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Ranking Author Joanna Russ’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

March 29, 2018
Joanna Russ Bibliography Rankings

“What are Joanna Russ’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Russ’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Joanna Russ and looked at her Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Joanna Russ



11 ) And Chaos Died (1970)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 10

“Earthman Jai Vedh was on a star voyage when his ship blew up, leaving him stranded on an uncharted Earth-like planet. In this strange new land, he’s amazed to discover a colony of humans who lost contact with their home world centuries before. They’ve developed telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation—and structured a sophisticated social system out of these abilities.

Under the tutelage of a female mentor named Evne, Jai Vedh begins to develop his own mental powers. But when an unexpected rescue arrives, the Earth he returns to is nothing like he remembered . . .”

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10 ) Kittatinny: A Tale of Magic (1978)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 11

A woman warrior, a sleeping beauty, a baby satyr, and a mermaid encourage a young girl into accepting free womanhood.

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8 ) The Hidden Side of the Moon (1987)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

Stories deal with a mysterious child, a daydreamer, a mermaid, fortune telling, obsessive love, women writers, aliens, children and parents

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8 ) Picnic on Paradise (1968)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 9

Set in a semi-utopian world, Joanna Russ’s groundbreaking debut novel is the story of Alyx, a female soldier, survival guide, and agent of the Trans-Temporal Authority. Displaced in time from her ancient Greece, Alyx is tasked with safely leading a group of pampered human vacationers—including some unconventional nuns and a detached teenager known as the Machine—across an uninhabited scenic terrain to a relief station. But the journey proves more challenging than anticipated as they confront one another’s failings; the physical dangers of an icy, hostile wilderness; and Alyx’s own personal demons.

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7 ) The Two of Them (1978)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 7

Irene, a rebellious product of an American 1950s upbringing, has fled from a repressive and sexist society into a life of apparent equality and adventure as part of the elite Trans-Temporal Authority’s cadre of travelers. Under the tutelage of Ernst, a friend/lover and teacher/father, Irene has achieved status and dignity. Irene and Ernst are assigned to a Muslim world where they meet Zubedeyeh, a young girl whose creativity is being transformed into madness by the male chauvinistic society in which she lives. Vowing to rescue her, Irene unleashes a destructive cycle of violence. Originally published in 1978, The Two of Them is a powerful portrait of a future sexist society. This modern classic conveys its politics with rigor and complexity, in a story filled with suspense and unforgettable characters.

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6 ) The Female Man (1975)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 5

Living in an altered past that never saw the end of the Great Depression, Jeannine, a librarian, is waiting to be married. Joanna lives in a different version of reality: she’s a 1970s feminist trying to succeed in a man’s world. Janet is from Whileaway, a utopian earth where only women exist. And Jael is a warrior with steel teeth and catlike retractable claws, from an earth with separate-and warring-female and male societies. When these four women meet, the results are startling, outrageous, and subversive.

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5 ) Extra(ordinary) People (1985)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 5

Five stories deal with aliens, telepaths, time travel, other worlds, and the process of writing

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4 ) The Adventures of Alyx (1976)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 3

Alyx, a warrior and assassin, accepts a job as bodyguard, sails with Blackbeard, works for a sorcerer and acts as a Trans-Temp agent in a future commercial war

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3 ) On Strike Against God (1980)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 1

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2 ) We Who Are About To… (1977)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 2

A multi-dimensional explosion hurls the starship’s few passengers across the galaxies and onto an uncharted barren tundra. With no technical skills and scant supplies, the survivors face a bleak end in an alien world. One brave woman holds the daring answer, but it is the most desperate one possible.

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1 ) The Zanzibar Cat (1983)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 4

An adventure set in exotic Zanzibar, where one encounters a powerful society of women without need of men, a lovely and heartless vampire, and courageous female adventurer Amelie

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Joanna Russ’s Best Books



Joanna Russ Review Website Bibliography Rankings

Book Goodreads Amazon LibraryThing Overal Rank
The Zanzibar Cat 4 2 4 1
We Who Are About To… 6 3 2 2
On Strike Against God 1 10 1 3
The Adventures of Alyx 7 5 3 4
Extra(ordinary) People 3 9 5 5
The Female Man 9 5 5 6
The Two of Them 8 5 7 7
The Hidden Side of the Moon 5 8 8 8
Picnic on Paradise 11 1 9 8
Kittatinny: A Tale of Magic 1 10 11 10
And Chaos Died 10 4 10 11

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