Communicator (communicator) wrote,

SF by women

There's been an interesting series of posts at Torque Control about women and SF, with spinoffs on other blogs.

Here is a place to start

Niall asked people to pick their top ten SF stories by women of the past decade.
I invite you all to email me your top ten sf novels by women from the last ten years (2001–2010), before 23.59 on Sunday 5 December. Again, science fiction, although I leave it up to your conscience to decide which, if any, books that excludes... The books can have been published anywhere. I’ll collate all the votes, and announce an overall top ten.
I tried this and came unstuck.

In the 1980s almost all the SF I read was by women, perhaps because a lot of what was written by men seemed to exclude or belittle me. But over the nineties I think SF by men became more inclusive to female readers but perhaps the overall industry became less welcoming to female writers. In the 2000s I have read very little SF by women. I think it's a real problem.

I think the only two outstanding SF novels I have read by women written in this decade, are
The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
I have read some other outstanding non-realist novels by women, which would jostle for a place in any top ten of the decade, regardless of genre or gender. But unfortunately I would not call them SF. They are:
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (this is a novella, but I think it's wonderful)
In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
Lavinia by Ursula le Guin (and the Gifts trilogy which I think goes with it conceptually)
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Am I guilty of classifying these as 'not SF' because of the gender of the author? Possibly, but I feel that calling any of these SF would be a real stretch.

There is a post about replies to this question on Torque Control.

I think I must read something by Liz Williams.

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