December 10, 2019, 09:45:00 PM

Author Topic: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now  (Read 21601 times)

Offline JamesLatimer

Re: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2015, 05:38:12 PM »

The issue with nearly all the recent blockbuster bestselling secondary world fantasy debuts being by men in recent years (Rothfuss, Lynch, Abercrombie, Weeks, Brett, Lawrence, Wexler, McClellan and so on) is sad and puzzling, however. Not questioning the success of any of these writers--they've earned it--but why is it so hard for new female writers of adult fantasy to get a big following right off the bat these days?
A lot of it has to be about visibility, because men get a huge advantage all the time (lists, promotion, bookstores).

Every time I go into Waterstones, for example, the tabled books are overwhelmingly men--yesterday I found one where only 3 out of 35 books labelled as representing the 'very best fantasy' were by women.

Offline Elfy

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Re: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2015, 10:21:31 PM »
Jacqueline Carey is one that did get pushed forward a bit with her Kushiel series, but she doesn't get anywhere near as much coverage for the Agent of Hel UF, which is a shame, because it's a really good example of that sort of stuff. Diana Gabaldon is getting a lot more now with the success of Outlander, although she was successful before the TV show. Generally she's not shelved in fantasy, and is more considered a historical fiction author.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline JMack

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Re: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2015, 10:52:58 PM »

Totally off of the OP, but I'm interested that these covers do not conform to the "single tough-looking figure swinging a weapon at us, and often hooded" that seems to dominate so many books these days. Meanwhile, does someone have to speak with Waterstone's about Terry Goodkind?  :P
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Offline Roxxsmom

Re: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2015, 09:33:38 PM »
Jacqueline Carey is one that did get pushed forward a bit with her Kushiel series, but she doesn't get anywhere near as much coverage for the Agent of Hel UF, which is a shame, because it's a really good example of that sort of stuff. Diana Gabaldon is getting a lot more now with the success of Outlander, although she was successful before the TV show. Generally she's not shelved in fantasy, and is more considered a historical fiction author.

I've noticed that too. It's a real issue when people are asked to list the "best," or their favorite fantasy or SF novels too. Books by women, even ones that were/are bestsellers, or won prestigious awards, are often overlooked. There was that infamous Guardian Survey (http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/may/31/women-science-fiction-writers) in the UK where only 4% of the titles on a list of 500 books were by women. A recent npr poll (http://www.listchallenges.com/npr-top-100-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books) was better, but even so, only 14% of the 100 titles were by women. A ton of really good and groundbreaking work by women gets left off, and instead the lists are often padded with titles by some of the same male authors over and over again.

There also seems to be a bit of a difference between the UK and US. It looks like female SFF writers fare a bit worse overall in the UK. It appears that nearly 50% of the US SFF books received by locus are by women, but fewer than a third of the UK books are (http://www.strangehorizons.com/2014/20140428/2sfcount-a.shtml) I'm not British, so I can't say why this is, but it sort of surprised me, because I always thought of the UK and US being really similar in terms of gender consciousness and gender issues. In both cases, though, fewer books by women end up being reviewed.

So the question is, why? Why do people tend to forget books by female authors (even award-winning authors) more often than they do books by men? And why are fewer books written by women reviewed? And is the problem getting worse in recent years? If so, what can we do about it. Should we all just slap male pseudonyms on our books? And will that even work in an age when social media and so on makes it pretty hard to hide who we *really* are. James Tiptree Junior managed to hide her gender for years, but that would be much harder to do if she were expected to FB, tweet, blog and appear regularly at cons.


Offline Elfy

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Re: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2015, 11:40:05 PM »
It's better than it used to be, although it is still an issue. Rowlings was advised to use her initials rather than her name, because there was a fear that boys wouldn't read a book if they knew it was written by a female author. Lester Del Rey was the one who advised the Eddings' (David and Leigh) to only use David's name on the books initially. His reasoning was that he felt people would shy away from co-authored works, although it's odd how David's name was the one they used, when Leigh did as much, if not more, of the heavy lifting in the books. One thing I find really odd here is how they choose to shelve some of the books. We only have one bricks and mortar chain (Dymocks) and they're fairly good for SFF work, however I find that female UF authors tend to find their works in amongst the paranormal fiction, whether that's what they are or not, whereas male UF authors like Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne get shelved amongst the other SFF work. I'm aware of it so I always check both sections, but I wonder how many female UF authors have been missed because of that particular policy?

