Lists and Conversations

As promised, a round-up of follow-ups to and spin-offs from the discussion of women and sf. First, a few people have posted either their working or final top tens for the poll, which may give the rest of you some ideas. Jo Walton’s is up at

Explorer, CJ Cherryh
In the Company of Others, Julie Czerneda
Wild Life, Molly Gloss
Midnight Robber, Nalo Hopkinson
The Language of Power, Rosemary Kirstein
Warchild, Karin Lowachee
Spin State, Chris Moriarty
The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon
Shelter, Susan Palwick
Blackout, Connie Willis

(Someone will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the only one of those with a British edition is the Speed of Dark — with Blackout coming next year, as mentioned in the original thread. Also, unfortunately, Midnight Robber and Wild Life both seem to be 2000 books, so outside the ten-year period for this poll.)

Liviu Suciu posted his list at Fantasy Book Critic:

Spirit, Gwyneth Jones
The Year of Our War, Steph Swainston
The Etched City, KJ Bishop
Chaos Space, Marianne de Pierres
The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia
Principles of Angels Jaine Fenn
Darkland, Liz Williams
Daughters of the North/The Carhullan Army, Sarah Hall
Spin State, Chris Moriarty
Banner of Souls, Liz Williams

(In contrast to Jo’s list, I think only two on this list don’t have UK editions — Sedia and Moriarty.)

Cheryl Morgan has posted her draft list:

Light Music, In War Times – Kathleen Ann Goonan
Silver Screen, Mappa Mundi, Natural History, Living Next Door to the God of Love, The Quantum Gravity series – Justina Robson
The Archangel Protocol series – Lyda Morehouse
Ghost Sister, Empire of Bones, Poison Master, Banner of Souls – Liz Williams
Solitaire – Kelley Eskridge
The Speed of Dark – Elizabeth Moon
Memory – Linda Nagata
The Etched City – K.J. Bishop
Mindworlds – Phyllis Gotlieb
Maul – Tricia Sullivan
Spin State, Spin Control – Chris Moriarty
Not Before Sundown – Johanna Sinisalo
The Year of Our War – Steph Swainston
The Wess’har Wars series – Karen Travis
Dreamhunter, Dreamquake – Elizabeth Knox
The Burning Girl – Holly Phillips
Hav – Jan Morris
Spirit – Gwyneth Jones
Boneshaker – Cherie Priest
FEED – Seanan McGuire
The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins
Who Fears Death – Nnedi Okorafor
Carnival – Elizabeth Bear
The Green Glass Sea, White Sands, Red Menace – Ellen Klages
Warchild, Karin Lowachee
Moxyland, Lauren Beukes

And Tansy Rayner Roberts has done the same:

Bold as Love, Gwyneth Jones
The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Farthing, Jo Walton
Nylon Angel, Marianne de Pierres
Passage, Connie Willis
Lavinia, Ursula Le Guin
Less Than Human, Maxine McArthur
Fallen Gods, Kate Orman (and Jonathan Blum, but I still want to count it)
The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker
Carnival, Elizabeth Bear
Spirit, Gwyneth Jones
New Amsterdam, Elizabeth Bear
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis
Lifelode, Jo Walton

(Spirit does seem to have a clearer lead among Gwyneth Jones’ books than I’d anticipated — I expected to see Bold as Love and Life getting multiple nominations, as well. On the other hand, Elizabeth Bear is suffering from a bit of a split-the-vote problem: nearly everyone who’s nominated so far has nominated an Elizabeth Bear novel, but they’ve nearly all nominated different Elizabeth Bear novels…)

Tansy also discusses the discussion with Alisa Krasnostein in this week’s Galactic Suburbia podcast.

Meanwhile! Martin Wisse has posted the complete list of sf novels by women from the period that he’s read and, dismayed by its shortness, asked for suggestions. (Many of the books above.) David Hebblethwaite has picked up the conversation about women and horror from earlier this year, and posted about women and Black Static. Paul Kincaid lists six women sf writers and asks why they haven’t shaped the contemporary field as much as their male counterparts. Martin Lewis has an excellent summary of his thoughts from the discussion here. And Karen Burnham has posted on the spin-off point of the line between fantasy and sf.

Thanks also to all those who have promoted the poll. And keep your nominations coming!

11 thoughts on “Lists and Conversations

  1. For the record, Feed is by Seanan McGuire writing as Mira Grant. Also, surely the two by Ellen Klages aren’t spec fic. of any flavour? (The short story “The Green Glass Sea” may be, but I haven’t read it.)

  2. Perhaps Spirit is getting such a good run in this because it’s the most SFnal book of Jones for this decade? (note: I haven’t read Life yet) I certainly have had to have major conversational handwaving to convince people Bold as Love is SF (which of course it is) but there’s no denying Spirit with its aliens and spaceships.

    Also it is very good :D

  3. Hallie: Thanks. I seem to remember Locus justifying reviewing them on the grounds that they would be “of interest to sf readers…”

    Tansy: This is true; Life is unarguably science fiction, but of a much lower-key kind. And while Spirit may be good, I say Life is better!

  4. My comment about E. Bear would be that her best SF of the decade (the Norse duology + prequel, the Generation Ship books) is unfinished. If I had to pick, I’d say All the Windwracked Stars, but I the generation ship stuff has the potential to really be something if the last book is great, but as it currently exists, it’s a two-legged stool. Her two standalone SF books don’t really stand out for me at all, and I did not love the Jenny Casey books.

    Still, I think that she’s one of the writers in US SF with the most potential of either gender.

    My list possibly to come.

  5. I am surprised about the appearance of Chris Moriarty’s “Spin State” on two of the above top ten lists.
    Two years ago, one of Germany’s most respected sf writers stopped working as an sf translator after translating Chris Moriarty’s first two “Spin Novels” into German. He said he was completely frustrated having toiled through 1,000 pages of mindless fluff.
    This made me curious enough to get myself a review copy.
    I somehow made it to the final page – and, then, even managed to write a review without using swear words.
    I am exaggerating my experience a little, of course, but how such an unremarkable brick even got nominated for a literary prize is quite beyond me.

  6. My suprise is that Martha Wells isn’t on anyone’s list. I think “The Fall of Ile-Rien” trilogy is estimable enough.

  7. I suspect most people–myself included–wouldn’t call the Ile-Rien trilogy science fiction, given the history of that world’s interactions with faery and the role of magic throughout the series. Would be interested to see an argument for it as SF, though.

    I haven’t read any of Wells’s Stargate tie-in books, but I imagine they might qualify.

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