Popular Science Fiction by Women

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1

Swastika Night

by Katharine Burdekin

   Published in 1937, twelve years before Orwell's 1984, this novel projects a totally male-controlled fascist world that has eliminated women as we know them. They are breeders, kept as cattle, while men in this post-Hitlerian world are embittered automatons, fearful of all feelings, having abolished all history, education, creativity, books, and art. Not even the memory of culture remains. The plot centers on a "misfit" who asks, as readers must, "How could this have happenned?" Ann J. Lane calls the novel a "brilliant, chilling dystopia." "This is a powerful, haunting vision of the inner and outer worlds of male violence."-Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One, 1884-1933
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SS UNITED STATES: Speed Queen of the Seas

by William H Miller

Built in 1952 for the United States Lines, the SS United States was unlike any other ocean liner. She had been designed from the outset to serve as both a transatlantic ferry and as a troop and hospital ship in time of war. Her design was a military secret and her power plant similar to that fitted to the largest of American battleships. She could do a staggering 45kt, over twelve knots faster than her nearest rival could. She soon became the ship to be seen on, and the illustrious passenger lists included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who favored the ship's Duck Suite. The entry of the SS United States, the largest passenger ship built in America, marked the first time since the 1850s that an American ship had held the Blue Riband. This amazing ocean liner surpassed European speed records by a huge margin and a ship as fast is unlikely ever to be built again.William H. Miller tells the story of the SS United States from her construction at Newport News to the present day. Today, she lies derelict in Philadelphia, but big plans are in place to restore her and turn her back into a luxurious floating hotel.
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Among Others

by Jo Walton

Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel

Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England-a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off...
Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
One of School Library Journal's Best Adult Books 4 Teens titles of 2011
One of io9's best Science Fiction & Fantasy books of the year 2011

Nebula
Hugo
British Fantasy Society
BSFA
World Fantasy
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The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories

by Kit Reed

Called “one of our brightest cultural commentators” by Publishers Weekly, Kit Reed draws from life—with a difference. This new collection brings together thirty-four of her strong, original stories, from early classics like “The Wait” and “Winter” to six never-before-collected short stories, including “The Legend of Troop 13” and “Wherein We Enter the Museum.” An early favorite, “Automatic Tiger,” is the first in a series of Reed’s stories about animals. There’s a monkey who grinds out bestsellers with the help of a “creative writing” app. Her uncanny black dog can enter a crowded room and sit down at the feet of the next man to die. Her characters confront war in various arenas: mother/daughter battles, the war of the sexes, the struggles of men scarred by war. Kit Reed’s self-described “transgenred” fiction is confirmation of an “extraordinary talent” (The Financial Times). The range and complexity of her work speaks for itself in The Story Until Now.
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Queen City Jazz

by Kathleen Ann Goonan

In Verity's world, nanotech plagues decimated the population after an initial renaissance of utopian nanotech cities. Verity has been raised, an orphan, in a tiny Shaker revival community where all are forbidden contact with the Enlivened Cities. Yet as she grows up on the isolated farm, she is often drawn to the City of Dayton, abandoned nearby, and to its self-contained and still-functioning library. Her happy life is suddenly destroyed when the Shakers, in spite of their precautions, contract a nanotech plague that possesses them. Blaze, the only young man in the community and Verity's best friend, is shot by a crazed elder. And so Verity, with her dog Cairo - and the body of Blaze wrapped in a nanotech cocoon - sets off on a quest to the Enlivened City of Cincinnati. It is a place of legend, walled off from the rest of the world, where huge bio-engineered bees carry information through the streets and enormous nanotech flowers burst from the tops of strange buildings. It is the place where Blaze might be brought back from the brink of death. But Cincinnati is a city of dreams turned into nightmares, endlessly reliving the fantasies of its creator, a city that Verity must rule - or die.
BSFA
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The City, Not Long After

by Pat Murphy

Half a generation ago, a gesture in the name of peace turned out to spread plague and disaster. In San Francisco, the survivors are heir to a city transformed. It is a haunted, dreaming place peopled with memories, and in a strange way nearly alive itself. And although it is only beginning to recover from near-ultimate disaster, the city is at risk again. An army of power-hungry men are descending on San Francisco. Teenagers Jax and Danny-boy must lead the fight for freedom using the only weapons they have—art, magic, and the soul of the city itself.
Arthur C. Clarke
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Life After Life: A Novel

by Kate Atkinson

"One of the best novels I've read this century. Kate Atkinson is a marvel. There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe LIFE AFTER LIFE: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound."--Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula's world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization -- if only she has the chance?

Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.
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God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible

by Walid Shoebat

God War on Terror is one of the most important boks ever to be written on End-TImes prophecy. As Walid says, I wasted my college days taking courses on Psycholigy 101, English 101, and Sociology 101 but I never imagined Futurology 101! The bible, as I found it, is not simply a book on personal devotion as is commonly thought; it is a detailed roadmap with mountains of evidence that God exists. His design from time immemorial, regarding man's destiny, is filled with countless details about the future, especially the coming war with an Islamic coalition against Christianity and Israel. In fact, all of the references in the Bible to nations, against which God declares His war in End-times, you will find, are all Muslim.
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Beggars in Spain

by Nancy Kress

5 avg rating

In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent ... and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other "Sleepless" are outcasts -- victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society ... and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her "gift" -- a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom ... and revenge.

Hugo
Nebula
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
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Star Wars: Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter

by Michael Reaves

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For the infamous, power-hungry Sith, beholden to the dark side, the time has come to rise again.
 
After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.

