Fantasy Mistressworks Fifty!

Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to the list of authors and novels that should count amongst the Fantasy Mistressworks.

I have pulled together fifty tremendous novels by female fantasy authors and listed them below. As is usual, take the list, bold all those you have read and italicise those you own.

It would be great to build up reviews of these fifty books on this site (as well as many others by talented female authors!) If you have a review you’d like to contribute then please send it through to amanda_rutter AT hotmail DOT com.

1. Songspinners – Sarah Ash
2. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
3. Rats and Gargoyles – Mary Gentle
4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (this was published as Cross Stitch in the UK)
5. The Riddle-Master of Hed – Patricia McKillip
6. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
7. Lud-in-the-Mist – Hope Mirrlees
8. The Curse of the Mistwraith – Janny Wurts
9. Shadow Magic – Patricia C Wrede
10. Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
11. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K Le Guin
12. Familiar Spirit – Lisa Tuttle
13. Beauty – Sheri S Tepper
14. Diadem from the Stars – Jo Clayton
15. The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart
16. Black Horses for the King – Anne McCaffrey
17. The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M Auel
18. Fortress in the Eye of Time – C J Cherryh
19. Red Moon and Black Mountain – Joy Chant
20. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
21. Briefing for a Descent into Hell – Doris Lessing
22. Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
23. The Wood Wife – Terri Windling
24. Briar Rose – Jane Yolen
25. The Porcelain Dove – Delia Sherman
26. The Winter Prince – Elizabeth Wein
27. The Time of the Dark – Barbara Hambly
28. Sword of Rhiannon – Leigh Brackett
29. Tam Lin – Pamela Dean
30. Fire in the Mist – Holly Lisle
31. The Sacrifice – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
32. The Beleagured City – Margaret Oliphant
33. The Soul of Lilith – Marie Corelli
34. The Citadel of Fear – Francis Stevens
35. Jirel of Joiry – C L Moore
36. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter – Elizabeth Moon
37. Dragon Prince – Melanie Rawn
38. Black Trillium – Julian May
39. The Thief’s Gamble – Juliet E McKenna
40. Daggerspell – Katharine Kerr
41. The Blue Manor – Jenny Jones
42. The Barbed Coil – J V Jones
43. In the Red Lord’s Reach – Phyllis Eisenstein
44. The Spirit Ring – Lois McMaster Bujold
45. The Last of the Renshai – Mickey Zucher Reichert
46. Archangel – Sharon Shinn
47. The Hall of the Mountain King – Judith Tarr
48. A Blackbird in Silver – Freda Warrington
49. Kindred – Octavia Butler
50. The Red Magician – Lisa Goldstein

From the list above I have read a very woeful 11. I challenge you to do better. Leave a link to your Fantasy Mistressworks Fifty in the comments below, so that we can all share which of these authors are under-read and, dare I say it, under-appreciated.

And please spread the word! Let’s get reading and talking about female fantasy authors!


Fantasy Mistressworks – how you can help!

I have, in the past, wondered what need for highlighting female writers in the speculative fiction arena, I freely admit. I have been known for saying that it didn’t matter who wrote the novel, what sex they were, as long as books were being read. So it might seem strange that I am starting this initiative.

But I have had an epiphany since starting work in the Young Adult field – seeing female authors being embraced utterly, seeing female readers being celebrated and highlighted – and it made me wonder why the same doesn’t happen in adult fantasy and science fiction. These young female readers are going to move onto adult fiction and will be looking for good fantasy and science fiction to read, and I want them to know that there are many talented female authors providing stunning novels and short stories to enjoy.

So, I chatted with Ian Sales at Eastercon and asked what I could do to assist with the SF Mistressworks site that he started and he suggested starting a sister site dealing with fantasy fiction. Incidentally, I have also seen that Michaela Staton is planning a 21st Century version of the SF Mistressworks site.

Here is where I ask for your help.


1) Spread the word

2) Assist in making the official Fantasy Mistressworks list

3) Provide reviews (details on how to do so on the About page)

I would be immensely grateful for everything you can do to help!