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It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t, or can’t, write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how si It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t, or can’t, write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED's June 2014 issue is a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue and has a guest editor at the helm. The issue features original fiction by Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Maria Dahvana Headley, Amal El-Mohtar, and many more. All together there's more than 180,000 words of material, including: 11 original short stories, 15 original flash fiction stories, 4 short story reprints and a novella reprint, 7 nonfiction articles, and 28 personal essays by women about their experiences reading and writing science fiction. Table of Contents FROM THE EDITORS Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant Each to Each by Seanan McGuire A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall Canth by K.C. Norton REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky Like Daughter by Tananarive Due Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo Salvage by Carrie Vaughn A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker #TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen Emoticon by Anaid Perez The Mouths by Ellen Denham M1A by Kim Winternheimer Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner Artists Spotlight by Galen Dara Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy Women Remember by Mary Robinette Kowal Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser Screaming Together: Making Women’s Voices Heard by Nisi Shawl PERSONAL ESSAYS — edited by Wendy N. Wagner We are the Fifty Percent by Rachel Swirsky Science Fiction: You’re Doin’ It Wrong by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff Join Us in the Future Marissa Lingen Are We There Yet? by Sheila Finch Not a Spaceship, Robot, or Zombie in Sight by Anne Charnock Writing Among the Beginning of Women by Amy Sterling Casil Toward a Better Future by Nancy Jane Moore We Are the Army of Women Destroying SF by Sandra Wickham Read SF and You’ve Got a Posse by Gail Marsella Stomp All Over That by O. J. Cade For the Trailblazers by Kristi Charish Women are the Future of Science Fiction by Juliette Wade We Have Always Fought by Kameron Hurley Writing Stories, Wrinkling Time by Kat Howard Where Are My SF Books? by DeAnna Knippling Reading the Library Alphabetically by Liz Argall Stepping Through a Portal by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam The Wendybird by Stina Leicht I Wanted to be the First Woman on the Moon by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley Never Think of Yourself as Less by Helena Bell An ABC of Kickass by Jude Griffin Stocking Stuffers by Anaea Lay Breaching the Gap by Brooke Bolander Women Who Are More Than Strong by Georgina Kamsika A Science-Fictional Woman by Cheryl Morgan Your Future is Out of Date, Pat Murphy Stray Outside the Lines by E. Catherine Tobler My Love Can Destroy by Seanan McGuire AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS — edited by Jude Griffin Seanan McGuire Kris Millering Heather Clitheroe N.K. Jemisin Rhonda Eikamp Tananarive Due Gabriella Stalker Charlie Jane Anders Maria Dahvana Headley Amal El-Mohtar Elizabeth Porter Birdsall K.C. Norton Eleanor Arnason Maria Romasco Moore Maureen McHugh


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It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t, or can’t, write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how si It could be said that women invented science fiction; after all, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is considered by many to be the first science fiction novel. Yet some readers seem to have this funny idea that women don’t, or can’t, write science fiction. Some have even gone so far as to accuse women of destroying science fiction with their girl cooties. So to help prove how silly that notion is, LIGHTSPEED's June 2014 issue is a Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue and has a guest editor at the helm. The issue features original fiction by Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Maria Dahvana Headley, Amal El-Mohtar, and many more. All together there's more than 180,000 words of material, including: 11 original short stories, 15 original flash fiction stories, 4 short story reprints and a novella reprint, 7 nonfiction articles, and 28 personal essays by women about their experiences reading and writing science fiction. Table of Contents FROM THE EDITORS Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant Each to Each by Seanan McGuire A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall Canth by K.C. Norton REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky Like Daughter by Tananarive Due Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo Salvage by Carrie Vaughn A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker #TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen Emoticon by Anaid Perez The Mouths by Ellen Denham M1A by Kim Winternheimer Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner Artists Spotlight by Galen Dara Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy Women Remember by Mary Robinette Kowal Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser Screaming Together: Making Women’s Voices Heard by Nisi Shawl PERSONAL ESSAYS — edited by Wendy N. Wagner We are the Fifty Percent by Rachel Swirsky Science Fiction: You’re Doin’ It Wrong by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff Join Us in the Future Marissa Lingen Are We There Yet? by Sheila Finch Not a Spaceship, Robot, or Zombie in Sight by Anne Charnock Writing Among the Beginning of Women by Amy Sterling Casil Toward a Better Future by Nancy Jane Moore We Are the Army of Women Destroying SF by Sandra Wickham Read SF and You’ve Got a Posse by Gail Marsella Stomp All Over That by O. J. Cade For the Trailblazers by Kristi Charish Women are the Future of Science Fiction by Juliette Wade We Have Always Fought by Kameron Hurley Writing Stories, Wrinkling Time by Kat Howard