10 Fantasy Novels By Women

Women-centered retellings, a nuclear take on a Southern classic, and more fantastic tales.

fantasy books by women

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My love of science fiction and fantasy came early in life, through copious helpings of bedtime stories and a family tradition of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. My frustration with the genre also arrived early. As an opinionated sixth grader, I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and my disappointment over the lack of girls on the page was directly proportional to how much I’d otherwise loved the tale. My solution, at the time, was to read even more science fiction and fantasy, but I began to seek out the women.

I discovered Ursula K. LeGuin and Octavia Butler and Mary Stewart, then Marge Piercy and Anne McCaffery—only a few of the authors who laid the foundation of women in science fiction and fantasy. The tradition continues to grow and develop in beautiful, exciting ways, and my short list of 10 is just a sample. Each of these books has inspired me, and so they’re all, in a way, a part of my own upcoming futuristic fantasy novel Seafire.

Featured Image: Matt McCarty; Author Photo: Georgia Shae Photography

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NATALIE C. PARKER is the author of the Beware the Wild duology, the Seafire trilogy, and the editor of Three Sides of a Heart. She earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati. She grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie where she runs Madcap Retreats with her wife. She tweets @nataliecparker.

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