If you have a week or so free, there’s an excellent discussion worth reading on Torque Control here regarding women sf writers and the Clarke Award. It spilled out of its topic somewhat to cover women sf writers in the UK, and the paucity of them. Which resulted in a lot of comments.
Following on from the discussion, Niall Harrison has asked here for people to email him their “top ten sf novels by women from the last ten years (2001–2010)”. I thought I would post them here instead:
Destroyer, CJ Cherryh
Alanya to Alanya, L Timmel Duchamp
Ilario: The Lion’s Eye, Mary Gentle
The Rapture, Liz Jensen (my review here)
Life, Gwyneth Jones
Spirit, or The Princess of Bois Dormant, Gwyneth Jones (my review here)
Lavinia, Ursula K LeGuin
Warring States, Susan R Matthews
Natural History, Justina Robson
… and that’s only nine. And even then I had to cheat a little.
Annoyingly, the specified years means Mary Gentle’s Ash: A Secret History doesn’t make it. It’s an excellent novel, and everyone should read it. But, while I own but have yet to read Ilario: The Lion’s Eye, I have read Under the Penitence, the novella on which it was based. Likewise, I’m a fan of LeGuin’s fiction but haven’t read Lavinia yet. The same is true of CJ Cherryh. And I had to add two titles by Gwyneth Jones because both are excellent and should be read. I’d also like to have added all five books of the Marq’ssan Cycle by L Timmel Duchamp, of which Alanya to Alanya is the first, but that would have been silly.
Matthews has not been published since the book listed above, although according to her website (which has not been updated for two years) she had at least another two planned. A shame. I really liked her Jurisdiction universe, and would happily pay for more novels set in it.
I should point out that I have read and admire a large number of books by women sf writers. Unfortunately, most of them were published before 2001. Which is, I suppose, the whole point of the list, and the discussion which generated it. I’ve also read a few of those mentioned in the lists posted on Torque Control here, but didn’t like them enough to put them in my own list.