as of January 17, 2002The following list was compiled from posts on the alt.fan.pratchett [What?] newsgroup in answer to a challenge by David Chapman to name great women authors of fantasy and science fiction. I have tried to include attribution when I have used a detailed review, but I haven't tried to keep track of who made what recommendation in all cases. I have imposed the purely arbitrary organizational method of Alphabetical Order, by author's last name.
I haven't separated Fantasy recommendations from SF recommendations; the lines get blurry and one author often writes both, plus things in the middle and off along the sides. I do try to list enough detail about each book and author that, whether you like High Fantasy or High Technology, you can make an informed choice. Whenever an author page exists, I've linked to it; if not, I've linked to the best available fan page. I've provided a link to the author's bibliography, a list of the most highly recommended books by that author (and negatively recommended books, if there were any), and detailed comments when available.
In spite of the fact that this thread got over 200 posts, I am sure we've left out some good books. If you want to add recommendations, do write me! Please try to write at least 30 words about *why* you liked a particular book, or author, and any links you have compiled.
Some of the books recommended here link to Amazon.com for reviews and information. If you do happen to buy the book at Amazon.com at the time of your visit from here, a few cents of your purchase will go to the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project.
All links will open in a separate window, so you won't get lost, and can check out the whole list.
Bring chocolate and camping supplies.
Her work is primarily classified as "young-adult fantasy novels."
Hugh Sider: A good start for young readers is Wolves of Willoughby Chase. This is the first YA novel I read that had a female protagonist; I often give this as a gift to young acquaintances. These books are hard to find in the US.
One of the few female authors who held her own place in the pages of the 1930's SF pulps. She won a posthumous Hugo for the script of "The Empire Strikes Back".
Has created one of the most organized bodies of fan fiction in existence.
The most awarded author since Robert Heinlein.
Philosophy, characterization, storytelling and fine writing *can* all meet together.
Horror writer, very Goth; described as "the queen of bisexual splatterpunk."
SF writer; has been called "the Queen of Cyberpunk."
Reworkings of traditional fairy tales.
A generous woman who has her own page of reviews and recommendations.
Hugh Sider: Most of the work I'm familiar with is SF, but "Paladin" is fantasy, and something of a favorite of mine. Good characterization; and the swordplay is well written. The setting is Japanese, rather than European, which is refreshing. I've done enough work with the sword to be kind of picky on this topic.
Jo Clayton was an artist as well as a writer. She died of multiple myeloma in Feb.98. In the last years of her life she mobilized the sf-f community to raise funds for writers in medical need. She was a mentor to other writers, and loved to teach. She may or may not be a good writer; there are several people I love whose books I won't read, and people whose books I love whom I do not care to keep company with at all at all. But she sounds like a generous woman who led a generous life. And I wouldn't be at all unhappy about leaving that kind of heritage.
Mostly known for novelizations of Star Trek.
Hugh Sider: "The Price of the Stars" and sequels: This is set in a far-future universe, and normally would qualify as SF. I consider it unabashed heroic fantasy; despite the technological setting. Call it Space Opera if you like; it's still a quite fun read.
Stephen Booth: Also amongst my favourites. I came to her through Star Trek, 'Spocks World' is definitely the best Star Trek book (closely followed by 'Final Frontier' by Diane Carey). She used to post here [alt.fan.pratchett], and is in the Rogues Gallery...
Her older novels are primarily comic fantasy. She has also co-edited some delightful collections like "Chicks in Chainmail" and "Alien Pregnant by Elvis!" Not noted for political correctness.
Karen: Fascinating constructions of both characters and societies. She is a Mediaeval and Renaissance history specialist and uses many of the influences in her fantasy novels.
Bernard M. Earp: ... for a complete and funny change of pace try "Grunts" for a fantasy that it told from the Orcs point of view. I think that any fantasy reading Pterry [Terry Pratchett] fan will love this book.
Hugh Sider: Barbara Hambly could well be my favorite author; she is also very entertaining as a lecturer; I highly recommend attending her talks for any would-be author. Hambly, like Cherryh, knows which end of a sword is sharp; she also writes settings that hang together well. As a slight variance from straight fantasy, she has written two mystery novels set in early 19th century New Orleans. "A Free Man of Color" presented the most alien culture I've yet seen; made even more disturbing by being almost completely historical.
Morgan Lewis: I'll agree Hambly should've stayed away from Star Wars and stuck to her own stuff.
Gillian: I thought her vampire books were the best vampire books I'd read. They managed to make you both like the vampire and still remember he's a killer.
Future Females: A Critical Anthology by Marlene S. Barr
A New Species : Gender and Science in Science Fiction by Robin Roberts