As Cheryl Morgan points out, here, Science Fiction & Fantasy novel "best of" lists tend to be made by men. It has been proved that women will read male and female authors equally, but men tend to read and remember male authors. Men are also more likely to vote in awards or make Best Of lists! So it’s a vicious circle: the guys end up predominating on awards lists, to be enshrined in history, while women's writing tends to get lost in the mists of time.
Accordingly, like many others on my f-list, I'm posting a list of some of my favorite genre novels written by women. I say "some" since there may be more on my TBR pile, like The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and leaving off Connie Willis is probably a mortal sin, but I've only read her short works (and loved them). Nevertheless the novels listed below are some of my re-readable favorites
* Lois McMaster Bujold - the entire Miles Vorkasigan series (with the possible exception of the first book where Cordelia meets her future husband, the count)
* Julie Czerneda - In the Company of Others
* CJ Cherryh – The entire Foreigner series
* Anne McCaffrey – The Harper Hall Trilogy, The White Dragon, All the Weyrs of Pern, and her Talents series, especially Pegasus in Space
* Karin Lowachee – her "rentboy" trilogy (Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird) Haven't read her new fantasy series and I am looking forward to it.
* Nancy Kress – Her Beggars series, and just about anything else she writes.
* Andre Norton: pretty much all of her novels since she was a formative influence on my childhood – women could write Science Fiction! Although, with short story writer James Tiptree Jr., a.k.a. Alice B Sheldon, she used a male pseudonym to get her work out there.
* Edited To Add - how the heck did I forget to add Catherine Asaro? I loved The Quantum Rose
* Ilona Gordon, who writes with her husband: both her Kate Daniels and Edgers series.
* Madeline L'Engle, for not only her Time Quartet (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters) but her later works - things like The Arm of the Starfish and A Ring of Endless Light.
* Aliette de Bodard has her amazing Obsidian and Blood series. Love it.
* Rita Mae Brown's Outfoxed is a personal favorite of mine, and if you read nothing else this year take a look at how she makes an 80-year-old woman the most amazing protagonist ever. "Sister" is a master of the Virginia fox hunt, and her story is told from multiple perspectives, including those of the foxes and the hounds.
* CJ Cherryh and Lois McMaster Bujold also do wonderful fantasy work: Cherryh's Rushalka is amazing, as is Bujold's Paladin of Souls.
* and it pains me that all those literary types I've read so far are leaving off their lists the very entertaining and highly successful J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books. I mean, if it's not Margret Atwood, and it appeals to the general public…it must have genre leprosy, right? Sorry. I enjoyed them anyhow.
I hate to leave out my favorite female mystery writers (all right, I won't: Anne Perry, Elizabeth George, Lisa Scottoline, and of course Agatha Christie) but women have traditionally done better in getting recognized for writing mysteries. And I am leaving out a large number of women writers who work exclusively in the short form. I may leave that for another list.
I know I am forgetting many great female science fiction and fantasy authors. Help me out in the comments.