So my Twitter today (and that’s the great thing about Twitter: there’s commonality and cross-over but ultimately everyone’s feed is unique – a conversational mix tape) has been largely full of shout outs for International Women’s Day. And in amongst all of that was some discussion about the guy who posted on some discussion board (I’m not going to link, I don’t care) that he “distrusted female fantasy writers”. Which of course is a mind numbingly odd thing to say, I mean, sure, I wouldn’t lend one money, but when it comes to fiction they’re pretty cool. But he wasn’t really being pejorative about it; he’d just feel the need to tell the world that he hadn’t enjoyed the ones he had read to a degree that he was unwilling to take a chance on reading more. By any women, ever. His loss, as far as I’m concerned.
He also went on to say that he knew this was irrational and wasn’t looking for a long list of suggestions of books to read to make him change his mind. He got one anyway.
Which brings me, at last, to the point. Rather a lot of the suggestions he received were, frankly, horrible. I mean, come on, for all JK’s done for the industry and in her personal politics, would you honestly suggest Harry Potter as the series that’s going to change your mind that women can write great fantasy? Bizarre. But it’s all about opinions, right? And I’m not about to slag off someone for loving any author. All I can do is suggest people read a little further.
So as my contribution to IWD, here’s five examples of genuinely brilliant fantasy fiction, written by women, that you might not have come across.
- Bride Of The Rat God by Barbara Hambly
- Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
- Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
- The Green Book by Amal El Mohtar
- The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle.