Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Well, Read Women

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    (and in the case of Tiptree AKA Alice Sheldon, doing some research to do so).

    And of course George Sand.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    Sheri S Tepper, Octavia Butler, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffery, James Tiptree Jr, CJ Cherryh or Mercedes Lackey (amongst many others) ... Julian May, Elizabeth Bear, Martha Wells, Connie Willis, Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Moon ...

    Also Ursula Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre and Ann Leckie (being read right now) ...

    Hell yeah. The genre's history is not great but the list of women in SF&F now is awesome.

    I kinda think it would be hard to be an SF&F fan now and not read women it would seriously limit the authors you picked.

    That said the recent debacle with the Hugo awards reminds us that there are dicks everywhere

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    I hesitate to try unfamiliar male sf/f authors, because there’s just so much of a higher chance of their female characters being few and poorly drawn within those genres.

    Which is a fair call. But sometimes all I want from a book is an idea to play with, sure the book would be better with characters and good female characters, but sometime a simple plot is enough for me. Same is true of a rollicking space opera, usually written with paper thin characters regardless of gender. And sometimes I want the characters to be something other - the ships in Iain M Banks' novels as well as few really good explorations of true aliens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I have to say, if I were recommending authors to someone who has trouble talking to girls, I mightn't start with Sheri S Tepper. Grass is good, but some of her other works are more polemic than story.

    Mary Gentle is pretty damn awesome, with lovely detailed late medieval/early modern settings.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    sure the book would be better with characters and good female characters,

    It might have been clearer if I'd said "absence of awful female characters". Because the default setting of any female characters in traditional populist pulp genre fiction (unless you're talking romance) is awful, and that's the annoying part.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    Mary Gentle is pretty damn awesome

    GRUNTS!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis,

    Ann Leckie is also a good read, then Naomi Novik (for your dragon fix), Kristine Rusch (noirish fix) and Cherie Priest (for your post-apoc fix) are also good choices (IMHO), and I strongly recommend "The Golbin Emperor" by Katherine Adderson/Sarah Monette.

    If I can be so bold, does anyone have recomendations for woman writers doing hardish sci/fi similar to Alaistair Reynolds or Neal Asher

    Since Aug 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    I have to confess I'm warier of books by men, because of the danger of encountering Schrodinger's sexist.

    Not to say that women authors can't be wall-bangingly sexist as well, but these days I don't read the kind of genres were I'd encounter that (traditional romances being one).

    But I'm glad that for the Jim Butcher disappointments, there are the Ben Aaronoviches to take the bad taste out of your mouth.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Son of Dad,

    Poor Van Beynen: he's such a slow moving target. Henry Miller in his fedora, bless.

    The writings of Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter had more of an influence on the larval Son of Dad than any other authors. They really opened my world.

    Since Aug 2014 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    My "Books I must read" list is heading towards critical mass...
    Is this a bad thing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    GRUNTS!

    Except for Grunts. That is a book I never should have read.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    This is an interesting bit on gender flipping book covers to highlight the wrongness of it being something you can even do.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/coverflip-maureen-johnson_n_3231935.html

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Andrew Stevenson,

    My “Books I must read” list is heading towards critical mass…
    Is this a bad thing?

    This is like Authors I had Forgotten I Loved. Vonda McIntyre! Sarah Monette! Mary Gentle!

    Also. Karen Healey, and Jacqueline Carey's Santa Olivia.

    gender flipping book covers

    I kind of lost it over the feminised Lord of the Flies cover. Jesus.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Shout out to the Bujold massive!

    As for Hobb, I bounce off all her stuff, so she tends not to spring to mind.

    As for 70s feminist SF that was more about polemic than plot, I'd put Russ and many others with Tepper. Still have a fondness for The Wanderground, although the more cultural-feminist tinges are a bit teeth-gritting. Emblematic of its time, like Asimov. I loved Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books in the day, but now all the pulpy drama and bludgeoning of certain themes irk.

    I like my polemic with plot and engaging characters. ☺

    (I liked Grunts too, although not so much the rape jokes - tender topic)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    Except for Grunts. That is a book I never should have read.

    Teh orcish ladeez were not developed well enuff 4 youse?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Brodie Davis,

    woman writers doing hardish sci/fi similar to Alaistair Reynolds or Neal Asher

    I have to confess I haven't read either. Women doing hard SF tend to gravitate to cyberpunkish themes: Justine Robson, Tricia Sullivan.

    Space opera, Bujold, of course, MJ Locke.

    Elizabeth Bear does both, although I bounce off her a bit personally.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Teh orcish ladeez were not developed well enuff 4 youse?

    No, the orcish ladeez were great. The "pass me another elf, this one's split" jokes were a little de trop, however.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,

    No, the orcish ladeez were great. The “pass me another elf, this one’s split” jokes were a little de trop, however.

    Fair call.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • oga,

    Joanna Russ’s The Female Man, anything by Doris Lessing will slake literary thirsts beyond the more generic SF books mentioned above. Tiptree’s biography is fascinating reading. Also, Nalo Hopkinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Lotz, Alice Hoffman, Lauren Beukes, Ann Leckie have all been doing interesting things recently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to TracyMac,

    Shout out to the Bujold massive!

    I'm not all that keen on the Miles books, but Shards of Honour and Barrayar I've bought multiple times to read and give away (lose) and want to read again...

    Cordelia is one of my heroes.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I'll stick with the blokes:

    George Orwell
    George Eliot
    George Sand

    They get me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Kimberley Simpson,

    Just on a side note, your blog about the missing stair led me to Captain Awkward months ago and it has become a highlight in my online activity to read the new posts and explore the archives. From there I found Dear Sugar. Unfuck your Habitat and Etiquette Hell...so I thank you for introducing me to some wonderful things.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Dec 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • oga,

    How did I forget the Native Tongue trilogy by Suzette Haden Elgin?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond, in reply to Brodie Davis,

    does anyone have recomendations for woman writers doing hardish sci/fi similar

    Mary Russell comes to mind, she's written some fantastic hard SF. The Sparrow (and its sequel) are the most moving SF I've ever read. Basically: Jesuits go into space to meet aliens. It doesn't go well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Also, re. my last post - I forgot to add a hefty trigger warning (rape, mutilation) for The Sparrow. It's a fantastic book but there are some harrowing bits in there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

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