This month I will be highlighting female authors who write science fiction and fantasy. It’s remarkable that people still say that women don’t write science fiction or fantasy, but I thought I might as well use it as the chance to highlight some women doing wonderful work within the genres. Let’s begin!
March 1st – N.K. Jemisin
Hopefully you’ve already heard of N.K. Jemisin, who’s currently taking the fantasy book community by storm. She gained quite a bit of popularity for her debut book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and has since won the Hugo award for her novel The Fifth Season. N.K. Jemisin writes brilliantly imaginative fantasy novels populated with a diverse cast of characters. From epic tales of gods and mortals to a world of constant apocalypses, her creations never fail to wow me.
Recommended starting place: The Fifth Season, a novel about a woman’s quest through a dying world to find her daughter.
March 2nd – Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley is another author you may have heard of. She made her name with the Newberry Award winning young adult fantasy novel, The Hero and the Crown. She’s always been a big proponent of “girls who do things” and continues to craft stories with courageous young women. She has two distinct styles. For her more fairy tale like works, she tends towards very beautiful and lyric prose. For her urban fantasy, she tends to use a first person, stream of consciousness type narration. Even if you don’t enjoy one style, odds are you might like the other.
Recommended starting place: The Hero and the Crown, a young adult fantasy about a dragon slaying princess, or Sunshine, an adult fantasy novel about a woman who discovers her own power when she begins to tangle with vampires.
March 3rd – S. L. Huang
S.L. Huang is an independent author writing the tremendously fun Russell’s Attic series. Cas Russell has a superpower – she’s really, really good at math. But while she might have superpowers, Cas is no superhero. She uses her skills to work as a mercenary, and she doesn’t much care about following the law or restraining herself from killing people who get in her way. But the series includes more character growth than you find in your usual action packed, science fiction thriller, and I love the focus on found family.
Recommended starting place: Zero Sum Game, a fast paced story with an anti-heroic lead
March 4th – Lynn Flewelling
Lynn Flewelling is an epic fantasy author who often focuses on themes surrounding sexuality and gender. She’s mainly known for her Nightrunner series, an ongoing fantasy about two thieves who fight against dark forces. The series takes place in a gender egalitarian world where same-sex relationships are completely normal and accepted. The two male protagonists get together in the second book. She’s also written a prequel trilogy to the Nightrunner series, the Tamir Triad, a gender bending story about a hidden heir to the throne.