But he is too late. The secret has already passed into the hands of information broker Lorn Pavan, which places him right at the top of Darth Maul’s hit list. Then, in the labyrinthine alleyways and sewers of Coruscant, capital city of the Republic, Lorn crosses paths with Darsha Assant, a Jedi Padawan on a mission to earn her Knighthood. Now the future of the Republic depends on Darsha and Lorn. But how can an untried Jedi and an ordinary man, stranger to the powerful ways of the Force, hope to triumph over one of the deadliest killers in the galaxy?
 
This special edition features an all-new Darth Maul short story as well as “Star Wars:® Darth Maul: Saboteur”—both written by New York Times bestselling author James Luceno!

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Zoo City

by Lauren Beukes

WHERE NO ONE ELSE DARE VENTURE…

Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty online 419 scam habit – and a talent for finding lost things. But when her latest client, a little old lady, turns up dead and the cops confiscate her lastpaycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job: missing persons

The award-winning novel by the Author of The Shining Girls and the highly-acclaimed Moxyland.

FILE UNDER: Urban Fantasy [Gangster Shamen / Symbiotic Familiars / Teen Star Missing / Everything Breaks]


From the Paperback edition.
Arthur C. Clarke
BSFA
World Fantasy
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Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang: A Novel

by Kate Wilhelm

Before becoming one of today's most intriguing and innovative mystery writers, Kate Wilhelm was a leading writer of science fiction, acclaimed for classics like The Infinity Box and The Clewiston Test.

Now one of her most famous novels returns to print, the spellbinding story of an isolated post-holocaust community determined to preserve itself, through a perilous experiment in cloning. Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity, and rigorous in its science, Where Later the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and "hard" SF, and won SF's Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication. It is as compelling today as it was then.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang is the winner of the 1977 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

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The Best of Everything

by Rona Jaffe

When Rona Jaffe’s superb page-turner was first published in 1958, it changed contemporary fiction forever. Some readers were shocked, but millions more were electrified when they saw themselves reflected in its story of five young employees of a New York publishing company. Almost sixty years later, The Best of Everything remains touchingly—and sometimes hilariously—true to the personal and professional struggles women face in the city. There’s Ivy League Caroline, who dreams of graduating from the typing pool to an editor’s office; naïve country girl April, who within months of hitting town reinvents herself as the woman every man wants on his arm; and Gregg, the free-spirited actress with a secret yearning for domesticity. Jaffe follows their adventures with intelligence, sympathy, and prose as sharp as a paper cut.
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Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

by James Tiptree Jr.

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author’s original notes. Tiptree’s fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity’s place in a vast, cold universe.
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Synners

by Pat Cadigan

First published in 1991, this cyberpunk classic won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was shortlisted for the Nebula Award
 
Synners are synthesizers—not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of the cyberpunk movement.
Arthur C. Clarke
Nebula
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Lilith's Brood

by Octavia E. Butler

The acclaimed trilogy that comprises LILITH'S BROOD is multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume, with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., LILITH'S BROOD is a profoundly evocative, sensual -- and disturbing -- epic of human transformation.

Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected -- by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story...
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Frankenstein

by Mary Shelley

4 avg rating

Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's.
"We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal.
The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."

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We

by Yevgeny Zamyatin

5 avg rating
A seminal work of dystopian fiction that foreshadowed the worst excesses of Soviet Russia, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian with an introduction by Clarence Brown. In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful 'Benefactor', the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity - until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, We is the classic dystopian novel and was the forerunner of works such as George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. It was suppressed for many years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, yet is also a powerful, exciting and vivid work of science fiction. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years' suppression. Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval engineer by profession and writer by vocation, who made himself an enemy of the Tsarist government by being a Bolshevik, and an enemy of the Soviet government by insisting that human beings have absolute creative freedom. He wrote short stories, plays and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world. It first appeared in Russia only in 1988. If you enjoyed We, you might like George Orwell's 1984, also available in Penguin Classics. 'the best single work of science fiction yet written' Ursula K. LeGuin, author of The Left Hand of Darkness 'It is in effect a study of the Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again' George Orwell, author of 1984
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Cry of the Wind

by Sue Harrison

A special single-volume edition of Sue Harrison’s epic and masterful Storyteller Trilogy

In Song of the River, eighty centuries ago, in the frozen land that is now Alaska, a clubfooted male child had been left to die, when a woman named K’os rescued him. Twenty years later and no longer a child, Chakliux occupies the revered role as his tribe’s storyteller. In the neighboring village of the Near River people, where Chakliux will attempt to make peace by wedding the shaman’s daughter, a double murder occurs that sends him on a harsh, enthralling journey in search of the truth about the tragic losses his people have suffered, and into the arms of a woman he was never meant to love.

In Cry of the Wind, Chakliux has one weakness: the beautiful Aqamdax, who has been promised to a cruel tribesman she does not love. But there can be no future for Chakliux and Aqamdax until a curse upon their peoples has been lifted. As they travel a dangerous path, they encounter greater challenges than the harsh terrain and the long season of ice. K’os, the woman who saved Chakliux’s life when he was an infant, is now enslaved by the leader of the enemy tribe against whom she has sworn vengeance. To carry out her justice she will destroy anyone who gets in her way, even the storyteller she raised as her own son.

And in Call Down the Stars, a handsome young tribal warrior and sage, Yikaas has traveled across the sea to hear stories of the Whale Hunter and the Sea Hunter peoples. Around the fire, Qumalix, a beguiling and beautiful storyteller, barely old enough to be a wife, catches the eye of Yikaas, and so begins their flirtation through storytelling, which brings to vivid life tales of the Near River and Cousin River tribes. The fates of lovers Chakliux and Aqamdax, and their wicked nemesis K’os, are revealed as Yikaas and Qumalix weave together tales from their ancestors’ past—and tales from their own lives.
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