When you think of science fiction books, there is a pretty decent chance that women authors are not the first that come to find. It’s not that there is any real shortage of sci-fi books written by women, but they just don’t seem to become as widely known as those by male authors. The Atlantic even goes so far as to suggest that the women in this genre are simply forgotten.
So, whether you are a feminist looking to support your fellow women or just someone interested in reading more books by women, we’ve rounded up a list of what we consider to be the top women science fiction authors of recent times. This list focuses mostly on writers who are still publishing works, which means no Ursula K. Le Guin. Check out our picks and see if you agree with us.
Sure, she doesn’t really consider herself to be a science fiction writer, but let’s face it – some of her books totally are sci-fi.
Though I haven’t read Oryx and Crake yet, I know that it is classified as such. And, of course, the dystopian awesomeness that is The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely sci-fi.
Seanan McGuire as Mira Grant
This author is a relatively new-to-me addition to my reading library, but I think I’m just behind the curve here. In fact, McGuire was named “Best New Writer” in 2010 at the World Science Fiction Convention.
With her own name and Grant pen name, McGuire has earned an impressive amount of Hugo nominations in her short career.
Though it may be a bit premature to include someone who is so new to the genre, Leckie has come out with a solid debut.
Her Ancilliary Justice debut novel came out in 2013 and won the “Best New Novel” designation from the Hugo Awards in 2014.
She seems to excel at world building, so hopefully we will see a lot of great things to come from Leckie.
As a fan of Steampunk, I was pretty stoked when I discovered the works of this author.
Her work has won some Hugos and other awards, if that sort of thing matters to you.
Bear has a quite a few titles in her backlist, which is great for readers who haven’t discovered her work yet.
Like aliens? The definitely check out this author. Czerneda has garnered a lot of praise for the way that she writes her aliens, maybe because of her background in biology.
Czerneda’s work has won some awards as well. She also dabbles in fantasy, if you enjoy reading it as well as sci-fi.
Though this list focuses on current sci-fi writers, it would be blasphemous to not include Octavia Butler, right?
Butler has earned numerous awards and is probably the most well-known when it comes to women sci-fi authors.
Take your pick of any of her books and you are certain to be in for a good read.
Though she may be first and foremost considered a YA author, there is no denying that The Hunger Games series is science fiction.
Sure, she may not write as well as Butler, but you can’t deny that what she does deliver is an entertaining read.
Though I would not consider her one of my favorite sci-fi writers, she does deserve some kudos for interesting so many young readers in books with a dystopian society.
Another YA author who writes pretty good science fiction. Sure, it’s aimed at a younger audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun for the time being.
Like Collins, Roth brings a lot of interested readers to the dystopian universe with her Divergent trilogy, which is a good thing for all of us sci-fi fans. More interest like this means more works in this genre.
Check out Roth’s books here.
We’re including steampunk under the science fiction umbrella, right? Good!
Priest has won a host of different awards for her work.
She seems to be rather prolific, which means you have lots of titles to choose from in her backlist if you haven’t already read her work.
Take a look at what she’s written here.
Lindsay Buroker (aka Ruby Lionsdrake)
Like some of the other authors, Buroker dabbles in both fantasy and science fiction, with steampunk being her primary sci-fi theme. However, she also writes space opera under the pen name of Ruby Lionsdrake.
Personally, I love how she writes strong female characters. In addition to that, she just tells a good story.
Did I miss your favorite sci-fi author? Let me know in the comments!