This month we’re celebrating the work of some of our favourite feminist visionaries, and exploring imagined and aspired to futures of equality and liberation. From speculative fiction and art to sociology and personal histories, these visionary writers invite us to step into new worlds.
Challenge yourself with a diverse spread of perspectives and learnings to help us write a future for everyone.
The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin
Two people, until recently strangers, find themselves on a long, tortuous and dangerous journey across the ice. One is an outcast, forced to leave his beloved homeland; the other is fleeing from a different kind of persecution. What they have in common is curiosity, about others and themselves, and an almost unshakeable belief that the world can be a better place.
As they journey for over 800 miles, across the harshest, most inhospitable landscape, they discover the true meaning of friendship, and of love.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford – her assigned name, Offred, means ‘of Fred’. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.
Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.
The Future of Another Timeline
“Do you remember when we had the vote?”
In a world that’s just a step away from our own, time travel is possible. But war is brewing – a secret group is trying to destroy women’s rights, and their access to the timeline. If they succeed, only a small elite will have the power to shape the past, present, and future.
Our only hope lies with an unlikely group of allies, from riot grrls to suffragettes, their lives separated by centuries, battling for a world where anyone can change the future. A final confrontation is coming.
Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
illustrated by John Jennings
In this graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower by Damian Duffy and John Jennings, the award-winning team behind Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, the author portrays a searing vision of America’s future. In the year 2024, the country is marred by unattended environmental and economic crises that lead to social chaos. Lauren Olamina, a preacher’s daughter living in Los Angeles, is protected from danger by the walls of her gated community. However, in a night of fire and death, what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.
Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See
Girls Garage is the only book you’ll ever need for a lifetime of tools and building. Not sure which screws to buy? Need to fix a running toilet? With Girls Garage, you’ll have the expertise to tackle these problems with your own hands. Or maybe you want to get creative and build something totally new. A birdhouse? A bookshelf? Girls Garage has you covered. Packed with illustrations that will build confidence for your next hardware store run, practical advice on everything from quick fixes to safety tips, and inspiring stories from real-world builder girls and women, this eye-catching volume makes the technical accessible. This is the guide every girl needs to take her life in to her own hands. Girls, get your gear on, and get building!
Edited by Kimberley Drew and Jenna Wortham
What does it mean to be Black and alive right now? Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work – images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more – to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. The book presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics.In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader.
She Will Soar
A stunning gift book featuring 130 poems about wanderlust, freedom and escape written by women.With poems from classic, well loved poets as well as innovative and bold modern voices, She Will Soar is a stunning collection and an essential addition to any bookshelf. From the ancient world right up to the present day, it includes poems on wanderlust, travel, daydreams, flights of fancy, escaping into books, tranquillity, courage, hope and resilience. From frustrated housewives to passionate activists, from servants and suffragettes to some of today’s most gifted writers, here is a bold choir of voices demanding independence and celebrating their hard-won power.Immerse yourself in poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Christina Rossetti, Stevie Smith, Sarah Crossan, Emily Dickinson, Salena Godden, Mary Jean Chan, Charly Cox, Nikita Gill, Fiona Benson, Hollie McNish and Grace Nichols to name but a few.
Suzette Haden Elgin
Set in the twenty-second century after the repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment, the novel reveals a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights, and banned from public life. In this world, Earth’s wealth relies on interplanetary commerce, for which the population depends on linguists, a small, clannish group of families whose women breed and become perfect translators of all the galaxies’ languages. The linguists wield power, but live in isolated compounds, hated by the population, and in fear of class warfare. But a group of women is destined to challenge the power of men and linguists. Nazareth, the most talented linguist of her family, is exhausted by her constant work translating for the government, supervising the children’s language education in the Alien-in-Residence interface chambers, running the compound, and caring for the elderly men. She longs to retire to the Barren House, where women past childbearing age knit, chat, and wait to die. What Nazareth does not yet know is that a clandestine revolution is going on in the Barren Houses: there, word by word, women are creating a language of their own to free them of men’s domination. Their secret must, above all, be kept until the language is ready for use. The women’s language, Láadan, is only one of the brilliant creations found in this stunningly original novel, which combines a page-turning plot with challenging meditations on the tensions between freedom and control, individuals and communities, thought and action.
Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.
Her Body & Other Parties
Carmen Maria Machado
In her provocative debut, Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism.
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about a store’s dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest.
A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body & Other Parties is wicked and exquisite.
Gather the Daughters
On a small isolated island, there’s a community that lives by its own rules. Boys grow up knowing they will one day take charge, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood.
