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Today’s guest is science fiction and fantasy author Alex Hughes! Her work includes the Mindspace Investigations novels (Clean, Sharp, and Marked), the prequel short story Rabbit Trick, and the related novella The Payoff (1.5 in the series), as well as some short stories unrelated to her series. She’s also an avid reader of science fiction, and she’s sharing her top 10 favorite female writers in the genre with us today!

Clean by Alex Hughes Sharp by Alex Hughes Marked by Alex Hughes

Top Ten Favorite Female Authors in Science Fiction
By Alex Hughes

Recently I keep hearing that women aren’t writing science fiction (or we can’t, or I’m unusual for doing so). This is silly; women in science fiction have been here a long time, though often under pseudonyms, and in certain scifi genres (like urban fantasy) we currently outnumber the male authors. But, in the interest of setting the record straight, let’s celebrate women in science fiction through a list of my all time favorite female authors. The list is in no particular order.

  1. C.J. Cherryh. (Make sure to read: The Pride of Chanur.) Nobody makes aliens feel alien like Cherryh. In my opinion, she’s one of the all-time greats—if not the greatest—sociological science fiction authors of all time.
  2. Anne McCaffrey. (Make sure to read: The Rowan.) She was the first female science fiction author to make the New York Times Bestseller list in 1978, and one of the first science fiction authors to make the list at all. She writes incredibly vivid characters and strong women.
  3. Catherine Asaro. (Make sure to read: Ascendant Sun.) A physicist, Asaro knows her science. Her i-space hyperdrive and very cool nanotechnology change the very nature of the stories she writes, but she still spends the time to paint vivid characters.
  4. Lois McMaster Bujold. (Make sure to read: The Vor Game.) If you like swashbuckling adventure in space, you must read about Miles Vorkosigan.
  5. Elizabeth Moon. (Make sure to read: Once a Hero.) Moon writes extraordinary ship-based military space opera. Period. Her female heroines are smart, tough, and can handle anything the world throws at them.
  6. Andre Norton. (Make sure to read: Brother to Shadows.) One of the “founding fathers” of pulp science fiction writing under a male pseudonym, Norton’s body of work is huge. She writes interesting aliens/magicians and cultures in vivid settings with a lot of adventure.
  7. Tanya Huff. (Make sure to read: Valor’s Choice.) One of Huff’s relatives is a Marine, and you can tell. She writes brilliantly in a variety of subgenres, but her military science fiction is particularly noteworthy. It’s gritty, real, and exciting with plenty of action.
  8. Linnea Sinclair. (Make sure to read: Finders Keepers.) Sinclair writes action-adventure science fiction with strong romantic elements and a kick-butt attitude.
  9. Mercedes Lackey. (Make sure to read: By the Sword.) Best known for her fantasy, Lackey writes amazing science fiction as well, though mostly in short-story form. She’s a master of worldbuilding and one of the most prolific writers in the business.
  10. Ursula K. Le Guin. (Make sure to read: The Left Hand of Darkness.) Not only is her work often cutting edge in its treatment of gender, politics and sexuality, the way she puts words together is truly gorgeous.

Alex Hughes

Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. She is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, and a Semi-Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novels 2011. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay FictionThunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily at the same time! You can visit her at Twitter at @ahugheswriter or on the web at http://www.ahugheswriter.com. Or, join her email newsletter for free short stories.

About Marked (Mindspace Investigations #3, Released April 1):


Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.

When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.

Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.…