i feel the same way! my favorite anime (Hetalia) has nothing but male characters! theres 38 (really! what kind of anime has 38 characters that all play a very important part and show up A LOT) men and only 8 girls who barely show up! but it still doesnt stop me from doing my gender-bend cosplay…
Terry Pratchett has many novels with a strong female protagonist, a series of them actually. Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lord and Ladies, Carpe Jugulum, The Wee Free Men, Maskerade, A Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight are all good choices there.
Try Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It’s been my favorite book since I was a teenager.
I had to add 2 cents to this discussion, old as it may be. The books I’m recommending are even older.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was amazing, writing women and men and groups of people who were compelling and complex and varied, cooking with different genres. She let sci fi and fantasy interact almost like characters themselves. Several of her characters spent time exploring the concepts of gender roles and feminism, while going on epic journeys with their friends, and fighting bandits. The shattered chain is a brilliant example. (She could also write an ending, so you can read just one story, and feel satisfied.)
If you’d like some different stories and styles, she edited the Sword and Sorceress anthologies, which gave many starting female writers a chance to play. Just rewriting an old fantasy trope with a female character wasn’t enough to make the cut, you had to do something really interesting. Mercedes Lackey was one of many who demonstrated that there were plenty of new stories out there, and that old ones could have funny, heartwrenching and brave new approaches. I still pick up these collections, mostly used. They make great bathroom books, if you’re willing to risk hooking your friends.
I’m glad that Diane Duane, Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey came up. Most of them spend a lot of their time on young adult fiction, which makes reading them restful.
Diane Duane has a good understanding of kids growing up now. A kid in NY has grown up in a world where there’s a lot of gender equality, where you’re usually polite to aliens (illegal or otherwise), and redemptions, small and large, fill our entertainment. This changes the basic tropes a bit, her kids have to deal with girl bullies, confused aliens, and when they go into battle, the goal isn’t just to kill everyone on the other side.
Thank you for this. It resonated so deeply with me. It’s always seemed weird to me how male-dominated comics and video-games are. If as a female you told people you were passionate about art, that wouldn’t be unusual. It seems that the stereoptype is that women are the creative and artistic ones (I’m not saying I agree with any of the sterotypes at all), but comics and video games are such incredible examples of art that combine multiple mediums. I’m met with criticism and skepticism because the things I’m passionate about are ‘masculine’ things but my appearance is very feminine. I want to work in science and in politics, I love video games and comics. Just because I wear dresses doesn’t mean I can’t be passionate about these things.I shouldn’t be accused of being a ‘fake gamer girl’ because of the way I dress myself. I’m not pretending to like them to get attention from guys. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years and the fact that I can kick his ass at most games (he destroys me at supers smash brothers melee) doesn’t make him love me.
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