Summer Reading (Without Walls) Bingo Recommendations for Grown Ups: Science Fiction or Fantasy by a Female Author

Summer is in full swing and hopefully you’ve gotten a good start on your Summer Reading Bingo cards! I have to admit that I was particularly pleased to see the “SFF by a Female Author” option as it’s a category I personally can’t get enough of! If you’re looking for a good place to get started, here are some of my recommendations:

My own choice for this one was Margaret Atwood’s HANDMAID’S TALE. A dystopian classic, originally released in 1985, it’s a shockingly timely read! And while it’s definitely an ever-popular genre pick, the new show adaptation has undoubtedly made it an even more in demand read this year.

Another classic that’s perfect for this category is Octavia Butler’s KINDRED (which also makes a great pick for “Classic by an Author of Color”). Published in 1979, KINDRED finds Dana, a black woman living in 1976 California, transported back in time to Antebellum Maryland.

i09 founder Charlie Jane Anders’s debut has been generating a ton of buzz. ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY recently won both a Nebula and Locus award this year and has been nominated for a Hugo as well. The near-future setting and combination of both fantasy and sci fi elements make it a unique cross genre read that will appeal to a wide audience.

Another award winning title (Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, and Locus, to name a few) you should consider checking out is Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE. This space opera and first in the Imperial Radch series features amazing world building and a unique protagonist.

Meg Howrey’s THE WANDERERS is a bit different from the author’s previous outings. Her main characters are faced with living for seventeen months in a simulation meant to train them to be the first people on Mars.

If you like your genre fiction with a healthy dash of romance, Anne Corlett’s THE SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS is the perfect pick for you! Set after a terrible virus wipes out most of the population, it features a character unwilling to give up hope in finding someone from her past – someone she’ll travel the furthest reaches of space to find.

If you’re leaning towards fantasy, you can’t go wrong with Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED. A stand alone firmly seated in Eastern European folklore, it’s basically a fairy tale for adults. And a fabulous one at that! (There are no dragons, in spite of the description, but rather a wizard called Dragon!)

And finally, THE WAKING LAND, Callie Bates’s fantasy debut and first in a planned trilogy, draws its inspiration from both Britain’s invasion by Rome andthe Jacobite rebellion. This one is a recent Indie Next pick, which means booksellers around the country are loving it!

There are, of course, tons more great titles to choose from. Hopefully something in this list piques your interest, though, and turns some new SFF readers into longtime fans!