But before that time comes, a ritual offers children an exhilarating reprieve. Every summer they are turned out onto their doorsteps, to roam the island, sleep on the beach and build camps in trees. To be free.
At the end of one of such summer, one of the younger girls sees something she was never supposed to see. And she returns home with a truth that could bring their island world to its knees.
Woman on the Edge of Time
Often compared to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman’s The Power –Woman on the Edge of Time has been hailed as a classic of speculative science fiction. Disturbing and forward thinking, Marge Piercy’s remarkable novel will speak to a new generation of readers.
Connie Ramos has been unjustly incarcerated in a mental institution with no hope of release. The authorities view her as a danger to herself and to others. Her family has given up on her.
But Connie has a secret – a way to escape the confines of her cell. She can see the future…
What does it take to find courage in the midst of deprivation and devastation? Why are some people able to continue living with purpose, even when faced with loss and despair? How does our community turn challenge into triumph? And what can we learn from the exceptional women in our midst who have done just that?
It might feel like we are living in unprecedented times but ours is not the first generation to withstand upheaval as seismic as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. In every town and suburb in Australia, there are women from older generations who have encountered unimaginable difficulties before; women who have endured and survived. Their stories are proof of the incredible resilience of the female spirit.
Based on hours of interviews from their homes during lockdown, in Untold Resilience the all-female journalistic team at Future Women uncovers the real-life accounts of a diverse and fascinating collection of women. In doing so they have drawn on the deep wisdom and perspective that can only be gained from a life fully lived.
Our history books have long been dominated by men’s triumphant tales but there are also lessons to be learned from the quiet, modest and largely untold experiences of women. With warmth and candour, 19 ordinary, and yet truly remarkable, individuals share their experiences of pandemic, poverty, famine, war, violence and discrimination.
Through these hope-filled stories from women who have gone before, we can find inspiration and comfort, and rebuild faith in our own futures.
How far would you go for a child of your own?
When Rosie and Jules discover a ground-breaking clinical trial that enables two women to have a female baby, they jump at the chance to make history.
Fear-mongering politicians and right-wing movements are quick to latch on to the controversies surrounding Ovum-to-Ovum (o-o) technology and stoke the fears of the public. What will happen to the numbers of little boys born? Is there a sinister conspiracy to eradicate men at play?
In this toxic political climate, Jules and Rosie try to hide their baby from scrutiny. But when the news of Rosie’s pregnancy is leaked to the media, their relationship is put under a microscope and they’re forced to question the loyalty of those closest to them, and battle against a tirade of hate that threatens to split them apart…
YEAR: 2083. LOCATION: LONDON. MISSION: WAKE ROMEO.
It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forwards. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the ‘now’, living off the scraps that were left behind. Among these are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo is in a coma and she’s estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance. Then a handsome time traveller, Ellis, arrives with an important mission that makes Jules question everything she knows about life and love. Can Jules wake Romeo and rewrite her future?
A highly original mashup that delights as it disorients… and asks what would have happened if two great literary love stories were somehow intertwined.
Motor Crush, Volume 1 (Kinokuniya Variant)
Brendan Flecther, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr
The team behind the critically-acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fi action-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush.
Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.
Now Natsuki is grown. She lives a quiet life with her asexual husband, surviving as best she can by pretending to be normal. But the demands of Natsuki’s family are increasing, her friends wonder why she’s still not pregnant, and dark shadows from Natsuki’s childhood are pursuing her. Fleeing the suburbs for the mountains of her childhood, Natsuki prepares herself with a reunion with Yuu. Will he still remember their promise? And will he help her keep it?
Truth Bomb: Inspiration from the Mouths and Minds of Women Artists
A dazzling object of art and ideas: where artists tell it how it is and what it takes to get there.
If anyone can teach us how to pursue the life and work of an artist, it is the artists in Truth Bomb.
This compilation of pioneering and established women artists from around the world will motivate and empower you, challenge you to find solace in the shared human experiences of birth, death, love, anger, joy, sadness. Their sassiness will fire your spirit.
Truth Bomb offers the very best commentary and insight into the incredible formation of diverse women artists while uncovering the power of taking a chance, pushing the envelope and ultimately not being shy when it comes to making a mark. It is a magical visual mash-up of images, memoirs, moments, interviews and inspirational beginnings as told by twenty-two leading women artists, including Beci Orpin, Mickalene Thomas, Kaylene Whiskey and Judy Chicago. Truth Bomb is an ode to art and artists and an attempt to decipher the mystery of creativity.
Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry. There, women get the very best of everything: organic meals, fitness trainers, daily massages and big money. Provided they dedicate themselves to producing the perfect baby. For someone else.
Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?
