The Greatest Female Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors of All Time

Had she not passed away six years ago, today would have been beloved science fiction author Octavia Butler’s 65th birthday. Butler not only made waves for being a phenomenal writer, but for being one of the remarkably few African American women authors writing in her genre. In honor of the occasion of Butler’s birth (and because lady sci-fi authors never get enough love) we’ve put together a list of the greatest lady authors of science fiction and fantasy in this or any time — in our own humble estimation of course. Click through to read our list, and don’t forget that these are our own personal favorites — since there are many more than ten fantastic lady sci-fi/fantasy authors out there worthy of your time, please add to our list and let us know which of your own favorites we missed in the comments!

Ursula K. LeGuin

This is an easy one. The author of A Wizard of EarthseaThe Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed has won a National Book Award, five Hugo awards, six Nebulas, and a record-breaking nineteen Locus Awards for her fiction, not to mention the fact that she’s been named just about every type of Grand Master there is. LeGuin’s work is not only gorgeously written, but it’s always socially and ecologically conscious — for instance, she typically writes characters of color, shrugging, “most people in the world aren’t white. Why in the future would we assume they are?” Indeed. But maybe even more importantly, as LeGuin has stated, “These are human stories. I’m using the other worlds and the other races as metaphors. All I know how to write about are people and animals — and trees. Still, nothing that is alien.”