Where Are My SF Books? by DeAnna Knippling Reading the Library Alphabetically by Liz Argall Stepping Through a Portal by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam The Wendybird by Stina Leicht I Wanted to be the First Woman on the Moon by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley Never Think of Yourself as Less by Helena Bell An ABC of Kickass by Jude Griffin Stocking Stuffers by Anaea Lay Breaching the Gap by Brooke Bolander Women Who Are More Than Strong by Georgina Kamsika A Science-Fictional Woman by Cheryl Morgan Your Future is Out of Date, Pat Murphy Stray Outside the Lines by E. Catherine Tobler My Love Can Destroy by Seanan McGuire AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS — edited by Jude Griffin Seanan McGuire Kris Millering Heather Clitheroe N.K. Jemisin Rhonda Eikamp Tananarive Due Gabriella Stalker Charlie Jane Anders Maria Dahvana Headley Amal El-Mohtar Elizabeth Porter Birdsall K.C. Norton Eleanor Arnason Maria Romasco Moore Maureen McHugh

30 review for Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sunil

    The Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of Lightspeed is so huge and so momentous it deserves to be reviewed as an anthology of sorts. A reaction to the notion that women are "destroying" SF merely by writing it and/or asking to be included in it, it was put together entirely by 109 women, who wrote, edited, proofed, drew, podcast, and whatever else you do to make something like this happen. The goodness starts with the editorials, as the editor of each section gives her reasons for want The Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of Lightspeed is so huge and so momentous it deserves to be reviewed as an anthology of sorts. A reaction to the notion that women are "destroying" SF merely by writing it and/or asking to be included in it, it was put together entirely by 109 women, who wrote, edited, proofed, drew, podcast, and whatever else you do to make something like this happen. The goodness starts with the editorials, as the editor of each section gives her reasons for wanting to destroy science fiction as well as some insight into her particular section (short stories, reprints, flash, etc). It's a good way to frame the project and understand why it exists and how it came to be. Christie Yant selected eleven short stories, and every single one of them is good. There's not a dud in the bunch, not one that left me cold. They represent a wide variety of tones and subjects, from genetically engineered mermaids to ROBOT SHERLOCK HOLMES, from an exploration of PTSD to a delightful discussion of burglary etiquette. While it's hard to pick favorites, I must give special mention to Amal El-Mohtar's "The Lonely Sea in the Sky," which has the most creative structure of the bunch, told through a mix of poetic, unhinged narration and primary documents. Each story is strong in its own way; it's a great mix. Rachel Swirsky chose five reprints, and they weren't to my tastes in the way the original stories were. While I did like aspects of them, they're more heady and overtly feminist (which is not a bad thing in an issue like this), and, whether it was intentional or not, they cover a lot of the same thematic ground regarding weird bodies and motherhood. On the one hand, kind of neat to see different takes, and on the other hand, not as eclectic in subject. Tananarive Due's "Like Daughter" was my favorite of the bunch, the most successful; the others had me scratching my head a lot of the time. They're pretty out there. Robyn Lupo selected fifteen flash pieces, and they're a mixed bag, which is fine because that's the good thing about flash: if you're not into it, it's over soon and you can try the next one. I was surprised to see three second-person stories (two in a row!); I love second-person but I know that's an unpopular opinion. Like the short stories, there's a good mix of serious and funny, and the subjects span everything from a Twitter tale of a superhero fight to a time travel examination of grief. My favorite piece was Samantha Murray's "Everything That Has Already Been Said," about a robot (or somesuch creature) built to speak only new things based on the titular everything that has already been said. It's a clever conceit that builds to a wrenching ending. Jude Griffin was in charge of author spotlights, and I wish I could read these for every story, as it was fascinating to get insight into the genesis of each story and what the author was trying to say with it, as well as learn more about them. Wendy Wagner edited the nonfiction section, one of the strongest sections in the issue. Unfortunately, my Kindle version doesn't have the beautiful full-color artwork, but, as with the author spotlights, each artist was able to talk about her process and her work, although, not being an artist, it was hard for me to really appreciate much of what they said. The nonfiction text section comprises a discussion, a very nice interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose comics I really need to get around to reading, and some pieces about the history of women in SF (some of which seem to be more like personal essays, so I wasn't quite clear what the distinction was). Finally, a couple dozen personal essays, which were great to read. It was lovely to hear the stories of how these women fell in love with SF (A Wrinkle in Time comes up frequently, as does Earthsea) and what they wish for the future. It's a very positive collection of essays, celebrating what women have done, are doing, and will do. Kameron Hurley's excellent, Hugo-nominated "We Have Always Fought" is also included, and it's an eye-opening, thought-provoking read. Finally, I loved everyone's bios! They all had such personality, not simply biographical information and publishing history. I felt like they were bonus material. Women Destroy Science Fiction! is a fantastic collection of fiction and nonfiction, a testament to the truth of the matter: women don't destroy science fiction, they build it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    Military mermaids. Who else but Seanan McGuire could make that even remotely believable...and actually pull it off?

