Escapist Fiction: Sci-Fi and Fantasy by Female Authors

When the real world is getting me down, sometimes the best solution is to escape into an entirely new one. I'm honestly not very picky. I'll take magic, time travel, ghosts—anything weird and fantastic. I just want to experience something I never could have imagined. Right now, it seems like a lot of us could use a vacation from reality. So I'm recommending a few books by some of my favorite female sci-fi and fantasy authors, as they are too often overlooked.

We all know the stories of children who accidentally wander into magical worlds. Every Heart A Doorway is about what happens to them once they grow up and have to come home. For many, the answer is enrolling in Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. This book is the perfect combination of portal fantasy, boarding school story and murder mystery.

Jodi Taylor's long-running Chronicles of St. Mary's series begins with Just One Damned Thing After Another. At St. Mary's Institute, an eccentric team of historians research historical events in contemporary time. You might call it time travel. Our heroine, Madeline Maxwell, crashes her way up and down the timeline in this fast-paced, hilarious, incredibly British book for anyone who's tired of their sci-fi being a little too serious.

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is the perfect book for anyone who loved The Westing Game when they were a kid. Billionaire Vincent Pryce has died and in doing so, turned the city of Boston into a game board, as he left a huge sum of money to anyone who can solve a massive, city-wide treasure hunt. Tuesday Mooney is determined to win.

The Calculating Stars begins in an alternate 1952, when a meteorite destroys Washington, D.C. and much of the East Coast, setting off an environmental disaster. With the Earth soon to be uninhabitable, the space race becomes a matter of necessity. Elma York, a brilliant pilot and mathematician, must fight for her place as the first Lady Astronaut.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library