Celebrating Female Authors

A sort of interesting thing has been happening to me recently. I’m going through a transformation. There’s this period when you are diagnosed with something like cancer (and then you learn you are *surprise* pregnant and can’t get the treatment you need, and then your back goes out leaving you basically paralyzed, and then you have a baby that was supposed to be mentally handicapped and/or supposed to die being born but is born normal and survives, and then you learn that, while you were pregnant, your cancer spread… and then you have three back surgeries) where you go through this mental adjustment. You adjust to being sick. My mind, for 2.5 years, had no room for anything but focusing on beating cancer, and getting to a point where I could walk normally again. For two-and-a-half years all I thought about was being sick, making sure my kid was healthy despite how sick I was, and learning to walk. That was it. I reviewed on here, but didn’t really do anything else, because I just mentally couldn’t. I could hardly handle my own life, much less running a website. I’m honestly shocked Bookworm Blues didn’t fall apart around me.

Now I’m cancer free, my two-year-old is healthy (despite everything set against her), and after three back surgeries, I can walk without pain again. The thing I’m learning is that there’s an adjustment to being chronically ill, and there’s an adjustment to being healthy again. For so long I had no room to mentally wrap my head around anything but the absolute basics that made life move forward. Reviewing was important because it got my mind off of me, but I couldn’t handle anything else. Now I’m healthy again, and suddenly I’m thinking about all this stuff that I didn’t have the emotional capacity to think of before. I didn’t run a blog with any commentary on it before, because I just couldn’t. When you are that sick and mortality is staring you in the face, you kind of get consumed. All of my energy was spent on not falling into that emotional pit that I was balanced on the edge of for so long. Now, even though my days are still 24 hours long, I feel like I have all this extra time, all this exciting room in my head to think about crap that doesn’t involve death, surgeries, or sickness. I don’t spend hours pondering the various “what ifs” in life that no one likes to think about. I’m starting to explore the ins and outs of various things more than I used to. This huge pressure has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel kind of like this (only I’m not a dude):

ANYWAY, all of this is to say that I’m adjusting to being alive again. I mean, really, really alive. Due to all this extra room in my head, I’ll probably be running more commentary and various whatevers on good ol’ Bookworm Blues. I hope that doesn’t displease you. I am discovering that there’s a ton of aspects to SFF I never really thought about before, and I am having a lot of fun with it.

Which brings me to today’s post. 

Yesterday I was reading Ancillary Justice to my kid while she was falling asleep (I’m cool like that). I realized that I’m oddly fascinated in female authors because I so rarely seem to run across anything they write that isn’t specifically urban fantasy. Then, through the pointing out of others and my own introspection, I realized that I’m an idiot. There are a ton of female authors out there who write so many amazing things, I just never really think about it. If someone says, “What’s a great epic fantasy series?” I guarantee you I will point them to a series that is penned by a man. This isn’t because I’m anti-woman, I just tend to have some male-bias with the books I read. I’ll be completely honest with you here, when I want to read a gritty book, I tend to gravitate to men more than women. Ridiculous, right?

The truth is, that’s complete crap. A little while ago I read God’s War by Kameron Hurley. I absolutely loved this book so much so that I don’t think I can really review it. It wouldn’t be a review, it would be a foaming at the mouth, THIS BOOK IS AMAZING diatribe so I’ve just avoided doing it. One thing that Hurley has proven to me is that anyone who says, “Only men can write really good, gritty SFF” is full of crap. Anyone who says that obviously hasn’t read Hurley’s books. When I sit down and have an honest schizophrenic chat with myself, many of the best, most complex, twisted, keep-you-guessing, remember-forever, attach-themselves-to-my-soul books I’ve read, are penned by women.

The fact remains, when a person reads a book they should read it because it looks good. The author’s gender shouldn’t even come into the picture. People write. It’s not a skill that is gender specific, nor should it be. However, gender bias does exist and I think we all participate in it to one extent or another. Regarding SFF, my own gender bias rears its ugly head with the belief that men write more substantial books and women write more romantic ones. Total crap, but that total crap is evident in the type of titles I pick out and read.

I’m being honest here, so don’t throw stones at me, please.

