Season one of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” wrapped up last month, and you’re probably looking for a new feminist science fiction fix. Presuming you’ve already read the Margaret Atwood novel that inspired the series (and if not, you really, really should), then it might be time to try some of these other great works of feminist speculative fiction.
Gather the Daughters
by Jennie Melamed
Years before the great cataclysm struck — the fire that burned a once-great nation to cinders — ten men and their families struck out on their own and founded an island colony. Their descendants lived on to form a cult-like society that venerates those founders as gods. Knowledge of the mainland is strictly limited, and only the male heirs of the original ten patriarchs may visit. Daily life is no less regimented, at least for the adults. Children, however, run free — at least until the first signs of puberty arrive and girls begin assume the roles expected of them as wives and mothers. Seventeen year-old Janey Solomon resists the change, postponing her maturation by slowly starving herself to death. She has doubts about what she’s been taught to believe, and is determined to uncover the truth before she succumbs to starvation.
When She Woke
by Hillary Jordan
In the fundamentalist society of the future, the state uses genetic engineering to color the skin of convicted criminals. The colors represent the crime. Hannah’s skin is red: the color of a convicted murderer. Her victim, according to the court, was the baby she aborted after being impregnated by her paramour: a popular and respected figure in the community. Unwilling to divulge the identity of her lover, Hannah is forced to bear her burden alone. The pain will force her to reconsider the values and beliefs she once considered unquestionable.
by Ninni Holmqvist
The Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological materials is the final destination for women and men who have failed to reproduce by the ages of 50 and 60, respectively. Unable or unwilling to serve their society in the manner expected of them, the childless will instead contribute by serving as medical guinea pigs and tissue donors. New admission Dorrit Wegner is looking forward to spending her final days among others like her, but everything changes after she unexpectedly falls in love with another resident of the Unit.
Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology
edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Why settle for one story when you can have dozens of them? Editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer have combed through the decades of feminist science-fiction and fantasy literature and curated the best of the bunch. Sisters of the Revolution features short works of fiction from Kit Reed, Nnedi Okorafor, Octavia E. Butler, Kelly Barnhill, Eileen Gunn, and many others.