Women In SFF – A Non-Exhaustive list

So, following on from the ever-continuing Discoverability Challenge, and in the aid of Discoverability, this page will feature a non-exhaustive list of women* who write and have published SFF novels, with the title of a recommended work (although inclusion does not imply endorsement). Some I have read, some I haven’t. List does not include self-published authors or we will be here forever.

This is a work in progress. There will be omissions. If you see any particularly glaring omissions or errors please mention them in the comments**. Otherwise assume that the list is unfinished and on-going (I am one person with limited resources). It’s also in no particular order.

  1. Emily St John Mandel – Station Eleven (SF)
  2. Sarah Pinborough – The Death House (F)
  3. Sammy HK Smith – In Search of Gods and Heroes (F)
  4. Naomi Foyle – Astra (SF)
  5. Stephanie Saulter – Gemsigns (SF)
  6. Emmi Itaranta – Memory of Water (SF)
  7. Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor (F)
  8. Tricia Sullivan – Lightborn (SF)
  9. Danie Ware – Ecko Rising (F)
  10. Gaie Sebold – Babylon Steel (F)
  11. Jen Williams – The Copper Promise (F)
  12. Jaine Fenn – Bringer of Light (SF)
  13. Emma Newman – Planetfall (SF)
  14. Ann McCaffery – Dragonflight (F)
  15. Andre Norton – Witch World (F)
  16. Madeline L’Engle – A Wrinkle in Time (SF)
  17. Kim Lakin-Smith – Cyber Circus (SF)
  18. Anne Leckie – Ancillary Justice (SF)
  19. Laura Lam – Pantomime (F)
  20. Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus (F)
  21. Diane Wynne Jones – Howl’s Moving Castle (F)
  22. Jo Walton – Among Others (F)
  23. Joanne M Harris – The Gospel of Loki (F)
  24. N K Jemesin – The Fifth Kingdom (F)
  25. Nisi Shawl – Everfair (F)
  26. Liz de Jager – Banished (F)
  27. Sophia McDougal – Mars Evacuees (SF)
  28. Joanne Hall – The Summer Goddess (F)
  29. Sheri S Tepper – The Margarets (SF)
  30. Margret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale (SF)
  31. P D James – Children of Men (SF)
  32. Stephanie Burgis – Masks and Shadows (F)
  33. Lois McMaster Bujold – The Sharing Knife (F)
  34. Kate Elliot – Jalan (F)
  35. Liz Williams – Bringer of Souls (SF)
  36. Elizabeth Bear – Karen Memory (SF)
  37. Aliette De Bodard – Obsidian and Blood (F)
  38. Trudi Canavan – The Magician’s Guild (F)
  39. Charlie Jane Anders – All The Birds in the Sky (SF)
  40. Becky Chambers – The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet (SF)
  41. Rebecca Levine – Smiler’s Fair (F)
  42. Kameron Hurley – God’s War (SF)
  43. Zen Cho – Sorcerer To The Crown (F)
  44. Octavia Butler – Kindred (SF)
  45. Suzannah Clarke – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell (F)
  46. Sophie Tallis – White Mountain (F)
  47. Connie Willis – Doomsday Book (SF)
  48. Juliet McKenna – The Thief’s Gamble (F)
  49. Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (SF)
  50. Janet Edwards – Earth Girl (SF)
  51. Marget Helgadottir – The Stars Seem So Far Away (SF)
  52. Sarah Lotz – The Three (SF)
  53. Madeline Ashby – Vn (SF)
  54. Genevive Cogman – The Invisible Library (F)
  55. Nina Allan – The Race (SF)
  56. Naomi Novik – Uprooted (F)
  57. Paige Daniels – Non Compliance : The Sector (SF)
  58. Pat Cadigan – Synners (SF)
  59. Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games (SF)
  60. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight (F)
  61. Deb E Howell – Healer’s Touch (F)
  62. Holly Black – Ironside (F)
  63. Nancy Kress – An Alien Light (SF)
  64. Ursula LeGuin – A Wizard of Earthsea (F)
  65. Lucy Hounsom – Starborn (F)
  66. Lou Morgan – Blood and Feathers (F)
  67. Kate Coe – Green Sky and Sparks (F)
  68. Mary Gentle – Ash (F)
  69. Katherine Kerr – Daggerspell (F)
  70. J V Jones – The Barbed Coil (F)
  71. Joan Aiken – The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (F)
  72. Anne Rice – Interview with The Vampire (F)
  73. Janny Wurts – The Ships of Merior (F)
  74. Ellen Kushner – Swordspoint (F)
  75. Sarah J Maas – The Assassin’s Blade (F)
  76. Cat Valente – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland (F)
  77. Kate Wilhelm – Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang (SF)
  78. M J Engh – Arslan (SF)
  79. Elizabeth Moon – The Deed of Paksenarrion (F)
  80. C N Lesley – Sword of Shadows (F)
  81. Leigh Brackett – The Long Tomorrow (SF)
  82. Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveller’s Wife (SF)