  3. 5 out of 5

    MrsJoseph *grouchy*

    PLEASE NOTE: This review is much too long for the minscule space provided. Please see all reviews here: http://bookslifewine.com/reviews/seri... Rating for the entire Anthology: 3.8 stars Rounded up to 4 Stars! 16-Nov-2017: Added the rest Each to Each by Seanan McGuire – narrated by Cassandra Campbell 5 Stars! http://bookslifewine.com/ar-women-des... Each to Each was such a wonderful experience. I have to say that I'm an audiobook novice but I'm starting to really understand how the narrator can m PLEASE NOTE: This review is much too long for the minscule space provided. Please see all reviews here: http://bookslifewine.com/reviews/seri... Rating for the entire Anthology: 3.8 stars Rounded up to 4 Stars! 16-Nov-2017: Added the rest Each to Each by Seanan McGuire – narrated by Cassandra Campbell 5 Stars! http://bookslifewine.com/ar-women-des... Each to Each was such a wonderful experience. I have to say that I'm an audiobook novice but I'm starting to really understand how the narrator can make or break a story. And Cassandra Campbell really helped make this story. Each to Each is the story of the "military mermaids:" female soldiers put through a mixture of surgery and genetic manipulation in order to adapt their bodies to underwater exploration. These women are - as far as public relations are concerned - beautiful mermaids in the employ of the US Government. Men dream of having sex with these graceful, sensual, fanciful mermaids - not realizing how truly different and alien the women have become. Ignoring the fact that the women they are fantasizing about are soldiers trained to fight and kill. They’d flense themselves bloody on the shark-skins of the blues, they’d sting themselves into oblivion on the spines of the lionfish and the trailing jellied arms of the moonies and the men-o’-war, but still they talk, and still they see us as fantasies given flesh, and not as the military women that we are. Perhaps that, too, is a part of the Navy’s design. How easy is it to fear something that you’ve been seeing in cartoons and coloring books since you were born? Environments change people. They change them in both small, often unnoticed ways and they change them in large obvious ways. Which makes me think: how did the government expect to understand and control something they have no experience with - something that lives in a way they could never understand without first living it, too? And the reality is that the government has no real clue as to what they are doing - except that they want to make sure the women always look like women. That the Military Mermaids are beautiful and sexily feminine to the [male] eye. The American mods focus too much on form and not enough on functionality. Our lionfish, eels, even our jellies still look like women before they look like marine creatures. Some sailors say—although there’s been no proof yet, and that’s the mantra of the news outlets, who don’t want to criticize the program more than they have to, don’t want to risk losing access to the stream of beautifully staged official photos and the weekly reports on the amazing scientific advancements coming out of what we do here—some sailors say that they chose streamlined mods, beautiful, sleek creatures that would cut through the water like knives, minimal drag, minimal reminders of their mammalian origins, and yet somehow came out of the treatment tanks with breasts that ached like it was puberty all over again. Ached and then grew bigger, ascending a cup size or even two, making a more marketable silhouette. When I first started reading Each to Each, I felt the narration was...dry. Disinterested. Disengaged. But as the story continued, I felt that Cassandra Campbell's dry way of speaking/narrating matched the irony of the story and the sarcasm of the unnamed narrator's thoughts. Goodness. There was just so much goodness to this tale. The social commentary felt oh, so real. So probable. I could see this happening...and to me that is what makes the best SciFi: when the reader thinks to themselves "OMG. I can see this happening!" It's the reason why The Handmaid's Tale is still being read even though the content is so dire that "it makes the soul scream." I was so entranced by Each to Each that when the next story abruptly started I felt...uncomfortable. Unhappy with this new thing trying to keep me from pondering the story I'd just finished. I wanted to sit and bask awhile in the glory of the work...and then think awhile on how I felt about it. I can admit I had book hangover for at least 24 hours. Then I moved on, lol. Each to Each was a fantastic opening to Women Destroy Science Fiction! and makes me so excited about the rest of the anthology. A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir) 4.5 Stars!! http://bookslifewine.com/ar-women-des... A Word Shaped Like Bones is oh so creepy! And let me just say that the narrator hit this one right out of the park! The emotion Gabrielle de Cuir put into her narration... my God! It was kinda explosive. And disgusting. And heart-wrenching. A Word Shaped Like Bones is the story of Maureen. Maureen - a sculptor who feels unappreciated as an artist (she "sells" instead of receiving critical acclaim) - is on teeny, tiny single room spaceship (14x20x16) in route to a planet named Hippocrene. Once she arrives at Hippocrene she will deliver wonderful sculptures she created to the Hippocrenes and then...depart? Unfortunately for Maureen, there is a dead man in the spaceship with her. O_O The dead man sits in the corner of the chamber enclosed by spaceship on all sides. He takes up a lot of space. He has been there for three days. Maureen fears the dead man. Not because of anything he has done. Because he is there, and she cannot make him go, no matter how much she rubs her eyes. He is lumpy, the dead man. He puts off a faint odor of putrescence. His head lolls to the side and his eyes are open and his skin is a ghastly color now, mottled. He was a big man, before he was dead. Maureen cannot sleep for watching him. Maureen cannot make him go away. Throughout Maureen's travels to Hippocrene, she has to deal with the dead man. She has to deal with the dead man decomposing in the 14x20x16 room with her. The entire time. Gabrielle de Cuir made me feel like I was in that room too. I was commuting to work while reading this - and almost the entire way my face was basically frozen into a grimace of disgust. I found myself desperately gripping the steering wheel as Maureen lost gravity in her little ship...making the dead man float about. As the dead man's body decomposed, leaving brown slimy stuff all over the tiny room. As the liquid from the dead man's body started to cause the ship to break down. Maureen has fed most of the dead man’s body into the recycler. The foul liquid is almost gone; when it leaked from the coveralls, things got very bad. At least the recycler, unlike almost everything else on the ship, is holding up. The air scrubbers were another