Fantasy Mistressworks

Over at the Fantasy Mistressworks blog Amanda Rutter has posted a list of 50 top fantasy books by women. As with most such things, it is a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t understand how one can have a list of top fantasy by women and not include Ellen Kushner, Liz Hand, or Caitlin Kiernan, for example. But these things are all subjective. I’m not blogging to complain. I’m blogging to celebrate the fact that the list includes The Thief’s Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna, which I will be publishing soon (hopefully next month, but quality before speed). Golly gosh, what with this and Lyda’s award-studded series, I’m starting to feel like a real publisher.

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8 Responses to Fantasy Mistressworks

  1. [dave] says:

    Yeah, this is not my list. Bunch of names I haven’t heard though, so I’ll check them out. I’m confused by a lot of the books chosen to rep a particular writer as well. I would have chosen different books by Patricia C Wrede, Anne McCaffrey, C Cherryh, Tanith Lee, Lois McMaster Bujold and above all, Octavia Butler.

  2. I’m most puzzled by the inclusion of Diadem From the Stars. Some of Clayton’s fantasy is really heavily disguised science fiction, but Diadem and its sequels aren’t even disguised. They’re just plain science fiction.

    And since there doesn’t seem to be anything in the criteria about the works being text-only, the omission I choose to be most disappointed about is Yuki Urushibara.

  3. Kathryn says:

    Sheepfarmer’s Daughter? Really? I have great respect for Elizabeth Moon, but Sheepfarmer’s Daughter is far from a “Mistressworks” level book. It has an overly-powerful protagonist who survives huge injuries and recovers ridiculously quickly, and it’s as boring as sin. Even the exciting bits aren’t… exciting. I would put Ms Moon on a “Science Fiction Mistressworks” list without hesitation, but I’d leave the Paks books to propping open a door, at least for this purpose.

  4. [dave] says:

    @Kathryn: Its been years, but I read that big omnibus version at least three times, so I didn’t mind it as much šŸ™‚

    • Kathryn says:

      I have that edition, and in all fairness I need to give it another go as I do want to read the next two books, but Paks was – in my opinion, relating to Sheepfarmer’s Daughter – simultaneously a great character but also a massively flawed one, so much so that it completely destroyed many aspects of the book.

      Combine this with the omnibus edition, and you spend SFD not actually worried that Paks will survive her next horrific injury, ‘cos you know she will.

  5. Joris M says:

    I believe the list was limited to authors before this century. I remember reading that in the comments during the compilation process, but cannot find it anymore. If I remember correctly the decision was related to the existence of a 21st century women in genre project.

    • Cheryl says:

      Good point, though I think the reason was to mirror the existing SF Mistressworks project. There may well have been a tendency to pick earlier works by some writers in order to make sure they were included, even though they are doing their best work now. That would certainly have been a consideration Kiernan whose recent work has been extraordinary. However, Liz Hand’s Waking the Moon won the Tiptree and Mythopoeic Awards in 1996, and Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer won the World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Awards in 1991. I would have included them both.

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