Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved and much-lauded A Wrinkle in Time turns 50 this year. As The New York Times points out, it’s one of the few science fiction books to have drawn a large female fan base. At the time of its publication, science fiction was not often market to girls, and the genre is still often considered to be mostly the purview of men. Indeed, according to the article, women continue to read science fiction much more rarely than men: “Half of 18- to 24-year-old men say that science fiction is their favorite type of book, compared with only one-fourth of young women… Thirty-two percent of adult male book buyers are science-fiction fans compared with only 12 percent of women.” However, lots of girls and women love science fiction, and we are confident that many more could, if only they gave it a chance. To help with the gender imbalance in this delightful, political, strange genre of speculative fiction, we’ve put together a list of 10 great science fiction books for girls and women — though we think anyone would enjoy them. Click through to check out our picks, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorites in the comments!
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
In this favorite childhood book of many girls (and boys), awkward nerd Meg Murry, along with her younger brother Charles Wallace and dreamy schoolmate Calvin O’Keefe, conquers the forces of evil and saves her scientist father through the combined powers of her considerable intellect and her familial love. Meg didn’t have all the answers and was neither a witch, nor a princess, nor a damsel in distress, but a regular (if smart-as-a-whip) geek with her family on the line, and we expect she will be a favorite for 50 years to come.