story. The liquid that had once been the dead man’s body made them stop working for a little while. Maureen curled up in her little cubby of a bunk and pulled the blanket over her head and begged for the horror to stop. Then she got up and followed the spaceship’s insistent instructions about how to clear the filters she could reach. It appears to have worked. The scrubbers are working again. As time passed and the decomposing went on, eventually, there was nothing left of the dead man but his bones. Maureen decides to turn all of the dead man's bones into sculptures. Beautiful sculptures that will represent the human soul... And in order to keep from spoiling the story, I have to stop here. I must say, the ending of A Word Shaped Like Bones shocked me. I wasn't expecting or prepared for that ending. And when I go TO that ending...it made me rethink the entire story. The ending actually transformed the story - for me - from something creepy and horrific to something horrific and heartbreaking. Honestly, A Word Shaped Like Bones is a great story and I am enjoying the dang anthology something fierce. Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin (Narrated by Bahni Turpin) 4.5 stars http://bookslifewine.com/women-destro... Wooooooow! Seriously. WOW. I own quite a few books written by N.K. Jemisin - and I've not read a single one. Why? Because I am strange that way, that's why. I buy books and I dance around like an ant with anticipation...but once I GET the book...six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. But I've always been aware that Ms Jemisin is a powerhouse. And damn it if she didn't kill this one! Art © 2014 Hillary Pearlman Walking Awake is a mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy - most of the plot hinges on Science Fiction but there are some pretty large components I would say are closer to Fantasy. Walking Awake follows Sadie and Enri. Sadie is a 40 year old woman who is a "care giver" in a children's facility and Enri is a 14 y/o boy whom she loves. Sadie and Enri and the rest of the planet are under the control of the "masters" - parasitic crab-like creatures who rule humans. The "masters" live mostly inside human bodies that they control - wiping out the human's conscience/personality, etc. The children's facility that Sadie works/lives at is closer to a holding facility: they keep groups of children - cataloged by physical attributes - that the masters then come and take over whenever they want (called a "transfer" - the "masters" transfer to a new human body). Walking Awake was soooo good. I was crying before it was even really 1/2 complete: when the "masters" come to take Enri for "transfer" and Sadie has to deal with giving away a child that she has basically raised to be destroyed. Man. I was driving to work while reading that and it gutted me. Tears are never good at work, by the way. Neither is the associated snotty nose. O_O I would say that Walking Awake is pretty complete - both story wise and emotionally. With a single small exception at the end, I felt that every question I had was answered. Every single one. Even when the answer made me shudder and itch. O_O I wasn't a huge fan of Bahni Turpin's narration - I felt Sadie's voice sounded a little too young and soft to have mothered and lost so many children (I *think* the story says she'd supervised hundreds of "transfers"). Outside of Sadie's voice, I felt that the remaining narration was nice. The narration of a "10 female" speaking after transfer made my skin crawl a little. I really enjoyed Walking Awake and I wish I could discuss it in more detail - but part of what made this so powerful for me was the revealing of world Ms Jemisin created. The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar (Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir) - 4 stars http://bookslifewine.com/wdsf-ar-the-... The Lonely Sea in the Sky is...different but enjoyable. The story is narrated by multiple narrators with Gabrielle de Cuir providing the voice for the main character. I have to say, Gabrielle de Cuir is fast becoming my favorite narrator - the pure emotion is outstanding. Especially when she voices mentally and/or emotionally unstable characters. The Lonely Sea in the Sky is written in an unusual format: it's written as [medically required] diary entries by the main character interspersed with news articles and incident reports. The diary entries and incident reports give the reader the main plot and set up of the story while the news articles allow the reader to understand the import of the diary entries and incident reports. The MC of The Lonely Sea in the Sky is a scientist who specializes in research and development of a diamond-like crystal structure discovered on Neptune. The "diamonds" are in liquid form on Neptune due to Neptune's heat and pressure, forming a "diamond sea" but when removed from that atmosphere they harden into the Earth-like diamond. Research on the "diamonds" and their nature created an "instant" transportation system. The "diamonds" are somehow naturally "synced" with those on Neptune and when heated to their liquid form instantaneously disappear to reappear on Neptune. Further research allowed scientists to re-format the "diamonds" to have them reappear to the closest large mass of "diamonds" on Earth - creating the instantaneous transportation system. There is a side effect - the diamonds seem to infect those who are in close contact with them for too long (Misner's Syndrome). It makes the infected person perpetually cold and obsessed with the "diamonds." Our MC is such a person. After being infected with Misner's Syndrome the MC is removed from her research and placed in a location that is supposed to help cure or improve the infected. She is required to keep diary entries in which she discusses at great length the diamonds and being infected with Misner's Syndrome. The Lonely Sea in the Sky is strange but amazing at the same time. It's a quiet mystery wrapped in a puzzle - close attention is needed to figure out the final mystery (which I found pretty cool). There's not too much more I can say without destroying the mystery but suffice to say I enjoyed it! Original Fiction Each to Each by Seanan McGuire – narrated by Cassandra Campbell (review above) A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir (review above) Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe – narrated by Grover Gardner Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin – narrated by Bahni Turpin (review below) The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp – narrated by Jonathan L. Howard In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker– narrated by John Allen Nelson The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders – narrated by Cassandra Campbell Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley – narrated by Stefan Rudnicki (review above) The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir with Cassandra Campbell, Cassandra de Cuir, John