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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Authors of Influence

February 21st, 2014 at 14:08

McCaffrey-WhiteDragonIt’s a while since I’ve got my feminist rant on. I rather missed it.

So on Wednesday I put up a post about wanting to see more discussion about the female authors who formed an early influence on the writers around me. It struck a chord, apparently. My Twitter and Facebook feeds (not to mention comments on the blog itself) filled up with list after list after list of female authors, stacks of them, mostly connected to the SFF genres. It was particularly fun when conversation struck up – one name mentioned reminded someone else of another, and so on.

It was pretty cool.

My favourite tweet of the day was from Sunil Patel (@ghostwritingcow): “I love seeing the names of all these female authors in one place. It reminds me THEY EXIST. I’m so used to seeing male names.”

I also had a request to assemble the full list of responses to my public question. Here they are – the number next to them shows how often they were mentioned by different people.

It’s a very unscientific survey, not least because I forgot to specify ‘SFF’ in the tweet etc. and thus got a more diverse range of names than even I expected. I’m not sorry. This list makes me happy.

If anyone wants to write a guest post for my blog about *why* one of these authors (or any female author missed off this list) was so important to you early on, please get in touch! I’m particularly interested in the question of influence over later or current writers/editors.

Authors/Editors of Influence

Anne McCaffrey (24)
Ursula Le Guin (21)
Marion Zimmer Bradley (12)
Susan Cooper (11)
Robin McKinley (9)
Andre Norton (8)
Mercedes Lackey (7)
James Tiptree Jr/Alice Sheldon/Raccoona Sheldon (7)
Diana Wynne Jones (6)
Tamora Pierce (6)
Isobelle Carmody (5)
Joanna Russ (5)
Louise Cooper (4)
Katherine Kerr (4)
Robin Hobb (4)
Patricia A McKillip (4)
Emma Bull (4)
Janny Wurts (4)
Julian May (4)
Enid Blyton (4)
Kate Elliott (4)
Elyne Mitchell (4)
Margaret Weis (3)
E. Nesbit (3)
Katherine Kurtz (3)
Madeleine L’Engle (3)
Patricia Wrightson (3)
Mary Stewart (3)
C.J. Cherryh (3)
Jane Yolen (3)
Octavia E Butler (2)
Terri Windling (2)
Ellen Datlow (2)
Helen Garner (2)
Catherine Jinks (2)
Juliet Marillier (2)
Barbara Hambly (2)
Melanie Rawn (2)
Patricia C Wrede (2)
Sheri S Tepper (2)
Rosemary Sutcliffe (2)
Shirley Jackson (2)
Agatha Christie (2)
Doris Lessing (2)
Sara Douglass (2)
Tanya Huff (2)
Tanith Lee (2)
Anne Bishop (2)
Kate Forsyth (2)
Susanna Clarke (2)
Anne Rice (2)
Lois McMaster Bujold (2)
Connie Willis (2)
Mary Doria Russell
Nerine Dorman
Kaaron Warren
Angela Slatter
Karen Runge
Joanne Burns
Lisa Bellear
Dorothy Porter
Erma Bombeck
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
AS Byatt
Patricia Highsmith
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Judith Wright
Alice Walker
Jackie Collins
Marguerite Henry
Isak Dinesen
Flannery O’Connor
Annie Dillard
Diane Duane
Claire Bell
Janet Kagan
PC Hodgell
KA Applegate
Jackie French
Lucy Sussex
Sharon Shinn
Patricia Briggs
Rob Thurman
Han May
Mary Jo Putney
Dorothy Parker
Leigh Brackett
Sonya Dorman
Robin Klein
Meg Cabot
Ursula Dubosarsky
Holly Lisle
Ann M Martin
Margaret Atwood
Ellen Raskin
Kathy Acker
Elizabeth Bear
Lynn Abbey
Elizabeth Moon
Eve Langley
Katherine Mansfield
Angela Thirkell
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Susan Squires
Susan Sizemore
Lorrie Moore
Glenda Larke
Virginia Andrews
Sharon Penman
Gwyneth Jones
Astrid Lindgren
Posy Simmonds
Beatrix Potter
Angela Carter
J.V. Jones
Freda Warrington
C.L Moore
Sharon Lee
Elinor Brent-Dyer
Ruth Rendell
Val McDiarmid
Margaret Mahy
Vonda McIntyre
M.K. Wren
Mary Brown
Judy Blume
Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Lisa Tuttle
Joan Slonczewski
Leigh Eddings
Pamela Dean
Midori Snyder
Nancy Kress
Ellen Kushner
Storm Constantine
Jo Clayton
Pat O’Shea
Gillian Rubenstein
Jane Gaskell
Megan Whalen Turner
Catherynne Valente
Elizabeth Peters
Jane Austen
Charlotte Bronte
Georgette Heyer
Clare Darcy
Zenna Henderson
Marge Piercy
Mary Shelley

Special mention to:
Sword and Sorceress anthologies (2)
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine
Trixie Belden books

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11 Responses to “Authors of Influence”

  1. Bruce Byfield Says:

    Joan Aiken, Diana Paxson, M. J. Engh, Ann Radcliff, George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

  2. ann pore Says:

    Dorothy Sayers – her Lord Pter Wimsey stories fired my imagination well and truly in my late teens…

  3. Laura Says:

    Leigh Eddings who co-wrote the Belgariad, and Margaret Atwood, who has written some of the creepiest, most dystopian books I’ve read.

  4. Kevin Maclean Says:

    May I suggest Julie E Czerneda and Kate Wilhelm? Both fine writers active in teaching and mentoring SFF writers…

  5. TS Davies Says:

    Jacqueline Carey

  6. Sam Ray Says:

    Suzette Haden Elgin

  7. Kevin Andrew Murphy Says:

    Joan Aiken, Suzette Haden Elgin, Patricia McKillip, Anne McCaffery, Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia Wrede, Paula Volsky, Elizabeth Scarborough, Merideth Anne Pierce, Andre Norton, Sheri S. Tepper, Carol Nelson Douglas, Susan Dexter. Those were all my favorite authors in the field up through high school when I really started writing in earnest. I’ll leave off the authors after that, since this is for early influences.

  8. Kevin Andrew Murphy Says:

    And put in another vote for E. Nesbit too as well as Frances Hodgeson Burnett who I still mine for ideas and period details.

  9. Kevin Andrew Murphy Says:

    And another check each for Barbara Hambly and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

  10. Sarah Brabazon Says:

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch is missing from the list. Nancy Kress needs another vote too, and Robin Hobb.

  11. Daniel Says:

    I might be blind but I can’t see Trudi Canavan despite being relatively sure she was mentioned. I’d also add my voice to Elizabeth Moon too, those two were my biggest influence when I was young, along with Garth Nix.

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