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Old 05-16-2012, 08:36 PM   #91
Xanthe
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:41 PM   #92
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I'm going to dodge for now the analysis of what aspects of sci-fi appeal to females, and just throw out there that my girlfriend loves anything by Jules Verne. ^.^
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Xanthe View Post
Any book becomes gender specific as soon as the author decides what the gender of the main character will be. Male readers will identify more closely with a male character on a personal level, female readers with a female character. It's the situations the characters find themselves involved in, and the way the opposing genders that are portrayed, that determines the universality of the appeal of the book.

For example, Weber & Ringo's "March Upcountry". The primary character is male, and the surrounding characters (with the exception of his valet and the planet's natives) are all members of a military squad, basically battling nature and the planet to achieve their goal. So the main appeal would seem be to men - on the surface. But the female characters in the book are not written as being weaker or less intelligent or as sex objects, all hot-button items for female readers. And the situations the characters find themselves in could happen to either males or females. The emphasis is kept on who the characters are, not what they are, and that for me, as a woman, is what keeps me interested in the story.
I still think its a 'lil silly to read a book because of the protagonists gender, but if you all want to call me wrong thats ok, and I won't say anything about it because, I got in trouble by two different mods for calling someone a "troll" in jest. Which I am of the opinion that is extremely superfluous. But needless to say I have learnt my lesson because I don't know what I would do with my life if I had a "temporary ban" from posting on this forum (*Sarcasm*). And I'm sorry in advance Xanthe but the last 3/4 of my rant has nothing to do with you.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #94
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I am also a woman and I love science fiction including hard science fiction. What I don't like, though, are books where the characters are solely there to bring the ideas across.

Connie Willis has already been mentioned on this thread, and I heartily second this recommendation. Her stories tend to focus on characters, not ideas. My favorites are her Oxford time travel novels.

I can also recommend Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. It's technically science fiction in my opinion because of the time travel element, but there's no science in it, it's all about the characters dealing with the situation. And I think it wasn't marketed as science fiction, just like Margaret Atwood's books.

Another favorite of mine is Kage Baker's Company series, starting with In the Garden of Iden. It's mandatory to start with this one, I think. It has cyborgs and time travel, but whole stretches of it read like a historical novel.

I would also like to recommend Robert J. Sawyer's WWW trilogy, starting with Wake. It has some science in it, but it focuses on philosophical questions. Frameshift by the same author would be another recommendation. It's a science fiction/murder mystery crossover and also focuses on the characters rather than on ideas.

And for something entirely different: Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series. I know they were marketed as high fantasy, at least the first three or four, but they are definitely science fiction. They have great characters and not much science.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:12 PM   #95
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My XX-blessed friends are very fond of anything by CJ Cherryh and Joan Vinge (especialy her PSION novels) but they prefer *good* SF, the kind that appeals to anybody with taste.
Along those lines I would suggest 1632 by Eric Flint, anything by Lois MacMaster Bujold (but if you want to start somewhere, CORDELIA's HONOR or CETAGANDA are excellent starting points), and David Drake's RCN novels (WITH THE LIGHTNINGS at a minimum).
My mother is a fan of all three series. (As well as the Honor Harrington series.)
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:27 PM   #96
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Xanthe- Wow- you are the first person I have ever seen mention Kristine Smith's Jani Killian series- I love it, esp her mentor. Also love Tanya Huff's Valor series.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:30 PM   #97
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I second Kage Baker's series about time traveling cyborgs, starting with In the Garden of Iden- IMO the series just gets better and better with each book. Great for any reader. I also like some not too heavy military SF- such as The Legion of the Damned- like the Fr foreign legion but with cyborgs and aliens.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:56 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyISbetter View Post
Xanthe- Wow- you are the first person I have ever seen mention Kristine Smith's Jani Killian series- I love it, esp her mentor. Also love Tanya Huff's Valor series.
I don't even remember how I found out about Kristine Smith, I must have just been scanning through the SciFi section at the B&N bookstore one day. It's funny but I would always remember the name of the series, but would always forget the author's name and have to look it up before I went to the store. I love that series, too.

From her website:

Quote:
FYI--the first four books is the Jani Kilian series (Code, Rules, Law, and Contact Imminent) are no longer in print. Used paper copies are still available and some bookstores may still have copies in stock. Harpercollins is no longer offering ebook versions. Over the next few months, I am hoping to re-release the books in e-format and possibly POD. That will mean new artwork and some tweaking of the text (word choices, shading. Nothing major). Hoping to add a novella or other additional items as well. As soon as I have details worked out, I will post them here.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:49 PM   #99
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Under the Dome by Stephen King

Includes a list of interesting characters and has maps of the small town

I'm half way through and haven't been bored once !
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:55 AM   #100
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Coming back to this thread to recommend "Stardance" by Jeanne and Spider Robinson, which I re-read recently. It's about a dancer who invents a new form of dance - zero gravity dance - because she's been deemed too voluptuous to ever be a successful modern dancer. In the course of her efforts, she and the people who work with her meet aliens whose language is based on dance.
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:26 PM   #101
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Varley writes women so well, I suspected that "John Varley" was a pseudonym for a woman writer for a long time. I was introduced to his work via an anthology of interconnected stories titled The Persistence of Vision. See also The Ophiuchi Hotline and Steel Beach.

Ursula K. LeGuin is a master who has authored some works now considered classics. I tend to think of her as a sociologist masquerading as a SF writer, but she's good, so who cares? A good work of hers to start with is The Left Hand of Darkness.

And long, long ago, I got hooked on SF as a teenager when I checked Andre Norton's novels out of the school library--now that was a pseudonym for a female author!

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:14 AM   #102
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I am female and my attitude is anything not asimov. I find it way way to dry. The male of the species in the house will usally read a sci fi book first and he will tell me if it is asimov like or not. He is my guide to what I will read. I am tho these days more into post apocolyptic horror and zombie with a touch of fantasy to my shock and a trashy thriller thrown in here and there.

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Old 06-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
A friend asked me about science fiction novels that would appeal to women/someone who doesn't normally read sci-fi.
Going back to the original question for a minute here, I think we need to distinguish between 'people who don't normally read sci-fi' and 'people who regularly read sci-fi but don't realize that's what they're doing'.

I know people who claim to not like sci-fi and nevertheless adore The Hunger Games or Juraissic Park or whatever else is currently on the Wal-Mart shelves. It seems to me that this group of people is prepared to jump into strong genre novels because they are already acquainted with the basic principles of sci-fi.

Readers who have never ventured beyond light chick lit or realistic adventure novels, in contrast, are probably going to need to start out with books where the speculative element is slight.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #104
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you need to break it down further. I wouldnt touch YA anything. For a book to grab me and most women it is interesting characters that are fleshed out. Then you will find those who will read sci fi that has romance in ir or soap like qualities or a dozen other things. I am not a girly girl when it comes to books. I need action suspense with a preference for extreme horror elements. Now finding all that in a sci fi book is hard, and I am very into sci fi down to star trek stargate etc. Tho they are sci fi soaps.

I doubt many women would crave those elements in their sci fi. But identifing the elements they want is a good start.

btw if anybody knows a sci fi book with the elements I like do share please ")

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:49 PM   #105
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...
I am not a girly girl when it comes to books. I need action suspense with a preference for extreme horror elements.
...
That sounds like the Nights Dawn trilogy by Peter F Hamilton.

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