Allen Nelson, Stefan Rudnicki, and Molly Underwood (review below) A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall – narrated by Judy Young Canth by K.C. Norton – narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky Like Daughter by Tananarive Due (narrated by Jamye Méri Grant) - 4 stars http://bookslifewine.com/wdsf-ar-like... Trigger Warning: There is discussion of child molestation in the story and in this review. Like Daughter gutted me. It was unsettling and sad and just chock full of emotional WTF that I was in a bit of shock while reading. The MC of Like Daughter is Paige. Paige is Denise's (Neecy) best friend and the story starts when Paige receives a urgent call from Neecy telling her that [Neecy's] life was falling apart and begs that Paige come and take her daughter as she can't care for her any longer. Neecy's husband has left her. As Paige gets herself together to go visit her friend (and possibly collect her goddaughter) she begins to reminisce about growing up with Neecy. As children they were as close as sisters - spending every moment they could together. As they got older, life snatched away most of Neecy's childhood while Paige had to stand by and watch as her friend was abused in almost every way. Paige's very own childhood heartbreak. “Paige, promise me you’ll look out for Neecy, hear?” Mama used to tell me. I couldn’t have known then what a burden that would be, having to watch over someone. But I took my role seriously. Mama said Neecy needed me, so I was going to be her guardian. Just a tiny little bit, I couldn’t completely be a kid after that. Mama never said exactly why my new best friend at Mae Jemison Elementary School needed guarding, but she didn’t have to. I had my own eyes. Even when Neecy didn’t say anything, I noticed the bruises on her forearms and calves... Her mother was neglectful and her father beat her. What was worse - to me - was the sexual abuse that Neecy had to deal with and the fact that her parents didn't give a damn. And it seems that no one else did, either. I knew things Mama didn’t know, in fact. When Neecy and I were nine, we already had secrets that made us feel much older; and not in the way that most kids want to feel older, but in the uninvited way that only made us want to sit by ourselves in the playground watching the other children play, since we were no longer quite in touch with our spirit of running and jumping. The biggest secret, the worst, was about Neecy’s Uncle Lonnie, who was twenty-two, and what he had forced Neecy to do with him all summer during the times her parents weren’t home. Neecy finally had to see a doctor because the itching got so bad. She’d been bleeding from itching between her legs, she’d confided to me. This secret filled me with such horror that I later developed a dread of my own period because I associated the blood with Neecy’s itching. Even though the doctor asked Neecy all sorts of questions about how she could have such a condition, which had a name Neecy never uttered out loud, Neecy’s mother never asked at all. Reading that, my entire body broke out in goosebumps. HOW could anyone let a child go through this and say NOTHING??? I'm speaking of Paige's parents and her doctor. How could no one STOP this?? I was so damn unsettled I didn't know what to do. What's worse is that I know this isn't just a "make believe" incident that has no basis in reality. It's something that occurs every.single.day and it breaks my heart. As we all know by now, children who are neglected and abused do not do well in school. We also know that children (both boys and girls) have a tendency towards promiscuity if they were habitually sexually abused since they become programmed to see their self-worth attached to sex. Reviews Continued in Comments Section

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Some beautiful imagery of these modified Navy women doing their jobs underwater. At the same time, I felt anger in the narrator's voice, anger at the architects, so to speak, of the mods, and at the restrictions of the women's lives. Some intriguing ideas in this short about a possible future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    Steampunk Holmes! Gearlock Holmes is an "amalgamated person," what we in less enlightened times than Holmes' might call a robot, or a droid. He's been retired to the countryside for some time now, raising bees, but when a crisis arises, he sends for his old friend, Dr. Watson. The crisis is that his housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson--also an amalgamated person--has been taken into custody for the murder of one of Holmes' guests. It's a neat little mystery, and both the characteristics and the legal standing Steampunk Holmes! Gearlock Holmes is an "amalgamated person," what we in less enlightened times than Holmes' might call a robot, or a droid. He's been retired to the countryside for some time now, raising bees, but when a crisis arises, he sends for his old friend, Dr. Watson. The crisis is that his housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson--also an amalgamated person--has been taken into custody for the murder of one of Holmes' guests. It's a neat little mystery, and both the characteristics and the legal standing of amalgamated persons are crucial to how the story plays out. Recommended for a quick, fun read. Merged review: We begin with a submarine officer complaining about "standard issue" boots that don't fit properly, and only gradually do we understand why they don't fit properly. She no longer has standard issue feet. She also has gills in addition to lungs. Submarine duty has become exclusively female duty in the US Navy, and apparently other major navies, too. And the women, most of them, are being transformed into mermaids. No one makes the leap in one transition. It's gradual, repeated returns to the land for more modifications, as the women adapt more and more fully to their new lives as sea creatures. There are also different types of modifications, some shark-based, some jellyfish based, etc. They can do things their landbound fellow sailors can't do, yet the more fully they transform, the better suited they become to their roles, the more completely they are shut out of return to the land or any upward mobility in the Navy. They aren't even comfortable out of the water. What reason do they have to return to their subs? This is a brief and fascinating look at one woman's personal progress and shift in perspective. It grabbed me and held on tight, and I think it's well worth your time. Recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I loved it. The writing was lyrical and wry simultaneously. There is a quiet dawning horror to the whole situation. I almost gave it 5 stars but I needed just a little more emotional payoff from the ending. The Goodreads' blurb says "flash fiction" but it's a good 10 pages and located in the "short story" section of Lightspeed June 2014. This story has both feet solidly in science