Science Fiction Fridays: NW SF & Fantasy Writers Part 3: More Influential Writers

Moon CalledDuneBeggars in SpainThe Female Man

Just like last time, here are more influential Northwest science fiction and fantasy writers who have set and raised the bar for other writers to follow.

Patricia Briggs writes urban fantasy set in Washington’s Tri-Cities area featuring werewolves, vampires and other paranormal creatures of the night. The books center on Mercedes Thompson, a shapeshifting car mechanic with a hectic love life. Start with Moon Called.

Terry Brooks is a Seattle writer and epic fantasy trailblazer with such bestsellers as the long-running Shannara series and the Magic Kingdom of Landover books. Start with The Sword of Shannara or Magic Kingdom for Sale–SOLD!

Frank Herbert was a Washington native who started the influential Dune series and his son Brian Herbert has kept the world of Dune alive in his father’s stead. Brian has also worked on other collaborations like the Hellhole series with Kevin J. Anderson. Dune is a must-read for any science fiction fan.

Nancy Kress is a Seattle author who writes thought-provoking novels and short stories that are often considered hard sf, exploring issues like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Try Beggars in Spain or Fountain of Age: Stories.

Ursula K. Le Guin is a Portland author whose influence was well-established with such groundbreaking titles as The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness not to mention the impactful Earthsea series that starts with A Wizard of Earthsea. Le Guin has also written poetry and translated other work over the course of her career.

Joanna Russ was a professor at the University of Washington. She was recently inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Her work is distinguished by its strong feminist perspective. Try The Female Man.

Neal Stephenson is a Seattle author and game designer whose work has ranged from cyberpunk to science fiction to historical fiction. Stephenson’s work explores subjects like cryptography, science and mathematics. Try Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon or Quicksilver.

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