Here are the rules: “read 12 books by 12 new-to-you women authors in 12 months. One of your author choices should be totally random. Have a friend pick one for you and you pick one for your friend.”
On the wonderful Worlds Without End website they offer a number of Reading Challenges each year. This year, I am joining three of them. The one I am looking forward to the most is the ‘Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge’. The main reason for this is my unintended neglect of reading female authors up until now. I have only read a few works by authors including Ursula K. LeGuin, Hope Mirrlees, Margo Lanagan, Virginia Woolf, Susanna Clarke and Mary Shelley. Compared with the number of works by male authors that I’ve read, it’s pretty paltry.
There are a number of lists of recommended books by “women of genre fiction” available on the net, but I decided I’d rather ask my fellow speculative fiction bloggers for their suggestions. I put the word out on Twitter and got enough responses for two years of the challenge. Thank you!
I collated these recommendations into a list of 24 books, in no particular order, and made 24 number-cards which I will pick at random each month. Here is the list:
- The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
- Walk to the End of the World by Suzy McKee Charnas
- The Female Man by Joanna Russ
- Tea with the Black Dragon by RA MacAvoy
- Memoirs of a Spacewoman by Naomi Mitchison
- Missing Man by Katherine MacLean
- Slow River by Nicola Griffith
- Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
- Necessary Ill by Deb Taber
- Native Tongue by Suzette Elgin
- We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ
- Doomsday Morning by C.L. Moore
- Armed Camps by Kit Reed
- Ice by Anna Kavan
- The Hieros Gamos of Sam and An Smith by Josephine Saxton
- Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
- Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
- (Any Short Story Collection) by James Tiptree, Jr.
- Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter
- Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
- Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm
- Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
- The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
The first two numbers I picked out were #17 and #21, curiously close numbers. I’ve ordered the two books and will write reviews of them in the coming months. Until then, I’d love to hear what you think of the list and how many you have read.