Girl of the Southern Sea
A gifted student, Nia longs to attend high school so she can follow her dream and become a writer. She has notebooks filled with stories she’s created about the mythological Dewi Kadita, Princess of the Southern Sea. But her family has barely enough money for food, let alone an education, so Nia’s days are spent running their food cart and raising her younger brother.
Following a miraculous escape from a bus accident, Nia is gifted with good-luck magic. Or at least that’s what everyone’s saying. Soon their family business is booming and there might even be enough money to return to school. But how long can her good luck last?
When a secret promise threatens everything she’s hoped for, Nia must find a way to break the mould and write her own future.
The Fifth Season
N. K. Jemisin
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS . . . FOR THE LAST TIME.
IT STARTS WITH THE GREAT RED RIFT across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
IT STARTS WITH DEATH, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
IT STARTS WITH BETRAYAL, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.
Fears to Fierce
Brita Fernandez Schmidt
Own Your Power
Transform your World
When we’re ‘head-heavy’, we can get stuck. Inspiration is felt in the heart and the gut, and the way it feels is fierce. The ‘fierce’ is waiting for you to acknowledge it, to allow it and believe it.
Brita Fernandez Schmidt has spent 25 years championing women’s rights across the world, nurturing her own fierce and inspiring others to do the same. Through a combination of guidance, storytelling and practical tools, her rallying call in Fears to Fierce will inspire you to realise your purpose and potential, ignite your fierce and create the life you have been dreaming of.
The Grace Year
THE RESISTANCE STARTS HERE.
No one speaks of the grace year.
We’re told we have the power to lure grown men from their beds, make boys lose their minds, and drive the wives mad with jealousy. That’s why we’re banished for our sixteenth year, to release our magic into the wild before we’re allowed to return to civilisation.
But I don’t feel powerful.
I don’t feel magical.
Tierney James lives in an isolated village where girls are banished at sixteen to the northern forest to brave the wilderness – and each other – for a year. They must rid themselves of their dangerous magic before returning purified and ready to marry – if they’re lucky.
It is forbidden to speak of the grace year, but even so every girl knows that the coming year will change them – if they survive it…
A critically acclaimed page-turning feminist dystopia about a young woman trapped in an oppressive society, fighting to take control of her own life.
Silence can be deafening.
Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.
Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.
Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.
For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
Over 100 exceptional and influential women describe how they embraced their creative spirit, overcame adversity, and sparked a global movement of entrepreneurship. Media titans and ceramicists, hoteliers and tattoo artists, comedians and architects—taken together, these profiles paint a beautiful picture of what happens when we pursue our passions and dreams.
Gideon the Ninth
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. The emperor has called his necromancers to action, and Harrowhark is set on Gideon attending her as bodyguard. If Gideon survives, she’ll be a hero, and a free woman. If not, she can look forward to eternity as a shambling bone-servant.
illustrated by Alex Puvilland
Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.
The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone’s twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death – or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits – and it seems to be calling Addison’s name.
Navigating the Stars
Maria V. Snyder
Year 2471. A new discovery. Those three words thrill my parents – the galaxy’s leading archaeologists – but for me, it means another time jump to a different planet. One so big, my friends will be older than my dad when we arrive. And I’ll still be seventeen. Thanks, Einstein.
I really can’t blame Einstein, though. No one expected to find life–sized terracotta warriors buried on other planets. So off we go to investigate, traveling through space and time. With my social life in ruins, I fill my days illegally worming into the quantum net – the invention that allows us to travel in space. Of course the only person close to my age is a hot–but–pain–in–the–neck security officer who threatens to throw me into the brig.
But when one of the warrior planets goes silent, we have bigger problems on our hands. The planet’s entire population might be dead. And now my worming skills, along with a translation of an ancient alien artefact, might be the key to finding out why. But my attempts to uncover the truth lead to the discovery of a deadly new alien phenomenon, and also alert those who wish to keep it quiet. The galaxy is in real danger and time is not on our side…
A page–turning story of courage and determination in the face of the unknown.
The Red Bridge
Claire’s family has moved from Australia to Vietnam and the little girl finds herself lost in the busy, bustling streets of Hanoi, until she finds the red bridge and a new friend to show her the way.
Kylie Dunstan’s stunning collage illustrations bring Claire’s exotic, exciting new home to vibrant life in this touching story.
The record-breaking debut novel that won every major science fiction award in 2014, Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge.
Ann Leckie is the first author to win the Arthur C. Clarke, the Nebula and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in the same year.
They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.
The Radch are conquerors to be feared – resist and they’ll turn you into a ‘corpse soldier’ – one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship’s AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people.
The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed – but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation. Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale.
But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.