Feminist Science Fiction


I went on a book buying spree last weekend, with a focus on Feminist Science Fiction. I went to my favorite used bookstore (right around the corner from my favorite brunch place, hooray!), pulled up the basic recommended list on feministsf.org, and started looking through the shelves. I was thrilled to find many books that were either on the list or by authors on the list. I know this is not a definitive list, but it is a good place to start, and I do love me some lists! Here is what I got:

Shore of Women, by Pamela Sargent

Inventing Memory, by Anne Harris

Dreaming Metal, by Melissa Scott

Black Wine, by Candas Jane Dorsey

Double Feature, by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly

Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You, by Dorothy Bryant

Daughters of Earth, by Judith Merrill

Venus Plus X, by Theodore Sturgeon

Sister Light, Sister Dark, by Jane Yolen

Doomsday Morning, by C.L. Moore

Other books on the list that I have or have read:

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler

The Furies, by Suzy McKee Charnas

Dhalgren, by Samuel Delaney

The Yellow Wallpaper” and Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Always Coming Home, The Left Hand of Darkness, Tehanu, by Ursula K. Le Guin (plus a lot of other things she has written)

Dreamsnake, by Vonda McIntyre

The Female Man, by Joanna Russ

Shadowman, by Melissa Scott

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

A Door Into Ocean, by Joan Slonczewski

Beauty, The Gate to Women’s Country, by Sheri S. Tepper (plus most of her remaining sf titles)

I just read Shadowman on my new Nook Color last week, and it was very interesting. The idea of intersexed people as a relatively common minority in humanity does make some of the issues around our current views of sexuality and gender differences both more complex and more strikingly obvious. I read Venus Plus X and found it particularly interesting to read such a femeinst work coming from a man writing in the 1950’s and ’60’s. I am reading Black Wine now, and really enjoying it, even though I am not yet entirely sure what is going on. I am looking forward to finding out!

I will be writing a separate post about what I have been reading so far this year, but I did want to get this list out here. I was very excited to find so many books on the list when I went looking last weekend. I have been reading science fiction for nearly 30 years, and it never fails to surprise me how much I haven’t read, even as I think I have read a lot. It is helpful to have a focus for the kind of books I am looking to read. I am already interested in dystopias, post-humanity, and what might be called “hard science fiction,” which can many things, but in my case, it tends to mean dealing with the harder, more objective sciences. But a feminist viewpoint is another helpful lens that can encompass all of these.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Friday Fragments, 11/22 | Susan's Musings

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