Tag Archives: science fiction

Recommendations for Women Who Haven’t Read Any Science Fiction


A librarian asked me to recommend a few science fiction novels for women who haven’t read any science fiction.  I replied:

First and foremost, if possible, you want the main protagonist to be female. And unless the reader happens to love science, you don’t want hard science fiction, you want soft: anthropology, sociology, psychology, ecology, and so on.

The first choice, that fits all the criteria above:

Sheri S. Tepper’s Grass.

If the woman reader has interests in certain areas, you might want to build on those interests.

For a woman who is interested in history, or who cares about slavery in general or U.S. African American slave history in particular:

Octavia Butler’s Kindred.

For a woman who enjoys a romance intertwined with politics:

Catharine Asaro’s Primary Inversion.

I’d recommend one of those three, with Tepper being my main choice.


If you want a few more suggestions, I’ll break the female-main-protagonist rule.

If the woman is strongly interested in psychology, particularly in autism:

Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark.

If the woman loves a challenge and has strong literary leanings (loves prose that sings and layers of allusion), can tolerate ambiguity and initial reader confusion, has a taste for the strange, and is interested in gender issues:

Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

(But be careful if you recommend Le Guin! Novice science fiction readers have to work before they feel comfortable with the book.)

Returning to the female-main-protagonist rule, if the woman is interested in gender issues but doesn’t love a challenge as much as I’ve described above, then intead of Le Guin:

Joan Slonczewski’s A Door into Ocean.


Other possibilities:

Kage Baker. Sky Coyote.

Lois McMaster Bujold. The Warrior’s Apprentice.

Daniel Keyes. Flowers for Algernon. (the 1966 full novel, not the 1959 short novelette)

I Blither Happily



Anne Barwell interviewed me about Beneath the Skin, my writing, and other pressing topics: https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/welcome-carolyn-hill-beneath-the-skin/


BayCon 2017

I will be at BayCon 2017 on May 26, 27, and 28, participating in a few panels and lusting after the goodies in the dealer’s room.  BayCon’s theme this year is Dystopia/Utopia, into which Beneath the Skin  fits rather perfectly, seeing as it’s a romantic space opera set in a dystopian future.   If you are going to attend the convention, let me know, and maybe we can meet up someplace!

My three panels so far:

Writing a Dystopia While Living in One (on Friday)
Creative Hobbies for Writers (on Friday)
Love During Wartime (on Saturday)

Teresa Edgerton will be there, too.  And so will Jennifer Carson.  And Denise Tanaka.  And Carrie Sessarego.  And Gail Carriger.  And more!



Beneath the Skin Now Available

Woot woot! My latest romantic science fiction novel is available now on Amazon.

Beneath the Skin

My latest science fiction novel from Tickety Boo Press, Beneath the Skin, is now now available for pre-sale on Amazon.  So far, it’s just the Kindle edition.  I hope you like it!

Firefly LARP Bay Area

The Firefly LARP yesterday was a blast! I got to NPC a booby-trapped corpse, several townsfolk, an explosive-wielding safe-cracking thug, and a cultist whose four-year-old daughter was appropriated by one of the PCs. Shiny!

The next event is in December: Firefly LARP Bay Area

Worldcon 2018

Bring Worldcon to San Jose in 2018!



Backstage at Convolution 2014

Here I am backstage many hours before the masquerade at Convolution 2014, as yet unaware of how I am heading ever deeper behind the curtain.

I contemplate the consequences of saying yes.


Overheard at Convolution 2014

Random comments overheard at Convolution 2014 this past weekend, stripped of their conversational context and written as a list in the order they floated by:

“I can set out the tablecloth once.”

“I’ve already cut you there, and you’re going to bleed out.”

“I’m back again. Again.”

“I’m on my way to the kinky panel. I’m a good sister.”

“I have trouble openings things anyway. Lace gloves don’t help.”

“I have a pen. Do you have a pen?”

“Thankfully, someone was hurt, so it was transferred off my desk.”

“I’m having so much bustle and ruffle envy right now.”

“Number one rule of costuming: go to the bathroom first.”

“We are going to do a video of me.”

“She has achieved cleavage!”

Science Fiction and Fact Charm Bracelet

I spent the past three days at Convolution 2014, tabling, networking, and supporting friends and strangers in their writing, publishing, and costuming endeavors.  I’m exhausted!

Here’s my reward:  a charm bracelet from Springtime Creations, featuring the Tardis, K-9, a Cyberman head, a Dalek, Buzz Aldrin, and Maria’s head from Metropolis.

The Buzz Aldrin figure is a particularly meaningful find, because my nephew’s middle name is Aldrin (yep, in honor of Buzz).