Monday, 29 March 2010

My Top 40 Female SFF Writers

[First posted 14 February 2010]

Never being one to shy away from a challenge, I have responded to @hagelrat's suggestion that I make my own list by creating this... My Top 40 Female SFF Writers!
This is a personal list, based on books and authors I have encountered over the years (yes, I have read every one listed here) and is not a comprehensive list of female authors in the SFF genre. There may be what some consider to be 'glaring omissions', but this is MY list. If a particular author is not included it is for 2 reasons:
  • I have never read any of her books e.g. Carol Berg
  • I have read at least one of her books but didn't enjoy it e.g. Robin Hobbs
Of course there are some real favourites in there, authors that I would read every word they ever committed to paper. Jacqueline Carey and Anne Bishop fit in that category, Sherri Tepper and Anne Rice to a lesser extent. Some new authors are included too; Kaaron Warren, N K Jemisin and Aliette de Bodard are 3 writers I have discovered in the last 2 months and are worthy of inclusion. Others are what I consider 'comfort' reads... I know exactly what to expect but enjoy the worldbuilding or lead characters e.g. Kelley Armstrong, Sherrilyn Kenyon or Michelle Sagara.
So, here it is, in no particular order: 

My Top 40 Female SFF Writers 

1. Sherri Tepper – Grass
2. Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Dart
3. Anne Bishop – The Black Jewels trilogy (one volume)
4. Anne Rice – The Mayfair Witches
5. Octavia Butler – The Parable of the Sower
6. Marian Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon
7. Katherine Kerr – Palace
8. Joan D Vinge – The Snow Queen
9. Ursula le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness
10. Kaaron Warren – Walking the Tree
11. Jaine Fenn – Principles of Angels
12. Margaret Atwood – A Handmaid’s Tale
13. Elizabeth Moon – The Speed of Dark
14. Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus
15. Storm Constantine – Storm for the Sacred
16. Anne McCaffrey – The Ship Who Sang
17. Catherynne M Valente – Palimpsest
18. Juliet Marillier – Daughter of the Forest
19. Sara Douglass – Battleaxe
20. Connie Willis – Doomsday Book
21. Tanith Lee – The Secret Books of Paradys
22. Nancy Kress – Beggars in Spain
23. N.K.Jemisin – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
24. Karen Miller – Empress
25. Jennifer Fallon – Medalon
26. Sherrilyn Kenyon – Acheron
27. Mary Doria Russell – The Sparrow
28. Starhawk – The Spiral Dance
29. Maria V Snyder – Poison Study
30. Julian May – The Many-coloured Land
31. Faith Hunter – Bloodring
32. P D James – Children of Men
33. Michelle Sagara – Cast in Secret
34. Aliette de Bodard – Servant of the Underworld
35. Alex Bell – The Ninth Circle
36. Elizabeth Haydon – Prophecy
37. Celia Friedman – Black Sun Rising
38. Wendy Alec – The Fall of Lucifer
39. Kelley Armstrong – Bitten
40. Justina Robson – Living Next Door to the God of Love

What do you think? Have I missed any you consider to be conspicuous by their absence? Feel free to comment, but remember, this is my own personal selection! I am, however, very open to suggestions for new authors to try...

1 comment:

  1. Even if I haven't even read half of the books/authoresses of the list above I find some of my favorites missing. On my list totally would be: C.J. Cherryh (Cyteen, Foreigner Series), Doris Egan (Ivory Trilogy), Naomi Novik (Temeraire), Barbary Hambly (Windrose Tilogy), Robin McKinley (The Blue Sword, Sunshine), Marta Randall (The Sword of Winter), Glenda Noramly/Larke (Havenstar), Rosemary Kirstein (Steerswoman books), Ann Aguirre (Grimspace), Laura Resnick (In legend born)
    Marion Zimmer Bradley and the Mists of Avalon changed my view of the world (I wouldn't read them again because I know at least one of the characters I'd want to kill as soon as she appears today) but I liked her Darkover books better. I also would add Ilona Andrews and Pip Ballantine even with their male co-authors. The beauty of it is that we all can have our own list :) and I will never run out of suggestions what to read next...