Good lesbian science fiction novels

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Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby wildlx » 20 Mar 2013, 04:15

Nicola Griffith made a post on her blog with a list of recommendations for lesbian SF. The comments on the post include other book suggestions.

My recommendations are broken into two short lists: four very recent books, and six classics, for a round total of ten. You asked for novels but I'm going to include anthologies. Anthologies are useful because they expose you to different styles and attitudes.

[...]

Recent

- Heiresses of Russ, edited by Connie Wilkins and Steve Berman (2012)
- Beyond Binary, edited by Brit Mandelo (2012)
- In the Now, by Kelly Sinclair (2012)
- Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey (2009)

Classics

- Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, James Tiptree Jr
- Extra(Ordinary) People, Joanna Russ
- The Chronicles of Tornor, Elizabeth A. Lynn
- Gossamer Axe, Gael Baudino
- The Holdfast Chronicles, Suzy McKee Charnas
- Thendara House, Marion Zimmer Bradley


I must confess that the only books I read from that list are The Holdfast Chronicles, which I definitely agree should be on that list. However, from what I've read, my 10 book list would be:

- Joanna Russ, The Female Man
- Sarah Hall, The Carhullan Army
- LJ Baker, Broken Wings
- Nicola Griffith, Slow River
- Nicola Griffith, Ammonite
- The Holdfast Chronicles, Suzy McKee Charnas
- Laurie J. Marks, Elemental Logic Series
- Melissa Scott, Trouble and Her Friends
- Chris Anne Wolfe, The Shadows of Aggar
- Jane Fletcher, Lorimal's Chalice

Some people here are also big fans of SF/fantasy. So, what books would be in your list?
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby FranW » 20 Mar 2013, 06:06

I think I'd have classed Marks' elemental series as F, not SF. Ditto for Baker's books -- so far all her published novels are fantasy.

I think Mary Gentle's "Golden Witchbreed" is a classic that belongs on the list.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby Baker » 20 Mar 2013, 06:19

In the classics, I'd also include Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland. Actually, anything by Russ, but The Female Man is the best one to represent her work. Definitely agree with Gentle's inclusion.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby wildlx » 20 Mar 2013, 07:52

FranW wrote:I think I'd have classed Marks' elemental series as F, not SF. Ditto for Baker's books -- so far all her published novels are fantasy.


True. But Griffith is including F in SF. From her post:

And by sf I mean speculative fiction: an umbrella term that covers most genres of fantastical fiction. Yes, the many genres (science fiction, fantasy, dystopia, horror, alternate history, paranormal etc.) are quite different but as there is precious little really good stuff I don't see the point of this kind of subdivision—plus it's often difficult to decide which subgenre a story belongs to.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby wildlx » 20 Mar 2013, 07:54

Baker wrote:Actually, anything by Russ, but The Female Man is the best one to represent her work. Definitely agree with Gentle's inclusion.


Have you read Extra(Ordinary) People, Baker?

I have Gentle's book and also Herland, but both are on my never ending to read pile.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby Baker » 21 Mar 2013, 06:27

I'd have to dig my Russ collection out to check, because the title does not trigger any immediate memories.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby Baker » 22 Mar 2013, 06:42

BTW a note on Herland. It is not explicitly a lesbian novel--considering its vintage, you would be flabbergasted if it were. However, Perkins Gilman has an isolated island populated only by women. So, it doesn't take a genius to imagine...
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby wildlx » 22 Mar 2013, 10:55

lol Of course ;-).
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby Baker » 22 Mar 2013, 11:41

Contrast this with Millenium Hall by Sarah Scott (written in 1762). The book is about a female enclave, and is quite antipathetic to heterosexual sex. Yet, I wouldn't say Scott ever considered lesbianism even in a read-between-the-lines way, since sex as a whole seems to repulse her.
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Re: Good lesbian science fiction novels

Postby wildlx » 22 Mar 2013, 11:44

Would you say her imagination couldn't get beyond het sex ;-)?
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