April is National Women’s History Month

Which is kind of short-shrift for women – one month only – considering that homo sap history is women’s history and, like, there’s this whole birth thing which kind of suggests that without women there’d be no history of any kind but, be that as it may:

Science Fiction fandom has been doing a lot of soul searching over the past several years regarding the place, influence, reception and acceptance of women – everything from how they’re treated at conventions to how they’re treated by publishers and awards.  This is a good thing and has been having a positive affect on the community.  One only wishes that the changes being wrought would take place a little more quickly and with less associated resistance and angst.

I think it appropriate that Amazing Stories devote at least a little space and a few words to the subject in celebration of literally more than half of the human race – especially considering that science fiction fandom likes to present itself as an open, balanced and diverse community (struggling mightily to live up to that conceit).

If you visit the Staff page here, you’ll find that our currently active roster of bloggers is comprised of 24 women and 50 men.  It’s a ratio not unlike many other venues in the science fiction world.  Perhaps it’s reflective of the “men are more aggressive in seeking out self-promotional activities” meme  (“men are more aggressive when submitting stories”, etc, etc), perhaps not.  All I can offer is the fact that becoming a writer for the Amazing Stories blog is a completely open process and that I have actively pursued several female bloggers in an effort to achieve a balance here.  I hope that they agree that our lack of “perfect” balance isn’t from lack of trying.  I also hope that they agree that their opportunities here are the same as the men’s and that the site is ‘putting its money where its mouth is’ in regards to equality issues.

So far as Women in Science Fiction History (our small off-shoot of the month’s celebration) goes, we’ve got plenty to crow about.  Women who have contributed and influenced every aspect of our genres as authors, artists, editors, publishers and fans.  Perhaps the best thing we can do here on Amazing Stories is to simply list as many of them as I can remember, ask you all to add those that I’ve missed and suggest that everyone acknowledge them, engage with their works and appreciate their contributions.

(The website for the Women’s National History Museum can be found here

My list below is not in any particular order:


C. L. Moore
Leigh Brackett
Octavia E. Butler
Judith Merrill
Judy-Lynn Benjamin
Linda Nagata
Shawna McCarthy
Ellen Datlow
Joanna Russ
Wendy Pini
Linda Bushyager
Karen Anderson
Kristin Katharine Rusch
Marion Zimnmer Bradley
Zenna Henderson
Pamela Sargeant
Alice Sheldon
C. J. Cherryh
Margaret Brundage
Majel Barrett
Nichelle Nichols
Sue Lange
Andre Norton
Connie Willis
Jo Walton
Ursula K. Le Guin
Catharynn M. Valente
Kate Wilhelm
Rachel Swirsky
Alma Alexander
Susan Wood
Karen G. Anderson
FJ Bergmann
Cait Coker
Jane Frank
Adria K. Fraser
Fran Friel
Kristina Grifantini
Samantha Henry
Monique Jacob
Juliet Kahn
Hunter Liguore
Petrea Mitchell
Nina Munteanu
Astrid Nielsch
Cedar Sanderson
Morgana Santilli
Felicity Savage
Diane Severson
Lesley Smith
Erin Underwood
Cynthia Ward
Leah Zeldes
Kij Johnson
Kage Baker



Catharine Asaro
Diane Merchant
Elizabeth A. Lynn
Thea von Harbeau
Mary Shelley
Lisa Tuttle
Chelsey Quinn Yarboro
Julian May
Suzanne Collins
Madelaine L’Engle
Lois McMaster Bujold
Elizabeth Moon
Eileen Gunn
Ann McCaffrey
Nicola Griffith
Sheri S. Tepper
Joan D. Vinge
Pat Cadigan
Nalo Hopkinson
Suzy McKee Charnas
Doris Lessing
Elinor Mavor
Cele Goldsmith
Pauline Ashwell
Elinor Busby
Juanita Coulson
Bjo Trimble
Noreen Shaw
Ruth Berman
Diane Dillon
Alicia Austin
Susan Glicksohn
Elizabeth Fishman
Rosemary Ullyot
Wendy Fletcher
Dena Brown
Sandra Miesel
Vonda N. McIntyre
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Laura Basta
Suzanne Tompkins
Cheryl Morgan
Jeanne Gomoll
Patricia A. McKillip
Rowena Morrill
Charlotte Proctor
Susan Bridges
Anna S. Moffatt
Suzanne Carnival
Penny Frierson
Kathleen Meyer
Rose Mitchell
Patty Wells
Alice Lawson



My list is FAR, far, far from complete. I never expected to be able to create a complete one. If you find that someone you know or admire ought to be added, please put them in the comments.

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  1. And I would add a few women whose work I've had the pleasure of discovering through their poetry, first and foremost, but fiction as well:

    Ann K. Schwader

    Mary Turzillo – her fiction is also

    Jane Yolen

    Marge Simon

    Denise Dumars

    Deborah Kolodji

    Samantha Henderson

    Shira Lipkin

    CSE Cooney

    Amal El-Mohtar

    Rose Lemberg

    Shweta Narayan

    Theodora Goss

    Elissa Malcohn

    Alicia Cole

    Ada Hoffmann

    Jessica P. Wick

    Terrie L. Relf

    Megan Arkenberg

    Adele Gardner

    Alexandra Seidel

    Sonya Taafe

    Ruth Berman

    MaryJo Rabe

    RJ Traub

    Laurel Winter

    Christina Sng

    Jacqueline West

    Sandra Lindow

    Marcie Tetschoff

    Karen Romanko

    Sandra Kastouri

    Jeannine Hall Gailey

    Elizabeth Barrette

    Liz Bennefeld

    And probably a lot more that I've forgotten.

  2. Kristina – thanks. I didn't include Ms. Atwood because she herself denies writing science fiction – and I wouldn't want to include her in a list of historically significant science fiction women against her will….

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