My Quest To Read Sci-Fi By Women, Trans & Non-Binary Authors

November 6th, 2020
Cover image of the post

I’ve loved reading since I was a child. I took a book with me everywhere I went, and whenever I finished one, I immediately started a new one.

I would read anything: classics, sci-fi and fantasy, criminal and historical novels, modern trash literature and books about aviation — whatever I could get my hands on. When I was about 13, I read Lolita with a torch under a blanket, which was definitely not the right age for it, but what did I know? I was always looking for new books, and I’m still the same way, only now I have a better understanding of what I like.

As much as I still enjoy various genres, including non-fiction, sci-fi has turned out to be my favorite. Why? Maybe because it deals with the most imaginative things, like life on other planets or possible futures. Maybe because it’s willing to go where other genres wouldn’t, bend our perception of reality, play with scientific discoveries and theories. Maybe because it has often been used as a clever tool for criticizing authorities, questioning a status-quo or exploring the effects technology might have on humans. Those are the most fascinating subjects for me. Sci-fi often makes me think and reevaluate. And don’t some of the things in the world exist just because someone somewhere was able to imagine it, and someone else thought, “That’s cool, why don’t I try to make it?”

And now, here’s the deal: I’ve been discussing books on Goodreads lately, and I’ve noticed that most of my favorite sci-fi (as well as most of the sci-fi I’ve read at all, hell, most of any genre I’ve read!) was written by cis men.

4 sci-fi books written by men in a pile

I’m familiar with the stereotype that sci-fi is predominantly white male’s domain. But is it true? After all, I’m a sci-fi author myself, and I don’t see how or why any genre should be gender-specific. Yes, I’ve read an amazing space opera written by Lois McMaster Bujold and started a science fantasy series by N.K. Jemisin who are both women (see my other posts for more info), but I’ve read hundreds of sci-fi books written by men. And when I think about famous sci-fi authors, those are men’s names that come to mind. Is it really for the lack of non-male authors?

Well, I started browsing bookshelves of various sci-fi communities on Goodreads and asking for other readers’ recommendations, and guess what, there are lots of women and non-binary authors who write sci-fi out there that I’ve never heard about. And I want to read their books!

I’m embarking on this quest to expand my horizons, get to know new authors and their perspectives, get inspired, discover new voices and follow the adventures of female protagonists I can relate to. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed sci-fi written by men, and I’m looking forward to the next James S.A. Corey’s book, but it’s time to give the platform to those I haven’t heard from before. Besides, you'll find all those male books on most of the lists anywhere else on the Internet. Here, we'll be doing something else.

If you want to expand your sci-fi horizons as well, hop on this spaceship with me. I will be reading books by women, trans and non-binary authors and sharing my experiences, creating lists, recommendations and doing interviews. There will be traditionally and self-published authors, classics and new books. You might even be one of the first few readers for some of them! You'll discover lots of sci-fi authors you probably wouldn’t hear about otherwise, even though some of them are quite famous.

If you are a woman / trans / non-binary sci-fi author and want me to review your book, feel free to contact me. I don’t guarantee I’ll do it, but I will consider it for sure.

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