Celebrating Women in Fantasy & Science fiction

This January amazing novelist Ursula K. Le Guin has abandoned our planet and moved forward into another dimension. Her passing away was sad for both fans and family, she has been an inspiring human being in so many ways! But this event did give me the desire to make more people discover the works of the many amazing women that have been and are writers in the Fantasy and sci-fi genres.

I have a little book club for Italian women living in the U.K. and have decided to make them choose books from a list I have prepared that features my favourite women writers in these genres. I obviously cannot propose to them a list with all the ones I really love, or it would be really too long! So I have decided to limit this to 8 books. I do believe that this genre is still too often set aside by many readers, though it has been gathering momentum again in the last years. So many good books have been written that selecting them was really hard!

So here is my list!

BOOK 1 – THE DISPOSSESSED by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American novelist. Working mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction, he New York Times described her as “America’s greatest living science fiction writer”. This book won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1974 and won both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1975, it explores many themes, including anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism and individualism and collectivism. It is set up in two twin worlds, the chapters alternate between the worlds and in time.

You can find the book both in paper and kindle format on Amazon here: The Dispossessed (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
If you rae italian and you are reading this, you can find an italian version of the book here: I reietti dell’altro pianeta (Italian Edition)


Anne McCaffrey was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her 1978 novel The White Dragon became one of the first science-fiction books to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list. She was one of my favourite writers when I was younger, so much as to tattoo one of her dragons on myself! But I chose one of her short novels, less known and mostly written for young adults, because after all, The child in me just can’t resist good versus evil fairy tales with happily-ever-after endings. And a cat as one of the good guys makes me smile.

You can find this book on Amazon here: No One Noticed the Cat
The Italian translation sadly has not been made, but I am very lucky as all the Italian girls in our small book club read in English

BOOK 3 – THE FIREBRAND by Marion Zimmer Bradley

When I write about M.Z.Bradley, it is hard, I admired her incredibly through most of my life and the allegations and scandal that followed have been hard on fans. She is and will remain one of the best authors in the world regardless of these. Bradley was posthumously awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 2000. And I have read her books over and over again through different moments of my life. I have chosen the Firebrand because it is one of my favourites and refreshing as it is set in the ancient city of Troy, the novel is a re-telling of Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. The Firebrand is written from the point of view of Kassandra, the prophet daughter of King Priam of Troy, and also features other prominent characters from Greek mythology.

You can find this book on Amazon here: The Firebrand
You can find the italian translated book here: LA TORCIA,MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY


Robin Hobb is the pen name of Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden, she is an American writer her first novel, “Assassin’s Apprentice”, was the first volume of what grew to be three trilogies narrated in first person by FitzChivalry Farseer, illegitimate son of a prince, and featuring an enigmatic character called the Fool and it is amazing. I could not put it down, I have from then onwards read all her books!

You can find this book on Amazon here: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)
If you fancy the the book in Italian you can find it here: L’apprendista assassino (Fanucci Narrativa)

BOOK 5 – HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE  by Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones is a British writer of fantasy and science fiction novels for children and adults. Howl’s Moving Castle is set in the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell. Deciding she has nothing more to lose, she makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above Market Chipping.

You can find this book on Amazon here:Howl’s Moving Castle
And teh italian translated book here: Il castello errante di Howl. La trilogia: Il castello in aria-La casa per Ognidove


The Golem and the Jinni combines the genre of historical fiction with elements of fantasy, telling the story of two very unusual immigrants that arrive, separately, in 19th century immigrant New York. These two characters are a golem named Chava, created by a Jewish rabbi in Poland, and Ahmad, a jinni originating in ancient Syria. Their chance meeting ends up sparking an unusual friendship. The author, Helene Wecker, is a young emerging writer that has impressed with her first book many readers around the world.

You can find this book on Amazon:The Golem and the Jinni
And the italian translated book is on Amazon too: Il genio e il golem (I narratori delle tavole)

BOOK 7 – THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison

Sarah Monette is an American novelist and short story author, writing mostly in the genres of fantasy and horror. She has also published as Katherine Addison. Her 2014 novel The Goblin Emperor was published under the pseudonym Katherine Addison. The novel received the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was nominated for the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In her book, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived has been all his life in exile. But when his father and three brothers in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the Imperial court…

You can find the book here: Goblin Emperor, The
The Italian translation sadly has not been made, but I am very lucky as all the Italian girls in our small book club read in English


I was proud and happy to add an amazing young Italian writer to this list, Licia Troisi, she is the author of the Chronicles Of The Emerged World series (Cronache del mondo emerso) , Licia Troisi also works in astrophysics at the Italian Space Agency. She graduated in physics with a specialization in astrophysics. In the first book of her series, with her big violet eyes, pointed ears, and blue hair, there is no one like Nihal in all of the Overworld. Living in one of the many towers of the Land of the Wind, she’s an expert in swordplay and the leader of a handful of friends. She is an orphan, brought up by an armorer and a sorceress, and her past is shrouded in mystery.

You can find her book traslated in english here:Nihal of the Land of the Wind (Chronicles of the Overworld, 1)
Or, if you fancy the original italian book here: Nihal della terra del vento. Cronache del mondo emerso: 1


It was really not easy to select only 8 women authors for this! There are so many more and so much to discover! I do hope I might have inspired some readers that do not normally dive into Fantasy and sci-fi to get their dragon ready and dive in this universe! I will edit later letting you all know what book was the one the ladies chose for this project!

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