When I really sat down to write this post, I realized that most of my absolute favorite, go-to books I’ve read are books women have written, so I’m not sure why I always seem to turn to books written by men when I want something complex, bloody, or political. The books I’ve listed here are on my top shelf. They are some of my all-time-favorites, and the authors are authors I pay very, very close attention to.

The goal of this post is to admit that I am a flawed person and to share some of my favorite, bar none, top-of-the-class authors. They all happen to be female authors. Why? Because women pump out some incredible books that are worth celebrating. I’m trying to keep this already long post shorter, so I’m focusing on science fiction, epic fantasy, and urban fantasy with my absolute favorite books/authors listed in each category.

Do you have any to add? 

Science Fiction

God’s War – Kameron Hurley

Gritty and delicious, God’s War is a SciFi book that will make any lover of Abercrombie-type gore, darker themes, and far away worlds as happy as a cat in cream. The main character, Nyx, is rather morally ambiguous (something I love in my protagonists). God’s War is completely unfiltered. It’s complex, compelling, and bloody and moves at a fast pace that will leave you breathless when it’s over. It’s a must-read and a very promising start to a series I’m sure I will love.







Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie

I can’t say much about this one yet, because I’m not done with it, but I can already tell that Ancillary Justice is one of those SciFi books that will stick to me long after I finish it. It’s political, complex, and sprawling. The world(s) are well crafted. With just a few words, Leckie makes everything spring to life in such a vivid way. The main character, Breq, is absolutely captivating in the fact that she’s not what you expect, and her perception of what happen is tinted by that. Ancillary Justice is exactly what I want my SciFi to be. It’s equal parts social, political, tense, and sprawling with a protagonist that is absolutely engrossing.

This book is being published by Orbit on October 1, 2013 and I will post my full review once I finish reading it.




A Soldier’s Duty – Jean Johnson

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of this series, but it’s worth mentioning because Johnson does do some good things here. The protagonist, Ia, swears herself into the military for some unusual reasons. A Soldier’s Duty focuses primarily on her training (which was rather boring to me). Ia, however, is a strong female lead, and her training forces her to face some interesting hurdles which pushes her to save the day in the process. Yes, it is fairly standard for SciFi. There’s nothing really new here, but despite that, I find myself thinking of A Soldier’s Duty often because Johnson really wrote a realistic, believable, and educational version of military life set in a futuristic world with a strong female protagonist anyone could be proud of.





Epic Fantasy

The Chronicles of Sirkara – Laura Resnick

This trilogy was released a while ago, but it’s very underrated and one of my absolute favorites which I’ve re-read a few times now. The Chronicles of Sirkara takes place on an island with waterlords, assassins, people who control fire, exotic well-crafted cultures and so much more. Sileria (the island) has been oppressed for a long, long time. The people maintain their identity despite it, but conquerors have come and gone. The island is going through a political shift. The people are tired of being oppressed, and this series follows their toils and struggles in that vein. There’s battles, blood, heart break, relationships, magic, and whatever else you need. Yes, there is a prophecy, which is a kind of exhausted trope in epic fantasy, but Resnick handles it well. This trilogy starts with the book pictured here. What I love most about this series is how intricately Resnick crafted her world. Sileria really comes to life, and by the time the series is over, I feel like I’ve lost part of myself in the process. That’s probably why I re-read it over and over again.


Curse of the Mistwraith – Janny Wurrts

I’ve re-read this book twice now and I have yet to continue with the series. Not because it’s terrible. Acutally, it’s exactly the opposite. I’m just still catching up from the six months of health chaos earlier this year. Curse of the Mistwraith is the first book in one of the most epic of all epic fantasy’s I’ve ever read. This is one of those books that demands your full attention. It’s dense, complex, political, and full of twists and turns. Wurts’ has some of the most dense and descriptive prose I’ve ever read. Honestly, I cannot fathom why this series isn’t more well-known or popular. Curse of the Mistwraith competes with anything George R.R. Martin has ever written, and probably one-ups him quite a bit. Wurts is an epic fantasy powerhouse.

Epic fantasy fans: Why the hell haven’t you read this yet?




