With today being International Women’s Day, and my focus being on fiction that is female-led, fronted, dominant, or authored, it seems like today is an excellent day to pay tribute to the women of my shelves.
These are authors who have inspired, intrigued, excited, entertained, educated, and challenged me over the years. Some are old friends, authors I encountered back when I was first stepping foot into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, and others are new friends, some of whom I’ve yet to read, but nevertheless have caught my attention and held it fast.
With 26 letters of the alphabet to cover it is, of course, only a sampling of this authors, but I tried to stick with first impressions and those authors who immediately came to mind – no second-guessing or regrets.
A – Catherine Asaro: award winning author whose The Last Hawk is tops on my list of matriarchy must-reads
B – Kristen Britain: author of the epic Green Rider saga, featuring Karigan G’ladheon
C – Julie E. Czerneda: Canadian legend of science fiction and fantasy, wonderful woman, and the first person to write me into a book!
D – Sara Douglass: an old friend of the shelves, author of The Wayfarer Redemption saga (among others)
E – Kate Elliott: one of those authors I regret not reading more of sooner, whose Crown of Stars saga I’ve been gathering from used bookstores for the past year
G – Sharon Green: a legend of the genre, whose Jalav, Amazon Warrior books I have successfully collected, but have yet to read
H – Robin Hobb: what can I say about the woman who gave us Fitz and The Fool that hasn’t already been said, except her talent is boundless and her words astounding
I – Elaine Isaak: a recent discovery of mine, the author of The Singer’s Legacy, epic fantasy about a eunuch prince
K – Katharine Kerr: author, of course, of the well-know Deverry Series, featuring Jill, Nevyn, and Rhodry
N – Andre Norton: legendary author of fantasy and science fiction, who I will always remember for her Halfblood Chronicles
P – Fiona Patton: another old friend of the shelves, but one who I have not read enough of, with her sagas of Brannion and Warriors of Estavia awaiting me (bonus entry – she’s the wife of another Canadian genre legend, Tanya Huff)
Q – ???: Yeah, try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a ‘Q’ author
S – Wen Spencer: another of those authors I have not read enough of, her Elfhome series is a sci-fi must-read and A Brother’s Price one of the most exciting matriarchal fantasies I’ve ever come across
T – Cecilia Tan: a woman who needs no introduction, she has been blending science fiction, fantasy, and erotica for decades, with her Kylaran Chronicles first bringing her to my attention
V – Catherynne M. Valente: an author I know best through her short fiction, but whose Palimpsest is sitting proudly on the shelf, waiting
W – Margaret Weis: it is here that it all began, with her Dragonlance Chronicles bringing me into the genre, her Death Gate Cycle keeping me there, her Rose of the Prophet trilogy introducing one of my favorite protagonists, and (like Lackey) still my go-to for classic/traditional fantasy
X – ???: Yeah, try as I might, I couldn’t come up with an ‘X’ author either
Y – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: a legendary genre author who I will always remember as the woman to breathe exciting new life into the vampire genre, blending history and horror with Saint-Germain
Z – Sarah Zettel: finally, another old friend of the shelves who I really do need to get reading, she snagged my attention with her Isavalta saga