James Tiptree Jr., Lisa Goldstein, Jane Yolen, Pat Murphy, and Kameron Hurley are important female science fiction and fantasy authors

Though THE PORTALIST article “14 Impactful Female Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors,” written by Sarah Mangiola, ran last month as part of Women’s History Month, we at Tachyon believe it’s always a good time to recognize the extraordinary.

March is Women’s History Month, and while we should always honor the accomplishments of authors who create powerful, feminist characters, it’s especially relevant this month. From Octavia Butler to Ursula K. Le Guin, the below authors are just a few of the great women writers who have helped shape the science fiction and fantasy field. 


Don’t be fooled by the name: James Tiptree Jr. is actually a pen name for Alice Bradley Sheldon. The author, who notably broke into a male-dominated genre, kept her true identity under wraps for ten years. Though her actual name was eventually revealed, she continued to write under the pseudonym. Her work often combined elements of the more technology-focused hard science fiction with that of softer psychological-based science fiction.    


Lisa Goldstein’s first and National Book Award-winning novel, The Red Magician, helped put her on the map as a fantasy and science fiction author. Her popular novel takes place during the Holocaust, and tells the story of Kicsi—a young, Jewish girl who discovers the power of magic in dark times. Her books have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, and often incorporate historical events with a fantasy spin.   


Jane Yolen has won many awards for her work, including the 1987 Special World Fantasy Award (for Favorite Folktales From Around the World); the 1999 Nebula Award for Novelette (for “Lost Girls”); and the 2009 World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. She’s also written many children’s books, the first of which was published when she was just 22 years old. 


Co-founder of the James Tiptree Jr. Award, Pat Murphy is the author of award-winning science fiction and fantasy. Recipient of the Nebula Award, Philip K. Dick Award, and World Fantasy Award, Murphy’s novels and short stories immerse readers into new worlds and introduce them to strong, intelligent women.    


If you’re looking a powerful, female-drive story, look no further than Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha series. The books follow Nyx, a former government assassin entangled in a never-ending war. It’s rooted in a world of science fiction, and challenges societal roles—specifically that of women. 

For more info on HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by John Picacio

For more info on THE UNCERTAIN PLACES, visit the Tachyon page.

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For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on THE SHADOW HUNTER, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Rob Alexander

For more info on APOCALYPSE NYX, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover by Wadim Kashin

Design by Elizabeth Story