fiction, but if you like fantasy, too, I'd recommend another of her short works, The Isthmus Variation, available to I loved it. The writing was lyrical and wry simultaneously. There is a quiet dawning horror to the whole situation. I almost gave it 5 stars but I needed just a little more emotional payoff from the ending. The Goodreads' blurb says "flash fiction" but it's a good 10 pages and located in the "short story" section of Lightspeed June 2014. This story has both feet solidly in science fiction, but if you like fantasy, too, I'd recommend another of her short works, The Isthmus Variation, available to read here. Merged review: Didn't really stand out, but it was an interesting space slice-of-life. (Longish) "Flash fiction" from Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue. Merged review: Nice use of time travel but denouement was confusing. From Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue. Merged review: This special issue of Lightspeed Magazine is packed with content! The response to the initial Kickstarter project was evidently over the top. (Full disclosure: I was one of the 2,801 backers). Great news for those of us who want to hear more from marginalized voices! I'm working my way through the final essay section now, but wanted to post this so people know about it and can see my fiction reviews. I thought the overall story strength was amazing, and although they aren't all 5 stars, I'm giving the collection 5 stars because of the concept, the relevance, the production value, and the surprisingly consistent story quality. I've rated each story/essay individually for my own reference and to draw attention to particular highlights. So without further ado... Editorial, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! - 5 stars. Brief, witty, informative intros from the 5 main editors. Did I mention brief? They say what they gotta say, and then make way for the stories. ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant Each to Each by Seanan McGuire - 4 stars. I've never read Ms. McGuire before, and I didn't really connect with her writing here. But the story was eery, and the political statements spot on. A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering - 4 stars. I loved it. The writing was lyrical and wry simultaneously. The ending, although appropriate, let me down just a little, enough to keep it from 5 stars. Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe - 5 stars. Wow, what a thoroughly immersive experience that was. The story was accessible, disturbing, emotionally resonant, and seemed to up the ante with each new stray thought. Well done! Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin - 4 stars. Great writing, fascinating hypothetical, some very disturbing images, and a poignant social commentary. My only complaint was that the plot resolution involved fantasy elements, which I find off-putting in stories with a scientific premise. Or if it was supposed to be science it was not explained to me how it would work. The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp - 5 stars. This one surprised me by being four stars until the end, when it jumped to five. I'm not necessarily a big fan of Holmes-style mysteries, but the interpretation here was a delightful treat, and the tribute was done with finesse and flavor: my favorite was the pocketwatch affectation. The story presented not only a clever idea but a wonderfully philosophical rumination. In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker - 4 stars. This was a lot of fun; I loved the social commentary with a very believable future/alternate timeline. Also points for an apparently white author addressing race relations and countering racist stereotypes. I wished the story had explored the Wendell/Trenton relationship a bit deeper, but the relationships in general seemed very realistic. The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders - 4 stars. This is the kind of story we are missing with male-dominated science fiction. It is the story of best girlfriends and how technology can affect relationships. I'm not saying a man couldn't write this (or maybe I am), but male-dominated sci-fi seems to resist this type of story. And yet it's a wonderful story, filled with emotion and banter, and backed by fascinating science and speculation. It was clear to me after reading it what a gaping hole there has been in sci-fi historically. Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley - 3 stars. Wow, I'm not sure what I just read. Some sort of radioactive culinary experience. This one reads like a cross between a Douglas Adams' space spoof and a hard-boiled detective narration. I admit, it was hilarious in spots, but it made my head hurt. The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar - 4 stars. Haunting, clever, fun. More diamond songs! A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall - 4 stars. A playful high society tale, set on a colony with different, um, expectations for their rising youth. The world intrigued me, and I'd be interested in reading more stories with this premise. Canth by K.C. Norton - 4 stars. Earnest and romantic, in the sense of high ideals. Something of an adventure on high seas (which takes us full circle from the first story in this collection). This was another one that I thought strayed into fantasy territory (one person's sci-fi is another person's fantasy, and all that...) They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain by Rachael Acks - 5 stars. This story is a bonus for the Limited Edition Issue and is actually at the very end of the book. But I didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle because it was such a strong story. This is a poignant exploration of military ethics and future tech possibilities, with a very unique idea for a new kind of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Haunting. REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky Like Daughter by Tananarive Due - 4 stars - A spooky, philosophical tale rich in character development. A little confusing because it is presented in a mysterious, keep-you-guessing format, but the ramifications of the situation reverberate long after the story concludes. From Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, 2000. The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore - 5 stars. This one had touches of Never Let Me Go and Oryx and Crake, addressing technology in a way I find disturbing: making the familiar alien, and the alien familiar. This is what sci-fi is all about. The message was poignant, beautiful and sad, brilliantly expressed. From Unstuck Vol. 2, 2012. Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon) - 5 stars. Haunting (horrifying?), intriguing, and playful; this story is told from an alien point of view as it poses some Big Questions about life. I was originally going to give it 4 stars because I found it a bit depressing, but the question(s) it is asking are profound, and I have found it hard to stop thinking about it. The alien perspective is a learning curve and you'll probably have to read it twice before a lot of it will click. Nebula Award Winner, 1973. Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason - 5 stars. This was a whimsical little story with some interesting twists on sex/gender and what it means to be an individual. Having read Ancillary Justice recently, it was nice to dive back into this frame of mind. I found it curious that the author is introducing ideas to challenge our gender notions and yet also reassert them (men have weapons, women have babies). Of course, since they are using a different species to make the analogy, one can't say for sure what is stereotype and what is not, but it would be nice to see more fluidity in gender roles. Also, I don't consider ghosts to be science fiction, but maybe that's just me. From Asimov's Science Fiction, 2002. The Cost To Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) - 5 stars. Trigger warning for content: (view spoiler)[there is some violence described, and rape and torture is implied but not witnessed (hide spoiler)] The first thing I thought of was the Prime Directive gone horribly wrong. But really, this is about two very different cultures, and how they communicate, and the vast region of misunderstanding that sits amidst their communication. It is disturbing to imagine the parallels of communication between the Native Americans and the European settlers of "America". The narration is dry and matter-of-fact, but you come to realize this is an artifact of the narrator and how she moves through the world. The bits of conversation she overhears show that McHugh is actually a master of different flavors of expression and is doing things very purposefully here. An important work, and it can stand on its own but I am oh so glad it was extended to book length, in Mission Child, which I will be reading forthwith. From Starlight 1, 1996. ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo I noticed that I had problems with the endings on a lot of these flash fiction pieces, which was a shame because they were all very strong. The short story format already causes a certain emphasis on a strong ending; I think short short stories might exacerbate that. Salvage by Carrie Vaughn - 3 stars. Interesting space slice-of-life. A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox - 4 stars. Nice use of time travel but denouement was confusing. See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly - 4 stars. Nice concept, humorously executed. A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter - 5 stars. Creepy as sh*t. The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker - 4 stars. Nice epilogue to Niffenegger's novel. #TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline - 5 stars. Hilariously realistic. Momentarily convinced me superheroes are sci-fi. The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen - 4 stars. Eerie and haunting, the ravages of war. Couldn't quite figure out the ending, though. Emoticon by Anaid Perez - 4 stars. Short and expressive. The Mouths by Ellen Denham - 4 stars. This was a disturbing one, with a great alien concept, but the closing paragraph wasn't as strong as I expected. M1A by Kim Winternheimer - 4 stars. Another disturbing one with a confusing ending. Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield - 4 stars. I liked the concept, and the characterization. Again, the ending missed just slightly, not sure why the irony had such a small impact on me. Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble - 4 stars. Interesting ruminations on immortality. Where have the 5 star endings gone? Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg - 5 stars. There it is! This one even made me cry. Well done. Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray - 5 stars. Another winner. When is a cliche not a cliche? Trick question. The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton - 4 stars. I loved the story problem interaction with the children, wasn't quite sure what was being implied by the ending, though. AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS - edited by Jude Griffin I am just assigning a blanket 3 stars to this section. I'm not big on author interviews in general, unless they are authors I have read for a while, or they are covering fun or meaty topics. Many of these authors are new to the scene (or new to me, which is my fault), and I didn't see enough "how can we destroy science fiction?" questions to get the ideas flowing. I admit it was interesting to get some more perspective on some of the stories, and to hear about future projects for authors I enjoyed (which was most), although a lot of these projects are still not available as to-read items on Goodreads a year later. I will give extra nods to Seanan McGuire, N.K. Jemisin, Rhonda Eikamp, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Maureen F. McHugh who all managed to insert some poignant social commentary into their interviews. NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner Artists Spotlight by Galen Dara - 4 stars. I am here for the writing, so a spotlight on the creative folks that did the artwork for this issue didn't capture my interest right away. But it was a very short interlude, and gave tribute to some unsung heroes, which is what this whole concept is about, so I'll give it 4 stars. Plus, there is a bunch of artwork in this section, which was cool to look at all in one place. (*My only caveat is that a black-and-white e-reader is obviously not the way to view these full color illustrations!) Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy - 5 stars Educational with her spot-on message, this was a great beginning to the essay section. I have a slight quibble with her assertion that sci-fi is able to change our hidden assumptions because "people generally don't take it seriously". Rather, I believe it is its underground status that allows sci-fi writers to try things that aren't as welcomed in other genres; so sci-fi can act as a kind of proving ground for social change, before mass adoption (kind of like California). The fact that she is even making me think about this is testament to a great essay. Women Remember by Mary Robinette Kowal - This is kind of a roundtable discussion of 4 powerhouse authors who have seen the sci-fi field change through the years: Ursula K. Le Guin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, and Nancy Kress. I didn't think any life-altering revelations were made, but it was great to hear the experiences of these authors and what they feel has changed during their careers. (Also, I am chagrined to see I have only read two of the four authors. I need to remedy this!) Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser

  7. 4 out of 5

    mad mags

