John Joseph Adams asked what are your top ten SF-F books not written by white men? Actually, he asked it in two parts: a top-ten list of nonmen, followed by a top ten list of nonwhites. Like everyone else who’s responded so far, I can do a list of women easily; embarrassingly (and typically), of the SF-F authors whose race I actually know, almost all of them are white (the late Octavia Butler seems to be a common exception). I might be able to do a nonwhite list, but it’d be almost all comics creators.

Anyway, my top-ten-women list demonstrates a pretty strong pattern.

  1. The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
  2. Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
  3. Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link
  4. Tehanu, Ursula Le Guin
  5. The Homeward Bounders, Diana Wynne Jones
  6. A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L’Engle
  7. The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
  8. Lioness Rampant, Tamora Pierce
  9. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
  10. Tie: Deep Wizardry, Diane Duane, and The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Is it usually this obvious that my literary development halted in middle school?