N.K. Jemisin

I’m just going to put Jemisin’s picture here, because everything she writes is epic and it’s all wonderful. One thing I love about Jemisin’s writing is how she almost always has at least one perspective that is a strong female, and how she always, refreshingly, fills her work with a lot of minority characters that, in my humble opinion, aren’t used enough in SFF. Jemisin is a name anyone in SFF will know. Her writing is flowing and lyrical. Her worlds and cultures are well developed and finely crafted. She adds anything you’d want in your epic fantasy to her plots. Bonus, I believe she’s working on a SciFi series to be released next year. I can’t wait to see what this fantastic author can pump out for that genre.




Kate Elliott 

Please. Do I really need to say more? Elliott is one of the most prolific female epic fantasy authors. She’s pumped out plenty of books that prove her epic fantasy prowess. Elliott is another author that almost always writes from a strong female perspective. Her books usually have a dash of romance in them, but that’s balanced well with all of her politics, adventures, and battles. One aspect of Elliott’s books that I absolutely love is how completely unafraid of exploring interpersonal growth she is. Her books run on two different levels. There’s the surface action, adventure, and tension. Underneath there’s always a strong theme of interpersonal development that adds a nice emotional zing to all of her books.




Urban Fantasy

Of Blood and Honey – Stina Leicht

I am really, really fussy with urban fantasy. It’s a genre I either love or hate. I tend to approach it with care. Of Blood and Honey slayed me. It absolutely slayed me so much so that I actually wrote to the author and bought myself a Christmas present of her books autographed. I mean, I loved this book so much it hurts. Stina Leicht writes urban fantasy the way it was meant to be written. This duology is somewhat historical taking place in Northern Ireland during those intensely political, devastating battles that savaged that country. Leicht shows how those struggles absolutely devastated lives and families. You fall in love, and you lose, right along with Liam. Her research is impeccable. Her prose are absorbing. The fantasy is nicely and naturally woven into the real-world setting. Liam is… wow. Liam is one of those characters that never let me go. He firmly became part of me. Of Blood and Honey is one of those rare books that had me in tears. Stina Leict does it right. Read this book. Now.


Miserere – Teresa Frohock

I read this book on the heals of Of Blood and Honey, and I probably wasn’t emotionally ready for the emotional havoc this fantastic book would heap on me. Both Leicht and Frohock are authors on the top of my Authors to Watch list, and neither of them write or publish books fast enough for my liking. Miserere is emotionally absorbing, well thought out, and perfectly paced. The world and politics are absolutely perfect. The story is full of tension. However, Frohock does some things that really set her above and apart from the rest. Her use of religion is fascinating, but never hits the reader over the head. This is probably one of the only books I’ve ever read that is so heavily focused on religion, but absolutely never felt preachy. Instead, it felt absolutely natural, like her use of religion should be there, instead of feeling like it was forced to be there. Next, most of her main characters are older and have some sort of disability. This was shockingly refreshing. No one is perfect, and Frohock plays to that. Furthermore, the disabilities her characters suffer from are absolutely realistic. Frohock knows how people compensate for their disadvantages and she also knows how strong disabled people are. This makes her characters incredibly relatable and realistic. Lastly, she’s one of the only authors who has been able to blend “our world” and an alternative world completely seamlessly. There is so much more that I could say about Frohock, but I’m trying to keep this post shorter than a novel, so I’ll leave it there. Read this book.

Elfland – Freda Warrington

This series of books has some of the most stunning cover art I’ve ever seen. Each cover is exactly like a beautiful painting. The kind I’d want to look at every day. Each book is exactly like that. It’s sort of disorienting, sort of captivating, very emotionally absorbing, and full of fantasy. Warrington’s writing is the kind of writing that lets stories just unfold around the reader without any effort on the reader’s part. Her books are full of layers, and the fantasy is the perfect addition to her books. I started out thinking Elfland would be a typical coming-of-age book, but it’s really so much more than that. I absolutely fell in love with Warrington’s writing, and the realistic emotional struggles her characters face. Her books are comprised of perfectly balanced tension and endearing emotional struggles. Perhaps what I loved most about Elfland was how incredibly realistic her fantasy elements are, and how I so desperately wished that the world of Elfland was the world I lived in. Warrington is an enchanting author, and her books are artwork.

29 Responses

  • David Wohlreich

    For me, epic fantasy doesn’t get much better than C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy. A great world, original magic system, and arguably my favorite antihero in the genre.

    Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle is pretty much the n’est plus ultra of fantasy. The Left Hand of Darkness & the Lathe of Heaven are similarly at the apogee of SF.

  • Short list off the top of my head. . .

    Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Brach
    Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
    The Mall by SL Grey
    Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
    Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi
    All. Of. The. Things by KJ Parker (presumably)
    Whitefire Crossing and Tainted City by Courtney Schafer
    Oathbreaker’s Shadow by Amy McCulloch
    Blood’s Pride by Evie Maniere
    Coldfire Trilogy by Celia S. Friedman
    China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh
    Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
    Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
    The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle
    The Faded Sun Trilogy by CJ Cherryh

    • Schafer’s books are on hold for me at the library. I’m excited to read them.

      KJ Parker is god. I’m just unsure of the gender so he/she got left off the list.

  • Jeremy

    Thanks for this post. Im very proud of the books I published and very pleased that some of them found thier way onto your list. Obviously they had a similiar impact on me.

  • I’m incapable of letting a list of Epic Fantasy authors stand without commenting if it doesn’t have Robin Hobb on it. I simply love Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings setting.

    I thought Madeline Ashby’s vN was great Earthbound Science Fiction, and I highly recommend it. Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century novels are also favourite’s of mine. They’re Steampunk/Alternate History.
    Gwenda Bond and Kim Curran has written some really good YA Fantasy and Science Fiction respectively.

    I know there’s others, but I’m at my brother’s now so I don’t have my bookshelves nearby to take a look at.

    Oh, and it’s not that long until you can start reading Astrid Lindgren to Fiona. Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter is Fantasy (Heroic?), and The Brothers Lionheart is Epic Fantasy. (And Lindgren’s other children’s books are great too.)

  • I feel like the biggest idiot for not including Friedman or Bear because they both should be on the top of my list.cancer ate my memory. That’s my only excuse. No one does antihero’s better than Friedman and everything Bear writes is gold.

  • The other day I brought up Ursula K. Le Guin in a conversation to use as an example and someone said “Yeah but no one under thirty will recognize her name.”

    That’s kinda hard for me to believe.

    She’s written classic award-winning fantasy – the Earthsea series – AND classic award winning sf novels like The Dispossed and The Word for World is Forest. In her, the best of sf and fantasy is represented. I don’t know why people don’t mention her more often.

    God, I hope I’m not part of the graying of fandom.

    • She’s been at the top of my to-read list for years. I’m ashamed I haven’t read her yet.

    • Yeah, that person’s full of crap. Myself included, most anyone who calls themself a fan of the genre will at LEAST know about Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea.

  • I would have to include Margaret Weis on this list. Actually, when I was young, I thought Tracy Hickman was a woman too, so I was convinced my fav. author duo was a female duo. Actually a little disappointed when I realized that wasn’t the case.
    The Star of the Guardians series was a great, almost superior version of Star Wars, and I definitely enjoyed them. I know it was with Hickman too, but the Death Gate Cycle is an amazing series.

  • Oh gosh, there are so many female authors who write amazing epic fantasy and science fiction (and have been for years and years). I hardly know where to start with my own favorites! But here are a few off the top of my head:

    C.J. Cherryh. Cyteen remains my all-time favorite science fiction novel. One of the best depictions of a genius-level character I’ve ever seen, combined with an incredibly well-thought out, near-prescient exploration of the implications of human cloning. The rest of Cherryh’s prodigious output is amazing, too, and runs the gamut from far-future SF to mythic and epic fantasy. (Fortress in the Eye of Time and its sequels are deeply underrated epic fantasy, IMHO.)

    Joan Vinge: Her Snow Queen/Summer Queen duology and the Cat books are brilliant.

    Julian May: Her Saga of the Pliocene Exile combines both SF and epic fantasy with wild, gleeful abandon.

    Martha Wells: Her recent Books of the Raksura are terrific, and so are her earlier novels (one of my favorites is the SF-flavored City of Bones.)

    Carol Berg: epic fantasy doesn’t get better than this. Tons of intrigue and adventure and terrific characters. The Rai-Kirah series, the Lighthouse Duet, the Collegia Magica books…all awesome.

    Emma Bull: she wrote one of the seminal modern urban fantasy novels (War for the Oaks), and has written everything from western fantasy to gender-bending SF and it’s all AMAZING. A crime she is not more well read.

