The Future is Female


This book looks good to me and it checks a number of boxes for us. Stand-alone, classic SF, female authors... Also, I have read VERY FEW of these, but have heard about some of them. The Appendix N podcast hosts were recently praising Brackett's All the Colors of the Rainbow. I really don't know if the list is great or awful.

25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin: A Library of America Special Publication.

Available formats: hardcover & ebook. (It's new; I expect other forms to come.)

Space-opera heroines, gender-bending aliens, post-apocalyptic pregnancies, changeling children, interplanetary battles of the sexes, and much more: a groundbreaking new collection of classic American science fiction by women from the 1920s to the 1960s

SF-expert Lisa Yaszek presents the biggest and best survey of the female tradition in American science fiction ever published, a thrilling collection of twenty-five classic tales. From Pulp Era pioneers to New Wave experimentalists, here are over two dozen brilliant writers ripe for discovery and rediscovery, including Leslie F. Stone, Judith Merril, Leigh Brackett, Kit Reed, Joanna Russ, James Tiptree Jr., and Ursula K. Le Guin. Imagining strange worlds and unexpected futures, looking into and beyond new technologies and scientific discoveries, in utopian fantasies and tales of cosmic horror, these women created and shaped speculative fiction as surely as their male counterparts. Their provocative, mind-blowing stories combine to form a thrilling multidimensional voyage of literary-feminist exploration and recovery.

Introduction by LISA YASZEK

CLARE WINGER HARRIS The Miracle of the Lily (1928)

LESLIE F. STONE The Conquest of Gola (1931)

C. L. MOORE The Black God’s Kiss (1934)

LESLIE PERRI Space Episode (1941)

JUDITH MERRIL That Only a Mother (1948)

WILMAR H. SHIRAS In Hiding (1948)

KATHERINE MACLEAN Contagion (1950)

MARGARET ST. CLAIR The Inhabited Men (1951)


ANDREW NORTH (ANDRE NORTON) All Cats Are Gray (1953)

ALICE ELEANOR JONES Created He Them (1955)

MILDRED CLINGERMAN Mr. Sakrison’s Halt (1956)

LEIGH BRACKETT All the Colors of the Rainbow (1957)



ELISABETH MANN BORGESE For Sale, Reasonable (1959)

DORIS PITKIN BUCK Birth of a Gardner (1961)

ALICE GLASER The Tunnel Ahead (1961)

KIT REED The New You (1962)


SONYA DORMAN When I Was Miss Dow (1966)

KATE WILHELM Baby, You Were Great (1967)

JOANNA RUSS The Barbarian (1968)

JAMES TIPTREE JR. The Last Flight of Dr. Ain (1969)

URSULA K. LE GUIN Nine Lives (1969)


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    Looks awesome! Been a while since we've done a number of short stories.

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    edited October 2018
    So much goodness here, huge fan of many of these writers.

    Here are some recommendations if you are intrigued by what you read here:

    CL Moore: all the classic short stories she wrote with Henry Kuttner, my favs include ‘Vintage Season,’ ‘The Children’s Hour’ and ‘Clash by Night,’ they are some of the best writing to come out of the 40s sf pulps.

    Katherine MacLean: ‘Unhuman Sacrifice’ is a critque of sf genre assumptions and colonialism ahead of the New Wave.

    Margaret St. Clair - Her Agent of the Unknown novella (republished by Wild Side Press) is well written and a brutal deconstruction of Van Vogt’s supermen.

    Leigh Brackett - I’m a huge fan, I consider her the best adventure writer of the era, her sf fantasy is obviously influenced by REH but I think she is a stronger and more consistent writer. Her prose is vivid and muscular, a great mix of romance, melancholy and action. Her visionary planetary romances on Mars are a big influence on Moorcock and Wolfe. Sword of Rhiannon is the place to start, her best sf fantasy novel. The Erick Stark, Outlaw of Mars book collects most of her best Mars stories and The Long Tomorrow is her best sf novel and one of the better sf novels of the 50s.

    Carol Emshwiller - One of the best sf short story writers I’ve read. I don’t have one short story colllection by her but have read more than half a dozen and they tend to be very concise, dense and often avant garde and mordant.

    Kate Wilhelm - Another one of my favourite short story writers, she also has written some brilliant novellas like The Infinity Box and The Scream. Her prose is first rate, her characterization and ruthless exploration of often very dark themes very well done. Where the Late Birds Late Sang is generally considered her best sf novel, it is a series of interlocked novellas, but I’ve yet to read it.

    Joanna Russ - I feel goofy saying how great Russ is as she was widely recognized for her brilliance in the 60s and 70s but her profille seems to have unjustly faded since. For me her ferociously intelligent feminist utopia/dystopia The Female Man blows Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale out of the water on every level. Her Adventures of Alyx series of novellas and Picnic on Paradise are terrifically written sf adventures that combine quality writing and genre together seamlessly. Unlike a lot of Le Guin I find that Russ can make you think without being preachy and be tremendously entertaining at the same time.

    Tiptree - Again, feel a but silly praising such a respected writer but I will say I consider this particlar story very much one of her lesser efforts. My favourites of her short stories/novellas (which is where she did her best work) are ‘A Momentary Taste of Being,’ ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’ and ‘Love is the Plan, The Plan is Death.’
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    Great stuff, @RtG. I'd be cool to do this book next year.

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    Sorry for the typos, typing on a tablet is a pain!

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