Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey took my fantasy/scifi virginity, so to speak. I was lost in the world of Pern and the dragons for a while, but I found thatboth just started to churn them out for the sake of churning them out - esp when they partnered with other wirters - the writing lost some of its depth.
The Ship Who Sang (about a rocketship that falls in love with the captain) still haunts me, as well as some of Tanith Lee's works, which were so surreal.
For something different - magic realism mixed with fantastical elements, I can recommend Nalo Hopkinson - Brown Girl in the Ring (dystopian Toronto future, full of voodoo) and Salt Roads (told from the POV of a slave girl, an African goddess and a 17th C black woman in France).
Also fabulous are the short stories by numerous authors in the Ellen Datlow (ed.) series, eg. Black Heart, Ivory Bones. There are about 6 of them (?) and some are simply amazing.
Oh - good female scifi (sorry, my only frame of reference
) was Terrorists of Irustan, about a colony on another planet - female dystopian (wearing veils, 2nd class citizens), with an offworlder who ends up helping the protagonist in a criminal investigation. Nice twist at the end.