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Sandra McDonald's periodic table of women in science fiction...annotated

Bold the women by whom you own books
Italicize those by whom you've read something of (short stories count)(I've also counted non-fiction, or works edited by the individual))
Star those of whom you've never heard

... )
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In honour of Sharon Lee's idea of making June 23rd Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Day, I'd like to give tribute to the amazing female sf&f writers I have increasingly discovered since the 90s and especially the ones I've discovered and had contact with in the last two years (Aside: all hail the internet!).




Elizabeth Wein )

You know, I can see I won't be able to cover all the ladies today, so I'll be turning this into a series as time permits.

~ originally posted at bookish.net
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The author I've bought most books of this year - except for Elizabeth Bear - has been Sherwood Smith with the novels published in her own worlds (she's been a long-time collaborator of some great names in the scifi genre and has written media-tie-in novels, as well) - whether they have been YA or not.

I first came across her a few years back with an entry in Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction by the Firebird YA imprint and right away bought Crown Duel, as her story was a sequel of that. I then ordered the Wren trilogy published by Firebird and quite liked the first two volumes. I bounced off the third because it started with an irreparable tragedy for one of the major characters who already had to suffer from something similar for years and I couldn't handle reading about having to deal with this and the aftermath.

That's actually one of her strengths: her books may have focus protagonists but no matter what age those are, child or grown-up, there are no guarantees that they will survive to the end (with the exception - so far - that if she names the book after that protagonist they haven't died yet). Her young adult worlds are just as hazardous, although the characters there go at their troubles and triumphs with less gray-scale in feeling (sometimes: this is not the case if your parents have died and you are heir to a throne), and more positive energy.

However, even if a character whom the reader loves dies, there's a good chance that they still have other characters to root for without hurling the book at the wall. Smith's books are always ensemble pieces with some starring roles sticking out. She manages to make even the side-characters so interesting and relevant when she highlights their role in her world/plot that you don't mind spending the time with them - there are no fillers, at the end you realise every bit of focus was necessary for you to see and appreciate the whole.
Review of all Inda books released by DAW so far )
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I seem to be turning into some kind of author stalker. I've exchanged comments with Sherwood Smith, P.C. Hodgell, Elizabeth Bear, E. Wein, Emma Bull and now I've found the Bookview Café run by unknown (to me) and well known sf/fantasy authors, which linked me to Vonda N. McIntyre's Basement of Books, where I promptly ordered one I haven't read and one which has gone missing.

Today I get an e-mail thanking me for the business and asking how I found the page and promising to sign the books. This is one of the authors whose Star Trek novels I read in the 80ies... *shivers running down spine* and who has a great SF universe of her own in the Starfarer novels.

Thinking back on this year I have obviously turned into a female sf/fantasy author groupie. I have no regrets.

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