March 11, 2015

Three Science Fiction and Fantasy Female Authors Who Led the Way

March is Women's History Month.  Every March at I'm Lost in Books I spin that into the Women's Lit Event celebrating female authors and their work.  I have some lovely authors and bloggers who will be sharing with us.  Today please welcome Kallen, the blogger behind Geeky Library.











Three Science Fiction and Fantasy Female Authors Who Led the Way

Today, women are proving their prowess in science fiction and fantasy, fields that were once known solely for male authors, from Tolkein to Heinlein. Women authors have proved they have a place in the world of science fiction and fantasy, and if you aren't convinced, why not pick up the "Women Destroy Science Fiction" issue of Lightspeed Magazine. But it wasn't always that way. Here are three science fiction and fantasy authors who proved how successful women could be in these genres.


Anne McCaffrey

Of all the books with dragons in them, McCaffrey's world of Pern is the world I wanted to live in the most. Every fan has imagined Impressing their own telephatic dragon to serve as a friend forever. In fact, in author Jo Walton's own hugo-award winner, the novel Among Others, the 15-year old main character says, "I would like a fire-lizard. Or a dragon for that matter. I'd come swooping in on my blue dragon and she'd breathe fire and burn down the school!" For the Pern story "Weyr Search," Anne McCaffrey became the first woman to win a hugo award. Pretty big honor. In fact, a transcript from the 1968 Hugo Award ceremony, the year she won, recently resurfaced. Dragons may have earned her a place in history, but set those aside, and you're still left with an amazing collection of written work. Acorna follows the story of a young orphan found floating in space by a trio of astroid minors. Powers that Be is set on a chilly Hoth-like terraformed planet that proves to have a mystery. Pegasus in Flight is set on a future Earth, where telekinesis and other psychic powers have been discovered in a small group of individuals.


Ursula K. Le Guin

I first picked up A Wizard of Earthsea because I found LeGuin's name on a list of authors from Portland, OR. Earthsea is a rich fantasy world that has been adapted in many forms—movies, tv, plays— but of course, nothing can beat the books. But the science fiction novel Left Hand of Darkness is what firmly places Le Guin in the hall of fame. It explores an androgynous society (without men or women genders) and won both the Hugo and the Nebula. Published in 1970, some consider it the first example of feminist sci-fi. In 2014, Le Guin received the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. After accepting the award, and expressing her wish to share it with all science fiction and fantasy community, she said, "I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope." It's worth reading more about her acceptance speech, which was inspiring.


Octavia E. Butler

Dystopia books set on a near-future earth are all the rage lately. In Parable of the Sower, the US is slowly falling apart and water is more precious than gasoline (which is so expensive no one really drives anymore). I read it at a young age, and was so influenced by the philosophy of the main character, that I memorized many of the "truths" the young prophet wrote. But look far away from earth and you've got Butler's Lilith's Brood series (starting with Dawn), which is completely alien. The Oankali are some of the most alien aliens I've ever read about. Butler is also a great author to start with if you're looking to read diverse books. High on my to-read list is Kindred, where a african-american woman from the present is transported back into the past where she meets her ancestors, a slave and a white slave owner. I can only imagine the shock.




Five Modern Sci-Fi and Fantasy Female Authors continuing the legacy

G. Willow Wilson — Writer for the popular Ms. Marvel comic series, her fantasy novel Alif the Unseen is not to be missed. J.K. Rowling — The most famous modern fantasy writer, Rowling's editor suggested she use her initials to disguise the fact that she is a woman author. The fear was young boys wouldn't pick up Harry Potter if it was written by a "Joanna." Lois McMaster Bujold — With legions of fans, Bujold has the distinction of being tied with Robert Heinlein for having the most wins for the Hugo Award for Best Novel (four times). Mary Robinette Kowal — Known for regency-era fantasy novel Shades of Milk and Honey and the rest of the glamorist histories, Kowal has also written a number of noteworthy shorter science fiction stories, and won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "The Lady Astronaut of Mars." Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire — McGuire, also known by her pen name Mira Grant, won the Campbell Award for best new writer in 2010 and is a prolific writer under either name. 





Kallen is a writer, editor and the content manager for GeekyLibrary, a website featuring book reviews and news for geeks.  
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