When G. and I planned out this month’s blog posts, I eagerly volunteered to write about indie women of science fiction. That was before I realized how few of us there are. Ironically, it was not that hard to find female sf writers among the traditionally published. I highlighted several of my favorites in the “First Impressions” post at the beginning of the month.
But until I actually looked beyond my two favorite indies, I hadn’t paid much attention to the “indie gender gap.” Here’s a challenge for you: run a search for independently-published science fiction, and see what you find.
Kirkus Reviews, for one, publishes annual lists of their top-reviewed books by category (they have a separate category for indie authors). I looked at their lists for 2018, 2019, and 2020, to discover with one exception (K. E. Lanning) that the sf titles were written by male authors, while fantasy and paranormal titles were split between men and women.
It’s even more lopsided on Amazon Top 100 lists in sf. Almost no Indie women of science fiction. But lucky for us, there are at least a few. And they are awesome! Here are five for your consideration:
Jennifer Foehner Wells
For me, no list of indie women of sf would be complete without Jennifer Foehner Wells, AKA “@Jenthulu” (her Twitter handle). I discovered her several years ago. Her first book, Fluency, turned me into a fan for life, and everything she’s published since has gone straight onto my “insta-buy” list.
As some faithful followers of my “Artdog Adventures” blog may recall, I’ve written about her books before. I’m delighted to do so again here. If you have not read this woman’s excellent Confluence Series, do yourself a favor. Remedy this egregious shortfall in your science fiction background, and start the series now!
I discovered Lindsay Buroker last year when her books started showing up in my “Also-Boughts.” That’s Amazon’s counter-marketing list under the idea of “people who liked your book also bought . . .” or “Products related to this item” on a book’s detail page.
I decided to read her novel Shockwave to see what I thought—then promptly ordered every other book in the Star Kingdom Series available at the time. Had to wait for the last two, after I caught up with the series-to-date. Indeed, I was so eager to get my hands on them I preordered the Kindle versions (I now have the full set in paperback, my preferred format). The prolific Buroker also writes fantasy series, and has well north of 70 books in her catalogue.
M. D. Cooper
When it comes to indie women of science fiction, M. D. Cooper is kind of a one-woman industry. She is the creator of the Aeon 14 Universe—in which a number of other authors sometimes co-write. She’s produced 161 works so far. Check in a week or two, and there might be more.
I regret to say that I had somehow not discovered her until I started writing this blog post. But from the “Look Inside” samples I’ve read (on Amazon), this woman knows how to write! I chose to highlight her Aeon 14 “Orion War” series because it’s one of her biggest, but small enough that you might be able to actually distinguish the book covers from each other.
Cooper doesn’t stop with series after series of books, however. She’s produced a music album (provided lots of input, but she’s not the composer), The Outsystem Original Score, and a trailer for the Aeon 14: Orion War series.
A. K. DuBoff
A. K. (Amy) DuBoff promotes herself as a “Space Opera Author” on her website, and has a Facebook group that dubs her “Queen of Space Opera.” Unlike many indies she belongs to both SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America), and IASFA (International Association of Science Science Fiction and Fantasy). Also unusual for an indie, she was a Nebula finalist in 2018 for the Andre Norton Award. She’s also a USA Today bestselling author.
I discovered her in the course of researching this blog post, so I can’t claim to have read any of her books yet. But the sample chapters in the “Look Inside” glimpse from Amazon look promising. Her “Serenity” duology is set in the “Aeon 14 Universe” created by M. D. Cooper, who is listed as a co-author. (Guess how I found DuBoff). But I chose to illustrate her original Cadicle Universe series, of which there are considerably more books.
Like Buroker and DuBoff, Cheree Alsop writes both science fiction and fantasy. And, llike Cooper and DuBoff, I found her during my research for this post, then checked out her writing skills via the Amazon “Look Inside” opening glimpse feature. I’m looking forward to reading more!
In the illustration, I featured covers from her “Girl from the Stars” series, which is her longest sf series. She also has written a similarly-titled sf novel, Pirate from the Stars: Renegade. According to her website, her newest science fiction is the “Rise of the Gladiator” trilogy.
She is a member of the DFW Writers Workshop and the League of Utah Writers. Like M.D. Cooper, Cheree has a musical side—she is a former high school music teacher, and plays bass in a rock band appropriately called Alien Landslide.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my survey of five awesome indie women of science fiction. Please share your reflections on any of them (please keep it positive and relevant) in the Comments section below. Or, if you’d like to suggest other great indie women of science fiction whose work we should know and read, please add their names to the comments, too! Thanks.
IMAGE CREDITS for Indie Women of Science Fiction:
I have tons of acknowledgements to make, between all the author portraits and book covers! I myself assembled all of the photo montages. If you’re interested in a particular image within a montage, I’ve tried to help by dividing these image credits into subsections by author:
Jennifer Foehner Wells:
Many thanks to Goodreads for the photo of Wells. I am indebted to Amazon for the cover images of Fluency, Remanence, Inheritance, Valence, and Vengeance. Thanks also to Barnes & Noble for the Confluence Codex 1 cover.
I need to thank Amazon and Lindsay Buroker’s Author Page for the photo of her in the Southwest USA with a happy Vizsla. Goodreads gets the kudos for the book covers this time. Many thanks for the following Star Kingdom covers: Shockwave, Ship of Ruin, Hero Code, Crossfire, Gate Quest, Planet Killer, Home Front, and Layers of Force.
M. D. Cooper:
This time around, Amazon gets almost all the hugs and kisses. M. D. Cooper’s official author portrait came from her Amazon Author Page. Amazon provided all the 13 book covers for the Orion War Series, too. Many, many thanks for: Destiny Lost, New Canaan, Orion Rising, The Scipio Alliance, and Attack on Thebes. Also for War on a Thousand Fronts, Precipice of Darkness, Airthan, Ascendancy, The Orion Front, Starfire, and Race Across Spacetime. The series wraps up with the two Return to Sol books, Attack at Dawn, and Star Rise. Finally, many thanks to YouTube and Creative Edge Studios for the Aeon 14: Orion War Trailer.
A. K. DuBoff:
Here’s another round of hoots and hollers for Amazon, the “home of choice” for a lot of these authors. The official portrait of Amy DuBoff is from her Amazon Author Page. Amazon also provided the cover images for her original Cadicle Series: Rumors of War, Web of Truth, Crossroads of Fate, Path of Justice, and Scions of Change. I also want to thank Amy DuBoff’s YouTube Channel for the Book Trailer – Cadicle: An Epic Space Opera Series.
Many thanks to Alsop’s website for the author portrait. I’ll wrap up with another round of thank-yous to Amazon for book covers from Alsop’s Girl from the Stars Series. This includes: Daybreak, Daylight, Day’s End, Day’s Journey, and Day’s Hunt. I filled in the hole at the bottom with a similarly-titled (so far) single book, The Pirate from the Stars: Renegade.