Gender in Fantasy -- I forgot I had books for this, too!

While I was writing notes on the Left Hand of Darkness, I remembered that the books I came up with when I brainstormed this project weren't all Sci Fi.  I had a couple of fantasy novels, too, and they come at it from a noticeably different angle -- this is a preliminary claim, but from what I can tell, when SF wants to deal with gender, writers add gender-changing technology; when Fantasy wants to deal with gender, writers have girls pretend to be boys. That's problematic, in the theme of "Empowerment means everyone gets to be dudes!," but it's there, and it's worth discussing.  Also, I should definitely look for books that don't necessarily keep with that theme.

Stuff I can think of off the top of my head, in which this is a relevant issue:

  • The Song of the Lioness, by Tamora Pierce, a series of four books following a girl who wants to be a knight, and has to pretend to be a boy to get through the training.  The individual books are Alanna: The First Adventure,[1. Pierce, Tamora. Alanna: The First Adventure. New York: Atheneum, 1983. Print.] In The Hand of the Goddess,[2. Pierce, Tamora. In The Hand of the GoddessNew York: Atheneum, 1984. Print.] The Woman Who Rides Like a Man,[3. Pierce, Tamora. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man. New York: Atheneum, 1986. Print.] and Lioness Rampant.[4. Pierce, Tamora. Lioness Rampant. New York: Atheneum, 1988. Print.]
  • Monstrous Regiment,[5. Pratchett, Terry. Monstrous Regiment. New York: HarperCollins. 2003. Print.] by Terry Pratchett, which is about a teenage girl who pretends to be a boy to join the military in her small country.  I won't put any spoilers in this post, but it's not quite as cliché as that sounds -- or, it's even more cliché, and that's the point.