Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Speculative fiction was one of the last genres of fiction to receive a strong female presence. Until very recently, women authors had a select few genres available to them including romance, mystery, and children’s fiction. This is surprising when we consider that one of the earliest and important works of speculative fiction is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. One appeal early speculative fiction had on female readers and writers was its element of escapism. Women have often taken a submissive role, behind men. The escapism offered in speculative fiction showed what could be, if things were different, often to the betterment of women. The works of three authors including Octavia Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Anne Rice are used. The thesis provides a thorough analysis of trilogies written by all three authors. It is argued that these writers use speculative fiction as a window into worlds of alternative roles of power and independence to women whom are denied these roles. These three authors examine changes in social structure based on race, gender, sexual preference, and androgyny.


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