26 June 2012

Greatest SF/F Authors?

There was an interesting article posted on flavorwire at the end of last week: The Greatest Female Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors of All Time. It was in honor of the late Octavia Butler's birthday. Here's the list:
  • Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Octavia Butler
  • Madeleine L’Engle
  • Angela Carter
  • Kelly Link
  • Anne Rice
  • Connie Willis
  • Susanna Clarke
  • Doris Lessing
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
These authors are amazing. :) What do you think?

I must admit I do have a problem with the "greatest female" label. I'd say most of these authors are among the "greatest" authors period, certainly in the SF/F field.

Generally the "of all time" label is also a bit problematic. Authors can be amazing trail-blazers or ground-breakers for their time, but have their work not stand up years or decades later. (Not that I'm saying this is the case for these authors.) Should we judge authors in their time or for all time?

What do you think? Who are the greatest SF/F authors?


Keith said...

Where are?

Leigh Brackett
Andre Norton
Margaret St. Clair
C.L. Moore
James Tiptree, Jr.
Zenna Henderson
Anne McCaffrey
Joanna Russ

I would list all of before anyone on the list you posted (except perhaps for LeGuin and Bradley).

Leigh Bracket should be the #1 woman SF writer of all time and is on my top 10 of best of any gender, but I think that no one reads these early writers now. How many know that Tiptree or Moore were women?

Deb Smythe said...

Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton should be on the list, IMO.

lesleylsmith said...

Yes, Keith and Deb! I agree. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the point that the "Female" authors moniker is unneeded. Guess I'll have to read up to discover who Octavia Butler is.

lesleylsmith said...

Yep, you have your homework assignment, RenataH! :)