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I'm trying to remember a favorite author of mine when I was a kid. She (definitely a she) wrote YA science fiction (not fantasy) with female heroes. I'm fairly certain one was about Mars. Classic hero story, one central character, overcoming odds and the like. There was a trilogy (on Mars or maybe Jupiter, there were definitely space stations...) and maybe one other book, but I don't think she was that prolific.

I hope someone can help. I know that's not much to go on. But maybe with the paucity of female sci fi authors from the time it won't be impossible!

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Perhaps you're thinking of Octavia E. Butler? She wrote in the 80s and 90s. Most of her books featured strong female protagonists. She wrote a trilogy, the Xenogenesis trilogy of which Adulthood Rites was focused on a human colony on Mars. The one thing that doesn't match is that she was fairly prolific and well-known, although it might have just been a matter of that you had not known about her other books at the time. Also, her books were aimed more toward adults than "young adults".

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