*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 28, 2014, 05:31:54 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Female SF authors  (Read 3803 times)
jeronimo
Guest
« on: November 15, 2005, 09:55:58 AM »

In response to footnote 1 in Shock: social science fiction, which lists "Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Arthur C. Clarke, and the other great Science Fiction creators of the last century," and notes:

"Yes, I notice that theyíre all men. Sorry, Octavia Butler. You donít get to sit on that shelf yet. If you know of female Science Fiction writers who belong on that list, please stop by the glyphpress forum on The Forge and let me know what goodies Iím missing!"

...If you haven't yet read C.J.Cherryh's Faded Sun trilogy, you are a missing one of the sublime treats of the genre. It's a whirlwind tour of interspecies cultural relations, intracultural social studies, interstellar diplomacy, and intense moments of combat that proceed at a pace almost faster than writing can carry, which Cherryh manages through crafty use of the military lexicon.

<Ahem> Don't be thwarted by the apostophe'd names.
Logged
rafial
Member

Posts: 594


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2005, 10:49:09 AM »

er, James Tiptree Jr. aka Alice Sheldon?
Logged
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2005, 10:51:43 AM »

For what it's worth, Octavia Butler is about 10 times the writer Asimov was, and dealt with much thornier social and emotional issues.  Ursula LeGuin is extremely good too.  And I was totally blown away by Maureen F. McHugh's "China Mountain Zhang" in high school.
Logged

--Stack
rafial
Member

Posts: 594


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2005, 10:59:45 AM »

Preach it brother, but if we are looking for old school, about about C.L. Moore and Andre Norton as well?
Logged
Joshua A.C. Newman
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2005, 11:28:44 AM »

Boy, I don't agree with your assessment of Octavia Butler, but then, I've only read one or two things by her, and that was a long time ago. What's good? If I recall, I read Wild Seed and something else.

What's good about "James Tiptree"?

Ursula LeGuin is on my reading list right now. I haven't read any since I was a kid.
Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2591


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2005, 11:30:41 AM »

Yeah, good female scifi writers are few and far between. The only one I can really recommend (apart from the already mentioned LeGuin) is Doris Lessing. Not on par with Asimov etc., but certainly a good writer in an underappreciated subgenre.

Octavia Butler... Is she the writer of that Imago, Image whatever series <goes to google> well, yes she is. She was pretty nice, too. Worth a read. Of course not nearly Asimov's calibre as scifi.

Hmm... talking about anglo writers, about the only other female scifi author worth mentioning is... <furious googling> Sheri S. Tepper. But that's as far as my appreciation goes.

I don't know why, but for some reason even the best woman authors of scifi are pretty lukewarm compared to the masters. I guess the genre doesn't interest women that much.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
Joshua A.C. Newman
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2005, 11:35:20 AM »

I dunno. Part of it is the Robert E. Howard origins, I think. Pretty mysogynistic stuff that made the magazines into boys' clubs. That would be my guess.

I mean, why would women be less interested in society-scale fiction?

Wild Seed is on a very personal scale. I hate to overgeneralize, but is it the personal vs. societal scale that has a gender rift? I'd be interested to know.

Emily, where are you?
Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2005, 11:48:55 AM »

Wild Seed is all about gender issues and authoritarianism, as I recall.  It's been a while.  It just happens to involve a very, very small society.

It's not clear to me which Asimov novels qualify as "social science fiction" within the definitions described here.  It's been a decade since I've read any of his stuff, mainly because I found his style abominable--but the Foundation series didn't deal with any actual social issues.  It just used social psychology as one of the "shocks."  It's certainly not as socially relevant, as, Fahrenheit 451.  The robot stories are even less social, as I recall.  Given the time that Asimov wrote--during turmoil of racism, nuclear war, women's rights, McCarthyism, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the youth movements of the 60's--he seems almost completely blind to all of that.

Saying, "Eh, Butler isn't strongly relevant... not, like, that titan Asimov" seems a bit iffy to me.  But who knows?  It's been a long time since I've read Asimov, maybe I'm wrong.


Logged

--Stack
Joshua A.C. Newman
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2005, 12:34:30 PM »

You give me some good Butler ó even Wild Seed, if I just missed the point all those years ago ó and I'll give you Robot Dreams, by Asimov.

There's something else going on with some of Asimov, too, and that will be confronted in another game. The same thing Wayne Barlowe feeds in Expedition, and Bradbury gives us in some of the Martian Chronicles.
Logged

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2005, 12:49:53 PM »

Wild Seed and Imago were both pretty good.  The Wikipedia makes it sound like Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents are both Social SF, but I haven't read them.
Logged

--Stack
rafial
Member

Posts: 594


WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2005, 01:22:03 PM »

Hmmm... if we are talking broad brush social impact, Nancy Kress's "Beggers" series has to get a look in.  "What if we messed with the human genome and the results were accidently *better* than we expected..."

Beggers in Spain
Beggers & Choosers
Beggers Ride

....if I'm recalling correctly.
Logged
Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2005, 06:32:14 PM »

Le-fucking-Guin!

If you haven't read the Left Hand of Darkness you have no business writing Shock:.

yrs--
--Ben
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2005, 08:31:40 PM »

Ben and I agree on Le Guin.

And, man, go read Kindred by Octavia Butler. Like, I'm absolutely shocked at your denigration of her. She'd easily be in my top five favorite SF authors.

Which, by the way, are here, because why not?

1. Alfred Bester
2. Ursula K. Le Guin
3. Samuel Delany
4. Octavia Butler
5. Jonathan Lethem
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2005, 06:29:24 AM »

And I'll give you Robot Dreams, by Asimov.

I remember reading a short story anthology by that title, but don't remember the story in question.  Which one was that?

Oh, and hell -- as long as we're on the subject of social SF written by women: Frankenstein.  Practically invented the field!
Logged

--Stack
ScottM
Member

Posts: 221

Fresno, California


WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2005, 10:42:37 AM »

I'll seventh LeGuin; Left Hand of Darkness is great, so is The Disposessed.  (It's about an anarchist almost utopia.)  Her short stories are also excellent (and quick)-- in very few pages, she sketches complex societies and relations.  (The whole Ekumen universe is filled with unusual social structures and relations, though other than those two, I recommend her more recent novels and short stories.) 

I also enjoy Nancy Kress-- Beggars in Spain, mentioned above, is a great exploration of genetic engineering's consequences. The sequels aren't bad, but can probably be skipped.  Out of All Them Bright Stars is a good short story about alien contact... and who actually gets to experience it.

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower is a great near future distopia, with very strong focus on elements of race, climate, and religion.

There are lots of other good authors, but I seem to do better at supporting those put forward by others, so... I'll keep it short.

Scott
Logged

Hey, I'm Scott Martin. I sometimes scribble over on my blog, llamafodder. Some good threads are here: RPG styles.
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!