firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
"100 MUST-READ SCI-FI FANTASY NOVELS BY FEMALE AUTHORS" by Nikki Steele, who writes, "Do note that I’ve only listed the first book in any given series."

I think this is a very good list. I have bolded the ones I've read, check-marked the ones I own but haven't read yet, and starred the ones I especially liked. I'm feeling especially hard to please when it comes to fiction these days, and I want to reflect that, so I didn't give out very many stars. I don't mean to suggest the ones I didn't give a star to are bad, just that they didn't get me super-excited.

If you've read any of these authors, I want to hear what you liked by them!

1. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

2. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

*3. Among Others by Jo Walton

*4. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie


√5. Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam

√6. The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

7. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

8. Ash by Malinda Lo

9. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

10. The Pyramid Waltz by Barbara Wright

11. Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee

12. The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish

*13. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

√14. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

15. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

16. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

√17. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

18. Chorus of Mushrooms by Hiromi Goto

19. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

20. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

21. The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce

22. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

23. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

24. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

25. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Didn't finish the series.)

√26. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

27. The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

28. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (Probably her most "important" book but not the one I would have picked as her best or my favorite.)

29. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

30. Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

31. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

32. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

33. The Etched City by K.J. Bishop

34. The Female Man by Joanna Russ

35. Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

36. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (Tried, bounced)

37. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

38. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

39. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

40. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

*41. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


42. The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

*43. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.

*44. Hild by Nicola Griffith

45. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik


46. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

47. The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré

48. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

49. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

50. Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias

51. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

52. The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano

53. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

54. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

*55. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (This duology is excellent but I liked the Inheritance series better.)

56. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

57. Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

√58. Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

59. The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

*60. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

61. Moving the Mountain by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

62. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

63. My Christina & Other Stories by Mercè Rodoreda

64. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due (Haven't read this one. I liked Joplin's Ghost though.)

65. Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin

66. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

67. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

68. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

69. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

*70. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Really like this series.)

71. The Red by Linda Nagata

√72. Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

*73. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Really like this series.)

74. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai

75. The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

76. Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold (Have read the whole series.)

77. Shikasta by Doris Lessing

78. The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

79. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh (Started, bounced)

80. So Far from God by Ana Castillo

√81. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

*82. Soulless by Gail Carriger (Really like this series.)

83. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

84. The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon


85. Spirits of the Ordinary by Kathleen Alcala

86. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

87. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (Reading now)

88. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (Have read other good stuff by her.)

89. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

*90. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

91. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

92. Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff

93. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

94. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

√95. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

96. Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

97. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

98. The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Other Stories by Vandana Singh (I've probably read some of the stories in here.)

99. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

100. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Date: 3 May 2016 04:06 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Novik belongs on the list, but not for that series. Have you read Uprooted yet?

Date: 4 May 2016 05:19 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
He may have the same issue with Temeraire that Russ does, which is that Novik apparently can't write aerial dogfights for shit. I haven't read it because I'm just not that into Hornblower-style fiction, dragons or no dragons.

Uprooted is a horse of an entirely different color. No military overlay at all; it's a trope-busting reworking of elements from fairy tales (mostly Eastern European, and the culture in the story is very Russian-influenced). It's up for a Hugo this year, and I'll be voting it either #1 or #2.

Date: 3 May 2016 03:04 am (UTC)
hobbitbabe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hobbitbabe
Shira Glassman is an (internet) friend of mine. I am thrilled to see her get this kind of recognition already. (Young adult, fantasy world, Jewish, feminist, and LGBT-positive.)

Date: 3 May 2016 10:05 pm (UTC)
hobbitbabe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hobbitbabe
Oh, and I think she has at least one fat romantic lead.

Date: 3 May 2016 04:09 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I really, really love China Mountain Zhang. It is a beautifully written journey story with neat settings and a very memorable main character. Loved it to pieces. I should re-read it.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is quite enjoyable; maybe a bit slow in the beginning but has a great twist ending; smartly written and with some good sequels.

Date: 4 May 2016 07:06 am (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
The Turner books also have some of my favorite cover art ever.

Date: 7 May 2016 12:58 pm (UTC)
selki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selki
I second China Mountain Zhang. It's one of my keepers.

Date: 6 Aug 2016 01:54 pm (UTC)
selki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selki
Keepers: Am I likely to read it again, or does it have significant emotional value for some reason (e.g., reminding me of someone I love), or does it fit very well with a collection (series / thematic assorted books).

Date: 3 May 2016 11:19 am (UTC)
sashataakheru: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sashataakheru
I read most, if not all, of the Alannah series in high school, but I haven't read them since then. Teenage me liked them, though? I never got into her other series, either, but I hear they're not bad.

Frankenstein, though, I adore that book. It is so good!

I haven't read 'The Dispossessed', but I've read a bunch of her other work. I particularly like her short stories. 'Solitude' is one of my favourites.

Date: 3 May 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_siobhan
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is one of my favourite books.