  83. Emma Pass – ACID (SF)
  84. Joanna Russ – The Female Man (SF)
  85. C J Cherryh – Downbelow Station (SF)
  86. Steph Swainston – The Year of Our War (SF)
  87. Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr) – Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (SF)
  88. Kari Sperring – The Grass King’s Concubine (F)
  89. Storm Constantine – The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit (F)
  90. Vonda MacIntyre – Dreamsnake (SF)
  91. Karen Joy Fowler – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (SF)
  92. Maria Lewis – Who’s Afraid (F)
  93. Karen Traviss – City of Pearl (SF)
  94. Delia Sherman – The Porcelain Dove (F)
  95. Terri Windling – The Wood Wife (F)
  96. Liesel Schwarz – Sky Pirates (F)
  97. Malorie Blackman – Noughts and Crosses (SF)
  98. Nicola Griffith – Ammonite (SF)
  99. Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree (F)
  100. Justina Robson – Keeping It Real (SF)
  101. Samantha Shannon – The Bone Season (SF)
  102. Gail Carriger – Souless (F)
  103. Mary Robinette Kowal – Glamour in Glass (F)
  104. Frances Kay – Dollywagglers (F)
  105. Robin Hobb – Royal Assassin (F)
  106. Nnedi Okorafor – Lagoon (F)
  107. R J Anderson – Knife (F)
  108. Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Dart (F)
  109. Nalo Hopkinson – Midnight Robber (F)
  110. Fay Sampson – Wise Woman’s Telling (F)
  111. Shirley Jackson – We Have Always Lived In The Castle (F)
  112. Mary Stewart – The Crystal Cave (F)
  113. Seanan McGuire – Every Heart A Doorway (F)
  114. Glenda Larke – The Last Stormlord (F)
  115. Elizabeth Knox – Dreamhunter (F)
  116. Kristine Kathryn Rusch – The Black Queen (F)
  117. Rebecca Hall – Instrument of Peace (F)
  118. Cassandra Khaw – Hammers on Bone (F)
  119. Katherine Kurtz – Deryni Rising (F)
  120. Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Signal to Noise (SF)
  121. Lisa Tuttle – Lost Futures (SF)
  122. Alison Goodman – Eon (F)
  123. Ellen Croshain – Cruelty (F)
  124. Susan Cooper – The Dark Is Rising (F)
  125. Any McCulloch – The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (F)
  126. Anne Lyle – The Alchemist of Souls (F)
  127. Freda Warrington – A Taste of Blood Wine (F)
  128. Lauren Beukes – Zoo City (SF)
  129. Louise Lawrence – Children of the Dust (SF)
  130. J K Rowling – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (F)
  131. Maria V Snyder – Poison Study (F)
  132. Francis Knight – Fade To Black (F)
  133. Julian May – Conqueror’s Moon (F)
  134. Mary Norton – The Borrowers (F)
  135. Francesca Haig – The Fire Sermon (F)
  136. Gillian O’Rourke – The Reluctant Prophet (F)
  137. Hope Mirrilees – Lud In The Mist (F)
  138. Jo Thomas – 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf (F)
  139. K T Davies – Breed (SF)
  140. Marie Brennan – A Natural History of Dragons (F)
  141. Stella Gemmell – The City (F)
  142. Roz Kaveney – Tiny Pieces of Skull (F)
  143. Anna Sheehan – A Long Long Sleep (F)
  144. Pat O’Shea – The Hounds of the Morrigan (F)
  145. Edith Nesbit – Five Children and It (F)
  146. Maggie Furey – Aurian (SF)
  147. Patricia McKillip – The Riddle-Master of Hed (F)
  148. Freya Robertson – Heartwood (F)
  149. Barbara Hambly – The Silent Tower (F)
  150. Deborah Harkness – The Book of Life (F)
  151. Tamora Pierce – Alanna : The First Adventure (F)
  152. Melanie Rawn – Dragon Prince (F)
  153. Mercedes Lackey – The Last Herald Mage (F)
  154. Elspeth Cooper – Songs of the Earth (F)
  155. Louise Cooper – Mirage (F)
  156. Lyda Morehouse – Archangel Protocol (SF)
  157. Rosemary Sutcliff – The Sword and the Circle (F)
  158. Joan D Vinge – The Snow Queen (SF)
  159. Karen Miller – The Innocent Mage (F)
  160. Gail Z Martin – Ice Forged (F)
  161. Tanith Lee – Forests of the Night (F)
  162. Sue Tingey – Marked (F)
  163. Tove Jansson – Moominland Midwinter (F)
  164. V E Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic (F)
  165. Tanya Huff – The Better Part of Valor (SF)
  166. Tansy Rayer Roberts – Power and Majesty (F)
  167. Julie Czerneda – A Turn of Light (F)
  168. Juliet Marillier – Daughter of the Forest (F)
  169. Carol Berg – Song of the Beast (F)
  170. Lynn Flewelling – The Bone Doll’s Twin (F)
  171. G Willow Wilson – Alif the Unseen (F)
  172. Lian Hearn – Across the Nightingale Floor (F)
  173. Foz Meadows – An Accident of Stars (F)
  174. Susan Ee – Angelfall (F)

