9 Women Who Write Fantastic Science Fiction
Contrary to stereotypes, sci-fi fans are a diverse group, made up of people of all races, genders, and sexual identities. The same is true of authors who write books in the genre. We've compiled a list of nine women who write fantastic science fiction about everything from dystopian societies to space exploration. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
9 Women Who Write Fantastic Science Fiction
8 Classic Works of Sci-Fi Written by Women
The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many famous writers who came before them and influenced the genre. Here are a few works that made science fiction what it is today:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Citadel of Fear by Gertrude Barrows Bennett
- Metropolis by Thea von Harbou
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Great Films for Sci-Fi Fans
- Alien (1979)
- Annihilation (2018)
- Rogue One (2016)
- The Hunger Games (2012)
- Advantageous (2015)
- Arrival (2016)
5 Women Who Changed Sci-Fi Forever
Science fiction may seem like a boy's club sometimes, but the novel that many consider to be the earliest example of it, Frankenstein, was written by a woman. And since Mary Shelley, many talented women have created their own amazing works in the genre. In no particular order, here are nine female authors who write fantastic sci-fi.
At #1 is Rachelle Dekker, a full-time writer from Nashville, Tennessee. Before becoming an author, she spent several years in the marketing and corporate recruiting industry. Her most notable work is "The Choosing," a story set in a 23rd-century dystopia where protagonist Carrington is chosen to be the second wife of a government leader. Although this is what she always wanted, she questions everything after learning about the sinister deeds of the people who are in power.
Next, at #2 is Holly Goddard Jones. Two of her books are set in a fictional town called Roma, inspired by Russellville, Kentucky, the place where she was born and raised. Her 2017 novel, "The Salt Line," is about a group of adrenaline junkies who leave the comfort of their homes to go to the other side of the Salt Line where life is totally different. The story progresses with intense thrills, allegiances, and forged friendships.
The story progresses with intense thrills, allegiances, and forged friendships.
Coming in at #3 is Alexandra Oliva. She was born and raised in upstate New York, and moved to the Pacific Northwest with her husband in 2014. She published her first novel, "The Last One," in 2016. The book tells the story of Zoo, a young woman who takes part in a reality TV show that involves survival challenges in the forest. Under the scrutiny of the cameras, she starts to wonder if the game will ever end and whether she made the right choice.
Following at #4 is Durham-based Monica Byrne, an author, playwright, and traveler. Her debut novel, "The Girl in the Road," is a sci-fi story about two women, Meena and Mariama, whose fates are entwined in ways that are profoundly compelling. Forced by their personal circumstances, separately, they travel to Ethiopia where they hope to start a new chapter in their lives.
Taking the #5 spot is Nicky Drayden, an author and systems analyst from Austin, Texas. She wrote "The Prey of Gods," which won the 2017 Compton Crook Award. It tells the story of childhood best friends Muzi and Elkin. When a new drug spreads through the population, they discover long-hidden abilities and animal affinities. The book features many unique characters, including demigods and robots. Drayden writes from numerous perspectives, weaving together an entertaining sci-fi tale.
Drayden writes from numerous perspectives, weaving together an entertaining sci-fi tale.
Next, at #6 is Martha Wells, an American author of fantasy and science fiction. She has written several young adult novels, media tie-ins, short stories, and nonfiction essays. Her series, The Murderbot Diaries, follows a group of scientists who are studying an alien planet. The story focuses on a self-aware android that has named itself "Murderbot." It must protect its human crew, even if it would rather keep to itself and watch soap operas.
Coming in at #7 is Sue Burke. She spent many years working as a journalist, reporter, and editor before becoming an author. Aside from science fiction, she also likes to write poetry and essays. Her most notable work is "Semiosis," an engaging story about a team of colonists who go to an alien planet to create a new peaceful society. Set in the year 2060, the book is told from seven perspectives, featuring the humans' struggle to communicate with the flora and fauna of the planet, in order to establish a colony.
At the #8 spot is Philadelphia-born Fran Wilde. Prior to being an author, she worked as a jeweler's assistant, a teacher, and a web developer. Her debut novel "Updraft" won the 2016 Andre Norton Award. The novel tells the story of Kirit Densira, an aspiring sky trader who wants to bring fortune to her family. She ends up training at the Spire, the tallest and most hostile tower in her city, after breaking the law. She soon uncovers secrets that put her life in danger.
Prior to being an author, she worked as a jeweler's assistant, a teacher, and a web developer.
Finally, at #9 is Alexandra Duncan. She is an author and librarian who likes to write young adult science fiction novels. Her work "Salvage" is a thrilling and surprising Y.A. fiction that features Ava, a teenage girl who faces banishment and death. In an attempt to take her fate into her own hands, she escapes in a mail sloop bound for Earth. She ends up in a stranger's floating cabin and there, she finds love and trust. This is an exciting tale that explores the meanings of family, home, and betrayal.