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Old 05-04-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
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Question Science fiction that would appeal to women

A friend asked me about science fiction novels that would appeal to women/someone who doesn't normally read sci-fi.

Now I read loads of sci-fi, but the 'appealing to women' bit throws me. Any suggestions?

Female input would be much appreciated. What type of sci-fi appeals to you? Types of stories etc.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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I guess I'm what you're looking for. I'm a woman, and I read *some* sci-fi but not that much. I am looking for interesting characters, interesting story, and I am not all that interested in the science (I guess they call this "soft sci fi") and I don't like a lot of battle scenes and I'm turned off by long series.

You might start with what I call "sort of sci fi" which are books that are set in the future but don't really deal with science at all. I'm thinking of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Both of those are great books (and written by very esteemed "literary" authors, not sci-fi authors).

I also happen to love YA sci-fi and that can be a good intro, too. The Giver by Lois Lowry, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (which is about a boy who is a clone of his wealthy patron). A character who is in some strange sci-fi premise, and the book explores his feelings about it. That is appealing to me.

And then, of course, there is the Hunger Games, which has millions of readers, a lot of them female, young and not so young!

I will think of others, too!

eP
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
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Turing Evolved by (m.r. alum) David Kitson.

"When Ex-DEMON pilot Jon Carlson meets beautiful humanitarian Rachel, it's a match made in HEAVEN. Literally, because Rachel's an ANGEL. She's also an AI controlled android of immense power and capability. As Jon finds himself drawn into the world of these enigmatic creations of mankind, he unknowingly becomes involved in a program to create autonomous superweapons intended to fight the next war."

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34627


if they don't have an ereader of course this suggestion is useless.

in the interest of disclosure i'm a 34 year old man with the usual male tastes (i guess). however this book charmed me like no book ever has before, i literally found myself falling in love with a fictional a.i. character lol. its not too crazy with the science and action scenes are pretty minimal except for some chapters near the end. the book is more about what is reality, what is life, what is love than anything. its a very thought provoking and moving work.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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I am a man, and wouldn't really want to generalise, but many of my favourite SF writers are women: CJ Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis.

I think Connie Willis's time travel books would appeal to non-SF readers, particularly To Say Nothing of the Dog. And speaking of time travel, how about The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger?
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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John Varley's _Titan_, _Wizard_, _Demon_ ``Gaea Trilogy'' has some interesting female protagonists --- there's some window-shaded sex, but I found Capt. Cirocco Jones a non-stereotypical female character.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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I'm not a big fan of scifi, but I've been reading some to explore the genre. John Wyndham's books (Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos, etc.) are fun, as is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I particularly like scifi that explores sociological issues, Ursula Le Guin's books or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven are recent reads that I enjoyed.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
I guess I'm what you're looking for. I'm a woman
How 'bout that. That always surprises me on forums, when the user name isn't decidedly gender-identifiable....
Quote:
You might start with what I call "sort of sci fi" which are books that are set in the future but don't really deal with science at all.
In this vein, I recommend the J.D. Robb "...In Death" series featuring near-future police detective Eve Dallas.
My wife loves the series, and I have enjoyed the few I've read (listened to, actually) so far as well. Most of them seem to have virtually nothing to make them identifiable as SF. For slightly more SF element than most of them, I recommend "Fantasy In Death" as a starting place.
It's got crime thriller, romance, Star Wars references....what more could anyone want?

Last edited by ApK; 05-04-2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thanks. Great recommendations so far. Keep them coming!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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Girls at my local fantasy/SF club keep praising the books about Honor Harrington, by David Weber. Female protagonist.

Girls/women tend to dislike technical topics and science, so you're really looking for space opera, not hard SF.

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
Girls at my local fantasy/SF club keep praising the books about Honor Harrington, by David Weber. Female protagonist.

Girls/women tend to dislike technical topics, so you're really looking for space opera, not hard SF.
Or light SF.

Hey, or maybe they DO like tech....the woman friend in question might want to try this:

Imzadi
Considered among the best Star Trek books, and fundamentally a love story.

If they like that, there's a whole world opened up....

Last edited by ApK; 05-04-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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I'm a woman. I read sci-fi occasionally, but I prefer fantasy. I really enjoyed Dan Simmons' Ilium and Olympos. I also enjoyed Dune. I've also enjoyed several of the books already mentioned in this thread.

Does steampunk count as sci-fi? I really enjoyed Ian R. MacLeod's The Light Ages and The House of Storms.

Last edited by Latinandgreek; 05-04-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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Ok, I just checked with a woman friend of mine who likes Science Fiction, here's what she recommends...

The Skolian Empire series by Catharine Asaro
The Honor Harrington series by David Weber
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Dune by Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Cyteen by CJ Cherryh
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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I'm a woman.
Another one. I pictured you as a grey haired man smoking a pipe, translating books in a leather appointed office...like Indiana Jones' father at the beginning of 'Last Crusade. '
Now, I bet you look NOTHING like Sean Connery.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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I suppose it depends a bit what she usually reads. If she likes Fantasy then I'd recommend Dune by Herbert.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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Another one. I pictured you as a grey haired man smoking a pipe, translating books in a leather appointed office...like Indiana Jones' father at the beginning of 'Last Crusade. '
Now, I bet you look NOTHING like Sean Connery.
I don't look anything like Sean Connery, but I'm flattered that you pictured me looking like Indiana Jones' father!

I don't have any grey hairs yet, and I quite smoking several years ago. You've got the translating books part right, though!
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