These are my favorite female Sci-Fi authors. Who are yours?
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Mary Shelley (1797-1851) is considered by many as the mother of Science Fiction. Her first, novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, was published in 1818, and is hailed as the first Sci-Fi novel EVER. It was the first story in which the lead character made a conscious decision to run futuristic experiments in a laboratory, resulting in something out-of-this-world. There were other authors that included Sci-Fi elements in their stories, but Frankenstein was the first novel in which Sci-Fi elements drove the entire story. She was born to a feminist mother (Mary Wollstonecraft) and a political philosopher father (William Goodwin). True to her roots, she remained a feminist and a radical her entire life. Pre-Frankenstein, she started a romance with Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was married at the time. She became pregnant out of wedlock, and was subjected to ostracism and criticism until she married Percy after the suicide of his first wife, Harriet. Before her death in 1851, she published 5 more novels including one more in the Sci-Fi genre, The Last Man, in 1826.
Leigh Brackett (1915-1978), the “Queen of Space Opera,” was born and raised in California. She had an extensive Sci-Fi career, setting most of her short stories, novellas, and novels, on Mars and/or Venus. Her most commercially successful novels, The Secret of Sinharat, and People of the Talisman, were published in 1963 and 1964. These novels aren’t available via eBook – I mean, I’m shocked. I thought EVERYTHING these days was available via eBook! She wrote a plethora of short sci-fi stories as well, but her most famous Sci-Fi work was her adaptation of the screenplay, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. You guys!! SHE WROTE THE SCREENPLAY BASED ON A TIMELINE PROVIDED BY GEORGE LUCAS!!! She passed away shortly after presenting the screenplay to Lucas, in 1978.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin, is Sci-Fi’s little darling. Her novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970, and her next novel, The Dispossessed, also won both awards the following year, making her the first author to win both awards for Best Novel, two years in a row. Over the next 4 decades, she has been the recipient of over a dozen awards and accolades, for her total body of work. For individual titles, she has received 5 Locus, 4 Nebula, 2 Hugo, and 1 World Fantasy Award. In 1997, she was one of 3 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 2009, she won the hearts of her peers by resigning from the Authors Guild because of its irresponsible representation of authors’ royalties in a lawsuit against Google. Quite a little darling, indeed!
Suzanne Collins wrote one of the most successful Sci-Fi trilogies of all time, The Hunger Games. She spent her life as a child of an Air Force officer, who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars (The Hunger Games was inspired by her experience with war), and consequently, she moved around quite often (I feel that! Military BRATS unite!). In college, she studied both Theatre Arts (something else we have in common!) and Dramatic Writing. She began her career in television, writing for Nickelodeon. She loved her experience writing for children so much, that she went on to write her first best-selling series, The Underland Chronicles. She then wrote, The Hunger Games, which was on the NY Times Best Seller list for more than 60 weeks in a row. The books were so popular, that Time Magazine listed her as one of the most influential people of 2010. In 2012, Amazon listed her as the best-selling Kindle author of all time.
Veronica Roth discovered success at a young age. She studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University, and wrote her first published book, Divergent, while on winter break during her senior year. The publishing rights were sold before she graduated in 2010, and the film rights were sold the following year. The second two books of the series, Insurgent, and Allegiant, were published in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Man, that’s fast!! The Divergent Triology was so popular, that she wrote Four: A Divergent Collection, stories from the perspective of Divergent character, Four. She is currently slated to write two more books with publisher HarperCollins.
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Jennifer Foehner Wells, is relatively new to the Sci-Fi novel writing world, but that can’t deter from her being mentioned. Her first novel, Fluency (The Confluence Series, Book 1), was released in 2014 and was an immediate success. Within two months of its release, it became a NY Times Best Seller, and is currently listed as the 16th most popular Sci-Fi book on Amazon. Her second book, Remanence (The Confluence Series Book 2), was released on March 11, 2016, and is quickly being hailed as good as the first. She has also written short stories that appeared in The Alien Chronicles, and The Galaxy Chronicles, both released in 2015. Expect great things from this one!
Kate Avery Ellison
Kate Avery Ellison is an independent author (go indies!!) of over 15 different novels and novellas. Frost, the first book of her most popular Amazon series, The Frost Chronicles, was recommended to me via my Kindle. Usually I will read something recommended and am underwhelmed…this was not the case with The Frost Chronicles! There are 5 books in the series, and 3 follow-up books told from the perspective of other characters, and ALL OF THEM ARE FANTASTIC. Series are her specialty: there are currently 2 books in The Kingmaker’s War and 5 books in the Secrets of Atlantis series. She’s also written, The Curse Girl.
Rysa Walker writes time travel books – and they’re incredible. She has written a series called The Chronos Files, which currently contains 6 books: Timebound, Time’s Edge, Time’s Divide, Time’s Echo, Time’s Mirror, and Simon Says. Time travel is a truly complex theory...When someone is able to write about it effectively, it is extremely impressive. I can’t wait to read more!