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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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Not being a paid account I can't make a poll - not that many people read me anyway, heh, but I am quite proud to have read quite a lot of books and short stories this year, even though I have troubles with my right cornea. I loved it when meganbmoore did it last year, so this year I wanted to do it for myself (and see if I read much less... looking at the list I can't think I did, actually). Manga/manhwa are not included.

The overwhelming majority of these were new reads and ebooks. We have fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, romance of various versions, erotic romances of the straight and m/m variety as well as menage.The books are listed according to grade, from best to worst (A+,A- to D and DNF):

cut for length )
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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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What with my eye trouble in the last two years I feel with fellow people in trouble quite a bit. My eyes are hopefully slightly getting better and I'm taking steps to help that along, but the economy bites us all, healthy or not. Catherine Valente has gotten into trouble (and was linked by Scalzi and Gaiman which has helped enormously), but there are still great offers at the auction site implemented for her [livejournal.com profile] adoptingcat.

It seems Vera Nazarian whom we helped somewhat last winter is in some trouble again (considering the situation with her house and mother and her own health, I'm not really surprised). This is the lady who runs Norilana Books ( http://www.norilana.com/ ), which publishes lovely fantasy, as well as a Hugo-Nominated novealla writer. If you have the money, she's selling an artwork of hers here: http://norilana.livejournal.com/138203.html
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Basically a day after I finished the first book, the second one arrived and I can see now why Sherwood wrote on her LJ that this was actually one big book. It starts right after the end of the first one (so no explanations for readers who come in later, which I actually prefer in my series books).

Sasha remains cautious and the hero keeps kicking himself (deservedly) for screwing up by keeping too many secrets when he met her. Not being a villain he lets her go (but sets one of his trusted friends to track and help her).
Twice a Prince (Sasharia En Garde)

I love the fact that the friend/spy loses her soon after, due to weather and not any special skills by Sasha. I love it when she loses her way out of inexperience, is happy to be rescued from a storm at a military camp of the king and leaves in the morning without ever thinking about the consequences of a report about her showing up (she does use a false name, but her few treasures clearly show the connection to the old royal house). The villainous usurper also does not want to kill the heroine in this one (yay!), he wants her to marry his son and continues to want this (and to try to send his son to find her and woo her, as the prince's supposedly a real ladies' man).
... )
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How rare and delightful: two excellent books read in two days (and not just rare because my eye trouble isn't over yet, only lying low for a while). And they're very different too, so they don't take away from each other.

Once a Princess (Sasharia En Garde)


Once a Princess - now out in print - is part of Smith's overarching Satorias-deles world and set in a time which previous books have already touched on (although I don't think there were any familiar faces so far, the one truly mysterious group showing up obviously has ties to characters we already know, but I haven't read about them yet), which makes certain references to military training or the inheritance of magic powers much easier to understand (I do have a feeling that the situation and flair of the hero had quite a bit similarity to Vidanric of Crown Duel, but as we get pov from him as well it's not as frustrating for the reader as it was then).
... )
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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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