*includes any person who identifies as a woman but may be outside the binary.

** Comment with author and recommended title. Anyone suggesting Brent Weeks or Brandon Sanderson will have their comment deleted.

18 thoughts on “Women In SFF – A Non-Exhaustive list”

  1. Carol Goodwin said:

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch – The Black Queen
    Aliette de Bodard – House of Shattered Wings
    E J Swift – Osiris
    Anne Charnock – A Calculated Life
    C S Friedman – Black Sun Rising
    Katherine Kurtz – Deryni Rising
    Jacey Bedford – Empire of Dust
    James Tiptree Jr (Alice Seldon) – Her Smoke rose up forever
    Shirley Jackson – We have always lived in the castle
    Ursula K Le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness
    Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – The Time of the Fourth Horseman
    Emma Newman – Planetfall
    Angela Slatter – Vigil
    Starborn – Lucy Hounsom
    Kate Griffin – Stray Souls

    I am sure I will think of more as soon as I sign off – good luck

  2. Jennifer Roberson – Her various books about the shape-changing Cheysuli were some of the first fantasy books I ever read. Brilliant books and a brilliant author that has left a long lasting impression on me.

  3. Seanan McGuire – Every Heart A Doorway

  4. Elizabeth Knox – Dreamhunter (F)

  5. Angela Carter – Nights At The Circus F
    Katy Krump – Blue Dust-Forbidden SF

  6. Claire Frank – To whatever end

  7. Jo Clayton – Skeen’s Leap (SF)
    Doris Egan/Jane Emerson – City of Diamond (SF)
    Suzette Haden Elgin – Native Tongue (SF)
    Zohra Greenhalgh – Trickster’s Touch (F)
    Heather Gladney – Teot’s War (F)
    Melissa Scott – Burning Bright (SF)
    Elizabeth Willey – The Well-Favored Man (F)
    Sydney Van Scyoc – Starsilk (SF)
    Joan D. Vinge – Snow Queen (SF)
    Robin McKinley – The Blue Sword (F)
    Lynn Abbey – Daughter of the Bright Moon (F)
    Esther Friesner – Mustafa and his Wise Dog (F)
    Elizabeth Ann Scarborough – Song of Sorcery (F)
    Nancy Asire – Twilight’s Kingdoms (F)
    Catherine Cooke – The Winged Assassin (F)
    R. A. MacAvoy – Tea with the Black Dragon (F)
    Patricia Wrede – Dealing with Dragons (F)
    Caroline Stevermer – College of Magics (F)
    Martha Wells – Wheel of the Infinite (F)
    Joyce Ballou Gregorian – The Broken Citadel (F)
    Barbara Hambly – Dragonsbane (F)
    Pamela Dean – Tam Lin (F)
    Emma Bull – War for the Oaks (F)
    Meredith Ann Pierce – Darkangel (F)
    Teresa Edgerton – Child of Saturn (F)
    Teresa Frohock – Miserere (F)
    Susan Schwartz – Silk roads and Shadows (F)
    Diana Paxson – The Mistress of Jewels (F)
    Jane Yolen – Sister Light, Sister Dark (F)
    Marion Zimmer Bradley – Mists of Avalon (F)
    Jessica Amanda Salmonson – Tomoe Gozen (F)
    Tanith Lee – Birthgrave (F)
    Patricia McKillip – The RiddleMaster of Hed (F)
    Michelle Sagara – Cast in Shadow (F)
    Judith Tarr – The Hound and the Falcon (F)
    KV Johansen – The Leopard (F)
    Leah Bobet – Inheritance of Ashes (F)
    Krista Ball – Spirits Rising (F)
    Vicki Ann Heydron – Gandalara (F)