    Elizabeth Bear: one of the most versatile writers working in SFF today; her prolific output includes everything from historical fantasy to post-apocalyptic SF . Her current epic fantasy trilogy that starts with Range of Ghosts is one of my favorite reads of recent years.

    Patricia McKillip: Her Riddlemaster Trilogy is one of the classics of epic fantasy, her novel The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is one of my all-time favorite standalones, and she’s got an enormous catalog of novels that are stunning in the power of their prose.

    Tanith Lee: Tales of the Flat Earth. Epic in scope, Arabian in flavor, gorgeous in prose.

    Sherwood Smith: Her Inda series is terrific epic fantasy, and the Exordium series she co-wrote with Dave Trowbridge is one of my favorite space opera sagas.

    C.S. Friedman: she might be better known for the fantasy-flavored Coldfire trilogy, but I love her SF standalones The Madness Season and This Alien Shore.

    Susan R. Matthews: if you like your SF dark and disturbing, I’m not sure it gets darker than her series that starts with An Exchange of Hostages. Nothing in today’s current wave of grimdark fantasy has made me even half as horrified/uncomfortable as Matthews’s psychological study of a doctor-torturer in a dystopian future space service.

    Lois McMaster Bujold: her Vorkosigan series (SF) and her Chalion books (epic fantasy) are great.

    Robin Hobb: Queen of epic fantasy. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-read her Farseer books.

    Jacqueline Carey: Her covers look very romance-oriented, but don’t let it put you off. The Kushiel books are political epic fantasy full of intrigue and interesting characters.

    Helen Lowe. I’ve really enjoyed her Wall of Night series so far (epic fantasy).

    Amanda Downum: The Drowning City is a spy novel (of the intrigue/character type rather than the thriller/explosions type) in an epic fantasy setting. Very cool stuff.

    I could go on all day but this comment would get longer than your original post. A few newer authors of SF to check out, too: Chris Moriarty, Linda Nagata, Ann Aguirre, Brenda Cooper, Sara Creasy.

    • I second Courtney’s list, especially Tanith Lee and Patricia McKillip.

      The Tanith in my novel was a tribute to Tanith Lee. 😉

  • Most of my favourite authors have already been mentioned, but I should mention Holly Lisle. I’ve only read two of her books, but they both instantly entered my favourites list. She’s most similar to Robin Hobb, I suppose – deeply character focused fantasy.

  • Wow, I seem to be late to THIS party.

    In addition to the people listed above in your post and comments:

    Emma Newman: She’s charmed me quickly with two installments of her Split Worlds series.

    Marie Brennan: For her Onyx Court series, and her Natural History of Dragons

    Violette Malan: She understands S&S, Epic fantasy and Urban Fantasy as well. Triple threat!

    Sarah Monette: Best known for writing with Bear (above), she has an awesome book coming under a new pen name next year. Vastly underrated

  • Myra

    So many wonderful authors already listed (including some new to me I look forward to finding) that I can only think of two I would like to add.

    Pat Cadigan and Rob Thurman.

    Great article, thanks!

  • Julie Miller

    I have a number of my bookshelves devoted to my favorite female fantasy/sci fi authors. Of course C.S. Friedman is right up there at the top, and I love Carol Berg and Robin Hobb, too. But I don’t see Juliet Marillier on anyone’s list – her Celtic fantasy is both romantic and wonderfully written and intriguing. And I never see Michelle West on any of these lists. She has a duology – Hunter’s Oath and Hunter’s Death and then a six book series called The Sun Sword that has a bit of an Asian feel to it. I read it probably 14 or 15 years ago when I was between Wheel of Time and Song of Ice and Fire books and absolutely loved it. It brought me to tears more than once. I should do a reread and see if I still like it as much now.

    • Katherine

      Julie, you should re-read Michelle West! She’s written another 5 books in the same world as the Hunter set and the Sun Sword. It amazes me that she is not better known.

      • Michele

        I much prefer her Cast books under Michelle Sagara. Great fun and still going strong with the latest book.

  • Wow, of all the books/authors you listed, I’d only ever heard of Jemison. The first person who always pops into my head during these conversations is Ursula Le Guin. Then I saw the thread where you mention that you haven’t read her yet. Oh oh oh! Please do! She is amazing and I want to hear what you think. Swoooooon.

