Stuck for ideas of what to watch next? Browse our selection of genres and decades to find hidden movie gems or rediscover old time classics.
From thrilling page turners to beautiful novels, we present you books and authors similar to the ones you love. Enjoy our recommendations – from bookworms for bookworms.
If you share our passion for music, have a browse through our list of genres and discover unmissable artists and songs from the past 50 years. You’ll find a bit of old, a bit of new and a bit of something you probably have never heard of before.
Whatever type of game you’re looking for, you’ll surely find one that tickles your fancy here. Choose your next favourite from one of our wonderful articles and get playing!
“Science fiction is not prescriptive; it is descriptive.” – Ursula K. le Guin
Once upon a time, in a not-so-distant past, top female science fiction authors were few and far between. Some claimed it was because of their gender, that women were only capable of writing ‘soft’ sci-fi or fantasy, with heavy doses of bodice ripping.
“I love to imagine a dialog with readers, to share the amazement of discovering a new world. And then return to our world to realize, “So that’s how this awesome planet works.””
Joan Lyn Slonczewski is a New Yorker with a PhD in Molecular Biiophysics and Biochemistry from Yale. Her science fiction focuses on genetics, eco-science and near-future possibilities in nanotech. Her background makes her one of the best female science fiction writers because the stories ‘ring true.’ In a creepy, good way.
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
"“Beware of the brain plague.” The Protector’s voice blared from receivers in her teeth. “The plague endangers not Valedona alone, but all the worlds of the Fold.”"
Imagine a world where intelligent microbes live in human brains, and they have their own identities. Good, evil or indifferent, they can make a body- or a building- from intention. Chrisobel is an artist who agrees to getting microbes to help with inspiration, but the microbes have a different plan.
“When you’re a writer, the question people always ask you is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Writers hate this question. It’s like asking Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, “Where do you get your leeches?” You don’t get ideas. Ideas get you.”
Connie Willis is a Science Fiction Hall of Fame recipient from Colorado. She’s also won 11 Hugos, 11 Locus Polls and 8 Nebulas. The awards aside, she’s a clear choice for a top female science fiction author.
Her superbly humorous sci-fi tales are also balanced with some gravitas, like asking what impact technology will really have on society? Expect multi-layered characters and a slow humor build.
Genre: Laugh-Out-Loud Science Fiction
“One has not lived until one has carried a sixty-pound dog down a sweeping flight of stairs at half-past V in the morning.” –Ned Henry
“Be very careful how you talk to yourself. Because you are listening.”
Image Source: Sfrevie WS
Pat Cadigan (Patricia Oren Kearney Cadigan) is a cyberpunk/speculative science fiction author with a focus on possibilities between the mind combined with tech. She’s won many awards including the Arthur C. Clarke twice and a Hugo for best novelette.
She’s definitely on of the great female science fiction writers. Reading her is near-future familiar ground with unfamiliar twists for readers, with fantastic characters you’ll wish you could meet.
Genre: Cyberpunk Sci-Fi
“Can I interest you in a well-dressed cup of coffee?” Gina wiped her hands over her face. “Right now you couldn’t interest me stark naked in a bath of lime Jell-O. Who are you working for?” –Mark and Gina, Synners
A ‘Synner’ is someone involved in hardcore online living. The illegal hackers, the artificial reality junkies and the Sim pirates as characters combine with corporate hijinks, loads of action, fast-paced dialogues and near future what-ifs: is your humanity worth living in an alternate reality?
Note: There is strong/graphic language throughout.
“Science fiction is a dialogue, a tennis match, in which the Idea is volleyed from one side of the net to the other. Ridiculous to say that someone ‘stole’ an idea: no, no, a thousand times no.”
Image Source: Staffers Book Review
C.J. Cherryh (Carolyn Janice Cherry) is one of the best female science fiction authors of speculative fiction. A trained linguist and archaelogost, Reading Cherryh challenges the reader to be smart and infer rather than be clearly told. Plus her aliens are some of the most alien you’ll ever come across.
Genre: Speculative fiction
“Baji-naji, nand' paidhi. Fortune has a human face and bastard Chance whores drunken down your streets." –Ilisidi, Foreigner
The book begins by outlining the history between the ‘foreigners’ (humans on the starship Pheonix that become stranded on a habitable planet) and the inhabitants, the atevi.
It then follows the one interpreter (a ‘paidhi’) allowed onto atevi soil, Bren, and his confusions and perspective living among the locals in a steam-to-tech age as the isolated human.
“It has been suggested that Tiptree is female, a theory that I find absurd, for there is to me something ineluctably masculine about Tiptree’s writing.” –Robert Silverberg, intro to ‘Warm Worlds and Otherwise’
James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Bradley Shelton) wrote as a male science fiction writer for roughly 10 years before she was uncovered. Her short stories are quite dark, with an accent on free will versus biology. She’s a complex sci-fi writer with a morbid edge.
Genre: Dark/Ironic Science Fiction
‘The disimprovement in her looks comes from the electrode jacks peeping out of her sparse hair, and there are other meldings of flesh and metal. On the other hand, that collar and spinal plate are really an asset; you won’t miss seeing that neck.’ –The Girl Who Was Plugged In
This collection of Tiptree’s short stories is a complete collection of her various styles. From the less serious ‘All the Kinds of Yes’ to the ironic, Hugo-winning ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In,’ it’s ideal for nearly any fan of science fiction. Not to mention a top female science fiction writer.
Note: The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is now given to authors that challenge or branch out gender roles in sci-fi.
If you’re still on the search for more suggestions of women who write great science fiction, these are extras we’ve added to our list, with genres and recommendations:
Andrea Hairston, ‘Mindscape’ (2006) Speculative fiction.
Catherine Asaro, ‘Primary Inversion’ (1995) Hard Sci-Fi.
G.S. Jennsen, ‘Starshine’ (2014) A romantic space opera novel.
Lois McMaster Bujold, ‘Shards of Honor’ (1986) A romantic space opera novel.
Karin Lowachee, ‘War Child’ (2002) A space opera novel.
Linda Nagata, ‘The Red #1: First Light’ (2013) Military science fiction.
Stephanie Saulter, ‘Gemsigns’ (2013) Post-apocalyptic fiction.
Cherie Priest, ‘Boneshaker’ (2009) A steampunk novel.
Kathleen Ann Goonan, ‘Queen City Jazz’ (1994 ) Cyberpunk Sci-Fi.
Sheryl Nantus, ‘A Blaze of Glory’ (2011) Urban fantasy/Sci-Fi.
Ursula K. le Guin, ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ (1969)
Octavia E. Butler, ‘Parable of the Sower’ (1993)
Anne McCaffrey, ‘The Ship Who Sang’ (1969)
Andre Norton, ‘Star Man’s Son’ (1952)
We hope this extensive list has helped you (re)discover some of the top female science fiction authors. Of course, we may have missed a few.
Rate 5 movies and we'll find your next favorite one. For FREE.