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In 2014 I decided to see if I could read at least 12 new-to-me female authors, and possibly review them to share my discoveries. There were good reasons behind this, detailed in this post and also in the fact that I was frustrated with the lack of representation of women in SFF generally. It’s not hard, I reasoned, if you read 60+ books a year, to make sure you read one a month by a female author you’ve never read before (doesn’t have to be SFF either!). I decided to have a go at it.

And you know what? It wasn’t hard, not in the slightest, and I discovered some great authors who otherwise might have passed me by if I stuck to reading the same-old same-old, most notably Jen Williams, Holly Black and Jo Walton.

So I’m going to repeat the experiment in 2015, aiming to read twelve female authors who are new to me and making sure I review a selection of them. I’ll update the list on this page, and as I post reviews I’ll link to them, and we’ll see if we can’t get some more of that discoverability going.

If you feel that your 2014 reading list was a little, shall we say, phallocentric, why not join me in the challenge, share your lists and see how you get on? You might just discover some awesome new books and help to promote awesome female writers at the same time!


1. Madeline Ashby – vN (Thanks to Mark for the recommendation!)

2. Stark Holborn (yes, she is) – Nunslinger (reviewed)

3. Pat Cadigan – Tea From an Empty Cup

4. Caitlin Moran – How to be A Woman (I have been reading CatMo’s journalism since I was about 17, but this is the first book I’ve read by her, so that counts.)

5. Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice (winner of just-about everything, but still hard to find in our local Waterstones…)

6. Margret Helgadottir – The Stars Seem So Far Away (reviewed)

7. Laura Lam – Pantomime

8. Pip Janssen – The Red Mage (reviewed)

9. Sophie E Tallis – White Mountain (reviewed)

10. Rebecca Skloot – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (thanks to Courtney for the recommendation!)

11. Kate Coe – Green Sky and Sparks (reviewed)

12. Helen Rappaport – Four Sisters : The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses

I’ll keep you updated as the year goes on.

06/08/2015 – Also, if you’re interested, have a read of this depressing article in the Guardian where the author sent off the seme novel to 100 agents, half under her own mane, half under a male pseudonym. She discovered that the same novel was EIGHT times less likely to be rejected if it was believed to be written by a man…

28/11/2015 – Achievement Unlocked! And I still have plenty of books by women I haven’t read before lined up on my TBR. This one could run and run…

If you took up the challenge, how has your reading year been? Any wonderful discoveries? And which female authors should I be reading next year?