Offline Eclipse

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Stumbled upon this on Goodreads thought I share it looks very intriguing

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

The first adult novel in more than three years from the bestselling author of the Fairyland books
Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own, from the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.

Aesthetically recalling A Trip to the Moon and House of Leaves, and told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.
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Offline Francis Knight

I clicked through to the article to have a read. And then I looked at the two comments

The first one being this:

Quote
Until female writers reject magical thinking and start writing science-based science fiction, they are just a bunch of would-be princesses to me.

That right there is your reason. I am in awe of the fact this one quote totally dismisses both the women who DO write science based SF (he hasn't heard of any, so there must be none and/or he's not picked up a book with a woman's name on the cover in the erroneous belief they don't write science based SF*) and those who don't (because we should all write what he, personally, likes to read and if we don't we're just the would-be princesses)

It's actually a pretty spectacular example of what we're up against



*Including at least one of the authors in the article!





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Offline Brother of the Sixth Order

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 i have had a look through the article and it shows how backward the publishing industry can be,  i have not seen Kameron Hurley's name appear anywhere here, The Mirror Empire was one the best books i read last year fantastic stuff.
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Offline Rukaio_Alter

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I clicked through to the article to have a read. And then I looked at the two comments

The first one being this:

Quote
Until female writers reject magical thinking and start writing science-based science fiction, they are just a bunch of would-be princesses to me.

That right there is your reason. I am in awe of the fact this one quote totally dismisses both the women who DO write science based SF (he hasn't heard of any, so there must be none and/or he's not picked up a book with a woman's name on the cover in the erroneous belief they don't write science based SF*) and those who don't (because we should all write what he, personally, likes to read and if we don't we're just the would-be princesses)

It's actually a pretty spectacular example of what we're up against



*Including at least one of the authors in the article!
And that's why I never read internet comments.
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Offline JMack

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I clicked through to the article to have a read. And then I looked at the two comments

The first one being this:

Quote
Until female writers reject magical thinking and start writing science-based science fiction, they are just a bunch of would-be princesses to me.

That right there is your reason. I am in awe of the fact this one quote totally dismisses both the women who DO write science based SF (he hasn't heard of any, so there must be none and/or he's not picked up a book with a woman's name on the cover in the erroneous belief they don't write science based SF*) and those who don't (because we should all write what he, personally, likes to read and if we don't we're just the would-be princesses)

It's actually a pretty spectacular example of what we're up against



*Including at least one of the authors in the article!
And that's why I never read internet comments.
Did you say something?  ;) ;)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Francis Knight

Unfortunately it is representative of real life and a proportion of real readers (and real things said to me)

This is exactly what female authors are up against


(anecdote: In a Waterstones. Someone asks for some "great UF" has read Butcher etc. Seller reccs Stacia Kane. "Oh, it'll be all romance and knickers"

Very far from the actual books but made the judgement on her name

This right here is what we are up against. Women only write that poncy touchy feely stuff. Even though men do, but that's OK
I write it because human beings have feels, because people do, even the mens. So I should just excise that part if hem?

Some of them also get their face burnt off.

funny how if a bloke writes a sex scene/emotional wassname that's art and delving into the human condition. Woman writes it? Stupid fluff (not you. But in general)


Makes me want to change genre sometimes.


@Jmack You want to go five rounds? Bring it



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Offline JMack

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I just don't get the prejudice. I know it exists, but it just makes such zero sense to me.

My father-in-law used to carp about how he never read women authors because they just didn't write realistic characters. Just one of the so many ways in which he was wrong about the world.
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Offline Elfy

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Stumbled upon this on Goodreads thought I share it looks very intriguing

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

The first adult novel in more than three years from the bestselling author of the Fairyland books
Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own, from the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.

Aesthetically recalling A Trip to the Moon and House of Leaves, and told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.
Valente is an extraordinary writer and deserves far more press and recognition than she actually gets. I'm really looking forward to this. I'm also eager to hear what she does with the secret world of the Bronte siblings idea she was researching after Worldcon.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Online ScarletBea

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 >:(
I understand that you have to pay attention to that, Francis, being a writer and having to do your best to get more readers.

As for me, I prefer to go through life pretending these morons don't exist... ::)
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Offline Francis Knight

I just don't get the prejudice. I know it exists, but it just makes such zero sense to me.


Well exactly.

@ScarletBea I wish I could ignore it. But it's too in my face.
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