    Wow, this is bringing back some great memories and reminding me I need to re-read some old favourites! Just a scan of the shelves, but I know I’ve forgotten some dearly loved authors/works

    • Wow, thank you for that! That’s quite a list. There are so many books on here I need to read!

      • You’re very welcome! A lot of them are older titles – I grew up in the 70s/80s and the stores were full of amazing authors and women seemed to dominate the shelves. I hope you do check them out and find some new favourites of your own. Thanks for assembling a wonderful list and great resource 🙂

  8. Marie Brennan – A natural history of dragons

    Francis Knight – Fade to black (using a pseudonym)

  9. Some suggestions off the bookshelf next to me:

    Teresa Frohock – Los Nefilim (F)
    Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus (F)
    R A MacAvoy – Tea With The Black Dragon (F)
    Helene Wecker – The Golem and the Jinni (F)
    Carol Berg – Lighthouse Duet (F)
    Rachel Aaron – Legend of Eli Monpress (F)
    Emma Bull – War for the Oaks (F)
    V E Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic (F)
    Sherwood Smith – Inda (F)
    Judith Tarr – Alamut (F)
    Kate Griffin – A Madness of Angels (F)
    G Willow Wilson – Alif the Unseen (F)
    Martha Wells – The Cloud Roads (F)
    Fran Wilde – Updraft (F)
    Barbara Hambly – The Darwath Trilogy (F)
    Patricia Wrede – Dealing With Dragons (F)
    Lian Hearn – Across the Nightingale Floor (F)
    Elizabeth Moon – Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War) (SF)

    and, er, me: Elspeth Cooper – Songs of the Earth (F)

  10. Catherine Asaro – Sunrise Alley, Alpha, Skolian Empire series

  11. Maybe it’s a bit naughty, but may I suggest R B Watkinson – The Cracked Amulet? If not, how about
    Alison Croggon – The Gift (Pellinor)
    Helen Lowe – Daughter of Blood
    Maria V Snyder – Night Study

  12. Hey thanks for the inclusion! However Babylon Steel is F, rather than SF (Also have Gears of Empire/Sparrow series, which is Steampunk…if you’re including that). I think you have all my faves already but if I think of any more will add…

  13. Also in no particular order (and also I’ve read most, but not all)

    N M Browne – The Spellgrinder’s Apprentice
    Francis Hardinge – Gullstruck Island (my favourite) The Lie Tree (the one everyone will be talking about)
    Sheila Rance – Sun Catcher
    Katherine Roberts – Song Quest
    Michelle Paver – Wolf Brother
    Alison Croggon – The Naming (Book of Pellinor)
    Janice Hardy – The Pain Merchants
    Sarah Rees Brennan – The Devil’s Lexicon

  14. Hello,
    Here are a few more that I didn’t see on your list or in the comments, but I may have missed them, so feel free to correct me in case they are here 🙂

    – Helen Oyeyemi, White is for Witching. (Fantasy veering into horror, I’ve reviewed it on my blog.)
    – Aliya Whiteley, The Arrival of Missives. (Scifi. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I’ll be reviewing it on my blog on 1st April.)
    – Jennifer Marie Brissett, Elysium. (Scifi. I haven’t read it yet and it’s been on my to-be-read list for too long now but I’ve only heard praises about it.)
    – Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories. (Fantasy. I’m currently reading it, there are some strong points about it, other aspects I like less.)
    – Jane Roger, The Testament of Jessie Lamb. (Scifi, winner of an Arthur C. Clarke Award, also reviewed it.)

    I really really recommend the Aliya Whiteley short novel.
    And thanks to anyone who contributes to this list and who helps my to-be-read list to grow even longer than it already is 😉

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