Date: 3 May 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
From: [personal profile] jazzfish
I'm always a bit relieved when I meet someone else who bounced off Patricia McKillip: some of my favourite people really really like her stuff, and it feels like a personal failing every time I can't get into one.

Megan Whalen Turner: The Thief is a middle-grade adventure story that's better than it ought to be. The first sequel, The Queen Of Attolia, is very very good and would be YA except for a) it's a sequel to a middle-grade and b) no sex. It's got that whole realistic-depiction-of-several-kinds-of-trauma-with-a-good-ending thing going for it. The sequels aren't quite as good but are still very much worth reading.

Robin Hobb: if you like big sprawling fantasy serieses with resolutions every three books, she writes those! I felt like something in her narrative voice shifted for the worse after her second book and I haven't been able to describe what it is.

Kameron Hurley: I haven't read Mirror Empire but I've read God's War and Infidel. God's War is brilliant! Infidel is rambly. Both have really good skiffy worldbuilding and excellent characters.

Date: 3 May 2016 06:04 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
I like a lot of the authors but will comment especially where I feel like it:

Cherie Priest: of course I don't like steampunk but her first trilogy, about a young woman named Eden Moore who can see ghosts, I liked a lot. The first book is Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

Charlaine Harris: I liked her Shakespeare novels (which are mysteries rather than SF/F but have a woman protag who doesn't need rescuing) quite a bit. I liked her four-book series about Harper Connolly best of all her work, and her new series is basically crossover fanfic with minor characters from ALL HER OTHER BOOKS, and I have liked the first 2 books in that series very much.

Patricia McKillip: I bounced off of Eld but like some of her other work a lot.\

Nicola Griffith: I haven't read Hild but have the distinct impression it's not SF/F, correct me if I'm wrong? I adore everything else she has written with a white hot passion, so will probably pick up Hild at some point.

Date: 3 May 2016 09:17 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Harper is one of my favorite fictional characters! The protagonist of the Midnight Texas series is Manfred Bernardo from those books!

Date: 4 May 2016 05:39 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Oh, I'm going to have to check that out! I adore Manfred and his unconventional grandma...

Date: 4 May 2016 05:35 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I basically like everything I've read by Harris except the Sookie Stackhouse books, but I think that's because I'm pretty much Over vampires and werewolves.

The Shakespeare books are a little on the grimdark side -- what was done to the protagonist was horrific torture, and Harris doesn't shy away from referring to it -- so I can see why some people might have trouble with those. By the same token, I would suggest you avoid A Secret Rage, which is about the mental and emotional journey of a rape survivor and is VERY explicit in some ways.

Aurora Teagarden I liked for the first 4 or 5 books, but then lost interest. I agree that the Harper Connolly books are excellent; it's a shame that the series seems to have stopped at 4, and I can't help but wonder if her exploration of the seriously non-traditional relationship between the two protagonists might be the reason -- too controversial for either the publisher or the audience, perhaps?

You might look at Sweet and Deadly, which is a stand-alone mystery with a very unusual twist. I was quite pleased with myself because I don't usually guess any of the major components before the denouement, but this one I did.

Date: 6 May 2016 03:24 pm (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
C. Priest: I just loved Four and Twenty Blackbirds so much, but I think I was lucky that I read that when it came out. The steampunk books are very different, jarringly so for me.

C. Harris: More love for Harper Connolly and also Midnight Texas!

Date: 7 May 2016 01:00 pm (UTC)
selki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selki
Yes, Harris' Shakespeare, Arizona mysteries are very good. Does the new series include minor characters from that, too? Looks like I should look into the Harper Connolly books which I didn't know about.

Date: 8 May 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Yep! I like seeing more the minor characters.

Date: 3 May 2016 09:13 pm (UTC)
kshandra: a stack of hardback books, spines facing away (Books)
From: [personal profile] kshandra
I was surprised to see Daughter of the Blood on this list. I love the Black Jewels Trilogy (and the following books to a lesser degree), but I once described them as "comfort food - not like a plate of homemade lasagna, but that pint of Ben & Jerry's you grab at the convenience store on your way home after a hard day."

Date: 3 May 2016 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sammason.livejournal.com
Please will you use LJ cuts?

Date: 3 May 2016 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sammason.livejournal.com
Thank you but it hasn't made a difference on my screen.

Date: 4 May 2016 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sammason.livejournal.com
No prob. Anyway I love books.

Date: 3 May 2016 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clawfoot.livejournal.com
I really, really enjoyed 66. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's admittedly a very slow read, but I think that's because Morgenstern takes her time to craft the world and the characters very carefully. I haven't read anything else by her, but I would recommend The Night Circus if you like slow, deliberate, thoughtful stories.

Date: 8 May 2016 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahmichigan.livejournal.com
I LOVED "Antelope Wife." I like most of Erdrich's stuff, but that was a favorite.

I read "The Darkangel" when I was a young teen and images from it have stuck with me. I keep meaning to re-read it.

My husband raves about "Station Eleven" and it's on my "to read" list.

"Who Fears Death" is an intense read because of the subject matter (rape, female genital mutilation, war & murder, etc.) but a good one.


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