    The next name that comes to mind is Octavia Butler. Oh my cod. Also totally amazing. I just finished reading her post-apocalyptic duo (Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents) and it is just so good. I am so excited to read the rest of her works.

  • Angela

    Some of the big names I remember loving as I grew up were, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer-Bradley. There was also Judith Tarr who combined excellent historical fiction with the fae.

    Mary Gentle did an awesome standalone military fantasy book called Grunts, that explores the ramifications of giving orcs modern firearms and military training. She also does excellent sci-fi but I haven’t read more than one book of that.

    while most people have heard of the Kushiel series I don’t know if anyone else has heard that the same author also did a two book series that reads like the lord of the rings but from the other side. Banewreaker and Godslayer. it came out in 2005.

    Kage Baker does awesome sci-fi with well done time travel. Katherine Kerr did a wonderful and huge epic set in a very celtic flavoured world. I could go on an on with just the stuff I remember or have sitting on my shelves. but will stop now before this list gets too big.

  • Ryan

    Great post! I’ve written down a bunch of authors’ names who I NEED to check out.

    I’ll second the mention of Octavia Butler. She’s great, I was VERY impressed with Kindred. I toss in another mention of Ursula K. LeGuin. She’s easily in my top ten favorite writers, and I’ve only scratched the surface of her work.

  • In an effort to avoid the women already mentioned I’ll throw in the following:

    Gail Z. Martin – I really enjoyed The Summoner and The Blood King
    Maria Snyder – I loved Poison Study
    Karin Lowachee – Warchild and Burndive (both unfortunately out of print)
    Moira J. Moore – Resenting the Hero
    Ursula Poznanski – Erebos
    Sharon Shinn – Summers at Castle Auburn, Archangel
    M. J. Locke – Up Against It
    Marie Brennan – A Natural History of Dragons, Warrior and Witch

    There are so many great female authors!

  • Jacqueline Carey should be included in any list of awesome SF/F books by women. Her Kushiel’s Legacy books qualify, I think, as epic fantasy, while the Banwreaker duo belongs more to high fantasy, but the definitions of both terms are fuzzy. She has two urban fantasy-esque novels, and the second book of her true urban fantasy trilogy is coming out next week, Agent of Hel: Autumn Bones. She is, flat out, an amazing female writer and I have not as of yet found her equal in epic fantasy, male or female. Urban fantasy may not be her strongest suite, but it’s still a pleasure to read.

    I’m glad your main post was partially about Kameron Hurley. She is likewise awesome and her books kind of blew my mind and the genre wide open. I love her work and can’t wait to see what she does next.

    Karen Lord’s second novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds, was recently published, and I think she deserves to be on this list.

    I would also recommend Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, specifically. It’s at the margins of both fantasy and SF, but she is a powerful, powerful writer.

  • Kari Sperring did something similar on Twitter this summer ( if you haven’t read Kari’s novels I am recommending them, they are soo good), and. Some of the recommendations have been mentioned in the comments, some haven’t. I have read several of them, but one day I’ll have read them all. 🙂

  • Maddog

    Maybe the writer of this article can do one about the people without a voice such as the Handicapped.

    There are a Billion Celebrate Women articles a year. I’ve never seen even one for people who really have disadvantages.

    Go ahead and do it, that fuzzy feeling you want deep inside just may come to fruition.

    • I am starting a biweekly column featuring disabilities in SFF over on SF Signal.

  • Astra

    It looks like a number of my favorites have been noted, so I’ll add:

    Chris Moriarty : Spin State was brilliant. I haven’t read the last in the series yet.

    Kari Sperring has written two top-notch fantasy novels: Living with Ghosts and The Grass King’s Concubine

    Jo Graham writes lovely, powerful retellings of classical myth and history.

    Liz Williams: all of her books are good but her Inspector Chen series as he travels heaven and hell is particularly charming.

  • Sunshine

    Surprised no one has mentioned Sheri S. Tepper yet, but she is one of my all-time favorite sf authors. The Gate to Women’s Country is often on Women’s/Gender Studies classes’ reading lists, but my personal favorites (it’s a tie) are Grass, and The Family Tree.

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