Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Mistressworks of SF

Yet another big-list-of-books meme, and once again I'm picking it up from James Nicoll. This particular list was an attempt to create a canon of great books by female writers (one book each) of science fiction -- both the "one book per writer" and the "science fiction" have proven to be grounds for interesting discussions elsewhere -- in response to a line of books with a masculine version of the title which turned out to be very boy-centric.

As usual, the rules are: set titles in bold if you've read them and in italics if you own it but haven't read it yet. It is also allowable to bold a series if you've read all of it.
  • 1 Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818)
  • 2 Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)
  • 3 Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928) 
  • 4 Lest Ye Die, Cicely Hamilton (1928)
  • 5 Swastika Night, Katherine Burdekin (1937) 
  • (6 Wrong Side of the Moon, Francis Leslie Ashton (1951), removed because Francis Leslie Ashton is a man)
  • 7 The Sword of Rhiannon, Leigh Brackett (1953)
  • 8 Pilgrimage: The Book of the People, Zenna Henderson (1961)
  • 9 Memoirs of a Spacewoman, Naomi Mitchison (1962)
  • 10 Witch World, Andre Norton (1963)
  • 11 Sunburst, Phyllis Gotlieb (1964)
  • 12 Jirel of Joiry, CL Moore (1969)
  • 13 Heroes and Villains, Angela Carter (1969)
  • 14 Ten Thousand Light Years From Home, James Tiptree Jr (1973) -- I've read a number of Tiptree stories, though not all of this particular collection
  • 15 The Dispossessed, Ursula K Le Guin (1974)
  • 16 Walk to the End of the World, Suzy McKee Charnas (1974)  
  • 17 The Female Man, Joanna Russ (1975)
  • 18 Missing Man, Katherine MacLean (1975)
  • 19 Arslan, MJ Engh (1976)
  • 20 Floating Worlds, Cecelia Holland (1976)
  • 21 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilhelm (1976)
  • 22 Islands, Marta Randall (1976)
  • 23 Dreamsnake, Vonda N McIntyre (1978)
  • 24 False Dawn, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1978)
  • 25 Shikasta [Canopus in Argos: Archives], Doris Lessing (1979)
  • 26 Kindred, Octavia Butler (1979)
  • 27 Benefits, Zoe Fairbairns (1979)
  • 28 The Snow Queen, Joan D Vinge (1980)
  • 29 The Silent City, √Člisabeth Vonarburg (1981)
  • 30 The Silver Metal Lover, Tanith Lee (1981)
  • 31 The Many-Coloured Land [Saga of the Exiles], Julian May (1981)
  • 32 Darkchild [Daughters of the Sunstone], Sydney J van Scyoc (1982)
  • 33 The Crystal Singer, Anne McCaffrey (1982) -- I've read probably two dozen McCaffrey books, including most of the Pern series, but not this one
  • 34 Native Tongue, Suzette Haden Elgin (1984)
  • 35 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)
  • 36 Jerusalem Fire, RM Meluch (1985)
  • 37 Children of Anthi, Jay D Blakeney (1985) 
  • 38 The Dream Years, Lisa Goldstein (1985)
  • 39 Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind, Sarah Lefanu & Jen Green (1985)
  • 40 Queen of the States, Josephine Saxton (1986)
  • 41 The Wave and the Flame [Lear's Daughters], Marjorie Bradley Kellogg (1986)
  • 42 The Journal of Nicholas the American, Leigh Kennedy (1986)
  • 43 A Door into Ocean, Joan Slonczewski (1986)
  • 44 Angel at Apogee, SN Lewitt (1987)
  • 45 In Conquest Born, CS Friedman (1987)
  • 46 Pennterra, Judith Moffett (1987)
  • 47 Kairos, Gwyneth Jones (1988)
  • 48 Cyteen, CJ Cherryh (1988)
  • 49 Unquenchable Fire, Rachel Pollack (1988) -- This is a wonderful, wonderful book that more people should read. And I imagine many people would say the same about all of the books on this list that I haven't read or considered.
  • 50 The City, Not Long After, Pat Murphy (1988)
  • 51 The Steerswoman [Steerswoman series], Rosemary Kirstein (1989)
  • 52 The Third Eagle, RA MacAvoy (1989)
  • 53 Grass, Sheri S Tepper (1989)
  • 54 Heritage of Flight, Susan Shwartz (1989)
  • 55 Falcon, Emma Bull (1989)
  • 56 The Archivist, Gill Alderman (1989)
  • 57 Winterlong [Winterlong trilogy], Elizabeth Hand (1990)
  • 58 A Gift Upon the Shore, MK Wren (1990)
  • 59 Red Spider, White Web, Misha (1990) -- I was looking for this book for ages, primarily because SF Age thought it was the greatest cyberpunk novel of all time (they thought that for possibly as long as a year), but never actually got a copy or read it.
  • 60 Polar City Blues, Katharine Kerr (1990)
  • 61 Body of Glass (AKA He, She and It), Marge Piercy (1991)
  • 62 Sarah Canary, Karen Joy Fowler (1991)
  • 63 Beggars in Spain [Sleepless trilogy], Nancy Kress (1991) -- I would not recommend reading the whole trilogy, which goes off on a succession of annoying tangents, but the first book is excellent.
  • 64 A Woman of the Iron People, Eleanor Arnason (1991)
  • 65 Hermetech, Storm Constantine (1991)
  • 66 China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F McHugh (1992)
  • 67 Fools, Pat Cadigan (1992)
  • 68 Correspondence, Sue Thomas (1992)
  • 69 Lost Futures, Lisa Tuttle (1992)
  • 70 Doomsday Book, Connie Willis (1992)
  • 71 Ammonite, Nicola Griffith (1993)
  • 72 The Holder of the World, Bharati Mukherjee (1993)
  • 73 Queen City Jazz, Kathleen Ann Goonan (1994)
  • 74 Happy Policeman, Patricia Anthony (1994)
  • 75 Shadow Man, Melissa Scott (1995)
  • 76 Legacies, Alison Sinclair (1995)
  • 77 Primary Inversion [Skolian Saga], Catherine Asaro (1995)
  • 78 Alien Influences, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (1995)
  • 79 The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (1996)
  • 80 Memory [Vorkosigan series], Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)
  • 81 Remnant Population, Elizabeth Moon (1996)
  • 82 Looking for the Mahdi, N Lee Wood (1996)
  • 83 An Exchange of Hostages [Jurisdiction series], Susan R Matthews (1997)
  • 84 Fool’s War, Sarah Zettel (1997)
  • 85 Black Wine, Candas Jane Dorsey (1997)
  • 86 Halfway Human, Carolyn Ives Gilman (1998)
  • 87 Vast, Linda Nagata (1998)
  • 88 Hand of Prophecy, Severna Park (1998)
  • 89 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson (1998)
  • 90 Dreaming in Smoke, Tricia Sullivan (1999)
  • 91 Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle (2000)
As I expected, I'm not as well-read in this area as I'd like to be. (And, these days, I'm tending to read mostly the writers I already like, which doesn't help the matter.) Having a list certainly helps
 so, thanks to Ian Sales for sparking this discussion.

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