[ExI] scifi

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sat Dec 2 12:35:54 UTC 2023

On 02/12/2023 08:28, bill w wrote:
> Currently reading 'The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet' by Becky 
> Chambers.
> I have read several sci-fi books by female authors - Ann Leckie for 
> one. It is detectable that the author is female, but not that obvious. 
> Chambers is blatantly obvious; writing about emotions and 
> relationships far beyond any other sci-fi author I know.  (except for 
> Yarrow - see below)
> This book is the first of a trilogy that won the Hugo for best 
> series.  They could have easily been re-written, taking out all the 
> sci-fi tech and aliens.  I do enjoy it this way, though.
> Another: 'Fourth Wing' by Rebecca Yarrows - a totally smash hit, as is 
> the sequel 'Iron Flame'.  More of a fantasy since the tech is about 
> equal to our 18th century stuff, and there are lots of dragons and 
> magic.  (and lots of sex and jealousies - the two main characters are 
> about 20 years old and it shows)
> It also could have been written without those, just focusing on the 
> emotions and relationships.  But again, I do enjoy it as is.
> Too bad we did not have more female writers from the beginning. Just a 
> few.

Try Linda Nagata for a rare example of a female that can write 
convincing sf. It was her depiction of an uploaded spaceship pilot that 
set me off down the road of thinking deeply about the old 'is a copy of 
you really you?' question, and to conclude that it has to be, despite 
some unintuitive side-effects.

Justina Robson is also quite good, but tends more towards fantasy in her 
later works. Her first novel, "Silver Screen" was promising, but 
ultimately fizzled out and I found it disappointing at the end. A sequel 
might have been able to rescue it, but one never appeared. I'm currently 
reading "Natural History", which is showing more promise. Her later 
"Quantum Gravity" books are good fantasy, which I can recommend, but I 
wouldn't call them sf.

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