Recommend to me some SF or fantasy novels/series that are not sexist

Googling DuckDuckGo-ing is failing me here, as I’m not just looking for “feminist SF” — i.e., fiction that specifically deals with issues of gender equity — but works where the characters show diversity and equity, regardless of the subject matter.

Help me, internets!

32 thoughts on “Recommend to me some SF or fantasy novels/series that are not sexist

  1. I enjoyed Chalker’s Soul Rider series way back when. Not sure if I would like it as much now, but it had strong women, and some complicated sexual content.

    Octavia Butler’s stuff is excellent.

    Varley’s Gaea series focuses on women. Again, some complicated sexual content.

  2. Guessing you mean books?
    I suck at this question, but I’ve just recently got some really good ones from a friend, one is He, She, It, I can post the other titles when I get home!

    I’ve heard great things about Ancillary.

    Also Octavia Butler.

  3. The tricky thing for me is that if you don’t buy from the feminist SF press, well, you have a lot less, umm, good SF writers to choose from. I’d recommend Aqueduct Press just to be familiar with some of the best writers in the field that a lot of folks never hear about. Their blog, Ambling Along the Aqueduct is also a good resource because the bloggers there are quite varied and read widely. And today “feminist SF press” almost just means “publisher whose list includes more than one or two or three big selling female authors.” I know really, really good authors who used to be published by the big presses who need venues like Aqueduct for their work because the mainstream publishers like Tor can be so fickle.

  4. John Till I recently downloaded a Kindle sample of the first Tomoe book, and it’s pretty cool so far; definitely shooting up to the top of my reading list.

    Chris Nicole Weirdly, I had a SF book club edition of Chanur’s Venture that sat unread on my shelf throughout my teens and then got donated to the library. I need to re-visit Cherryh.

  5. I agree with those shouting out to Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin and the Expanse books. I would add Alistair Reynolds to the list as well. Lots of good sci fi with great characters who kick ass and change the universe, some of whom happen to be female.

  6. I like Al a lot too. Interesting about the Expanse book series, as the one feminist SF bookseller I chat with weekly was really turned off by the “space prostitute” cliche in the show. I was too, but when you work in the DV/SA/sex trafficking field it’s hard not to hate that stuff on sight.

  7. There’s sooo much. Tanith Lee and Patricia McKillip are probably good starting points for fantasy sort of stuff. Diana Wynne Jones supposedly writes mostly children’s fantasy but it’s better than most fantasy-for-adults.

    I read Jack Glass by Adam Roberts not too long ago, and it was a genuinely excellent piece of space operatic sci fi. Kate Wilhelm is an oft-forgotten new wave SF writer, she’s masterful.

    I’m barely scratching the surface. There is SO much that fits this criterion.

  8. Andre Norton wrote inclusive, diverse fiction since the 40s at least. I’m reading The Beast Master (which has little to do with the movie, except what animals are in it). The main character is a Navaho.