I have been doing a little research into women SFF writers, namely the date and title of their first SFF publication (not necessarily their first publication as they may have published in other genres). The list is below. Of course, I may have missed something, so do let me know if I got things wrong or there are further names to add to the list.
|1666||Duchess Margaret Cavendish||Blazing World|
|1827||Jane C Loudon||The Mummy|
|1890||Lady Florence Dixie||Gloriana|
|1922||Cicely Hamilton||Theodore Savage|
|1923||Susan Ertz||Madame Claire|
|1926||Charlotte Haldane||Mans World|
|1930||Aelfrida Tillyard||Concrete: A Story of Two Hundred Years Hence|
|1935||Naomi Mitchison||We have been Warned|
|1943||Mea Allen||Change of Heart|
|1955||Margot Bennett||The Long Way Back|
|1957||Jane Gaskell||Strange Evil|
|1969||Doris Lessing||The Four-Gated City|
|1969||Josephine Saxton||The Heiros Gamos of Sam and An Smith|
|1975||Monica Hughes||Crisis on Conshelf Ten|
|1977||Gwyneth Jones||Water in the Air|
|1977||Mary Gentle||Hawk in Silver|
|1987||Storm Constantine||The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit|
|1987||Susan Price||The Ghost Drum|
|1988||Anita Mason||The War against Chaos|
|1991||Liz Holliday||Third Person Singular|
|1991||Molly Brown||Bad Timing|
|1992||Malorie Blackman||Trust Me|
|1993||Lisanne Norman||Turning Point|
|1999||Justina Robson||Silver Screen|
|2000||Jo Walton||The Kings Peace|
|2001||Liz Williams||The Ghost Sister|
|2005||Frances Harding||Fly by Night|
|2007||Marion Arnott||The Drummer Boy|
|2007||Nina Allan||A Thread of Truth|
|2007||Janet Edwards||Earth Girl|
|2007||Sarah Hall||The Carhullan Army|
|2008||Jaine Fenn||Principles of Angels|
|2010||Georgina Kermis||The Many Deaths of Johnny Silver|
|2011||Emma Newman||20 Years Later|
|2011||Jane Rogers||The Testament of Jessie Lamb|
|2013||Jodi Taylor||Just One Damned Thing After Another|
|2014||Jacey Bedford||Empire of Dust|
|2016||Emma Geen||The Many Selves of Katherine North|
|2016||Naomi Alderman||The Power|
|2016||Helen Sedgwick||The Comet Seekers|
Pat Cadigan should be on this list, but I had difficulty determining her first novel… probably me having a blip moment!
What I haven’t down is separate the women between science fiction writers and fantasy writers. Some have written both, which makes life confusing. And then there’s the old chestnut of where you draw the dividing line between the two genres. (I’m not going down this road in this blog.) However, I fairly certain that Frances Harding is a fantasy writer and I would drop her from the list if I concentrated purely on science fiction writers (even if she did go to the same college as me).
As you would expect, there has been an increase in the number of British Women SFF debuting in the later years. But there are some, as yet unexplained, gaps e.g. 2002 to 2004 with no new woman author.
While going through the lists, I noticed a lot women had links, one way or another, with the USA.
There was a noticeable number of early women writers who benefitted from patronage of one form or another to get their work published.
Make of this list what you will. But it’s at least a starter for ten in gathering the information.