    If the apocalypse comes, beep me. This special double issue of Lightspeed magazine is easily one of my all-time favorite science fiction collections – and not just because it was written, edited, and illustrated (etc.) entirely by women (109 women, to be precise, not counting the one thousand ladies+ who submitted stories!). The writing isn’t merely solid, but oftentimes downright spectacular – and at just $3.99, it’s practically a steal. Many of the short stories are worth the purchase price by t If the apocalypse comes, beep me. This special double issue of Lightspeed magazine is easily one of my all-time favorite science fiction collections – and not just because it was written, edited, and illustrated (etc.) entirely by women (109 women, to be precise, not counting the one thousand ladies+ who submitted stories!). The writing isn’t merely solid, but oftentimes downright spectacular – and at just $3.99, it’s practically a steal. Many of the short stories are worth the purchase price by their very lonesomes. Off the top of my head, there’s “Like Daughter,” by Tananarive Due (a woman gives birth to a clone of herself in order to right the many wrongs done to her in childhood); Maria Romasco Moore’s “The Great Loneliness” (a post-apocalyptic world populated by painfully lonely human-animal-plant hybrids); and Alice Sheldon’s “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death” (in which two spiders fall in love, the captor becoming the prey, the son the absent father). Eleanor Arnason’s “Knapsack Poems: A Goxhat Travel Journal” introduces a complicated and exciting vision of sexuality and gender in multiple bodied beings (the titular Goxhats). While these are reprints, there’s quite a bit of original fiction to savor as well. Seanan McGuire’s “Each to Each” is a true gem (a mermaid Navy!) – it’s one I can see myself returning to time and again in the future – as are “The Case of the Passionless Bees” (a scifi reimagining of Sherlock Holmes by Rhonda Eikamp) and K.C. Norton’s “Canth” (a perpetual motion submarine powered by the heart of the Captain’s mother seemingly runs away from its owner/daughter). And Amal El-Mohtar’s “The Lonely Sea in the Sky” is heartbreakingly beautiful. Diamonds from the planet Triton “blink” towards one another – a talent humans rapidly learn to exploit for teleportation, spawning the rise of Meisner Syndrome and the Melee Liberation Front (“Friends of Lucy”). Though I’m not as much as fan of flash fiction, a number of these stories managed to grab my imagination and pull on ye old heartstrings. “The Hymn of the Ordeal” (“How else do you see the stars, but to join the war?”); “The Sewell Home” (an old folk’s home for “timeslingers”); and “Ro-Sham-Bot” (about a faulty chore bot endowed with a “pesky” personality) are all worth a read or two or three. Along with the reprints, original short stories, and flash fiction, there’s also an excerpt from Jane Lindskold’s recently published novel, Artemis Awakening (which I skipped seeing as the ARC is in my to-read pile), as well as author spotlights, nonfiction (including artist galleries and a roundtable talk with Ursula K. Le Guin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow, and Nancy Kress), and a plethora of personal essays, written for the project’s Kickstarter fundraiser. It wasn’t my plan to read the nonfiction – I’m just not into NF as of late – but much to my surprise, I plowed through it all. The personal essays are a little more hit or miss than the short stories, but overall I was engaged, excited, nodding my head in vociferous agreement. I jumped at this collection the second I saw Maureen McHugh’s name in the blurb. I’m 99.9% sure that I’ve read everything she’s published – usually in multiple formats – but I can always wish for more, right? As it turns out, hers is a reprint of “The Cost to Be Wise” (which went on to become the opening chapters of Mission Child , a book I cannot recommend highly enough), leaving me bummed but not surprised. (I still read it anyway, for the cagillionth time!) I was however both shocked and delighted to find an interview of McHugh (by Jude Griffin) in the Author Spotlight section – and she hopes to start a new novel soon. (Yay!) So it wasn’t a total wash on the McHugh front. 5/5 stars. Most of the stories found here are amazing and stand on their own. There are very few “duds” to be found, and even these fall in the 3- to 4-star range. (It’s relative, yo.) 490 pages of grade-A, woman-made science fiction for just $3.99 – what are you waiting for? You need this magazine! (No, I don’t work for Lightspeed. I’m just crazy excited about this project, okay! Destroy ALL the genres!) http://www.easyvegan.info/2014/07/09/...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kalin

    The rationale behind compiling this special issue of Lightspeed receives a telling summary in Pat Murphy's essay "Illusion, Expectation and World Domination through Bake Sales": When I wrote about Bob and his mom, I based the story on a classic puzzle: A boy and his father are in a car crash and the father is killed instantly. The boy is airlifted to the best hospital in the area and prepared for emergency surgery. The surgeon rushes into the operating room, sees the boy, and says, “I can’t opera The rationale behind compiling this special issue of Lightspeed receives a telling summary in Pat Murphy's essay "Illusion, Expectation and World Domination through Bake Sales": When I wrote about Bob and his mom, I based the story on a classic puzzle: A boy and his father are in a car crash and the father is killed instantly. The boy is airlifted to the best hospital in the area and prepared for emergency surgery. The surgeon rushes into the operating room, sees the boy, and says, “I can’t operate on this patient. He’s my son.” I first heard the tale of the reluctant surgeon thirty years ago. You would think that with the number of women doctors around, this story would no longer be a puzzle. Yet when Boston University researchers Mikaela Wapman and Deborah Belle posed it to students in 2012, only fourteen percent of the students realized that the surgeon was the mother. People came up with a variety of creative solutions: The surgeon was the boy’s gay, second father; the “father” in the car referred to a priest; the story was all a dream. But the notion that the surgeon was the boy’s mother eluded most of them. The pieces that appealed to me the most were: "#TrainFightTuesday" by Vanessa Torline "We Are the Fifty Percent" by Rachel Swirsky "We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative" by Kameron Hurley "Illusion, Expectation and World Domination through Bake Sales" by Pat Murphy "Screaming Together: Making Women's Voices Heard" by Nisi Shawl "Knapsack Poems: A Goxhat Travel Journal" by Eleanor Arnason "A Burlgary, Addressed by a Young Lady" by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    I really, really wanted to love this, but overall this special edition of Lightspeed is just OK. The best stories here are reprints: Tiptree's haunting "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death", Eleanor Arnason's charming take on Bashō, "Knapsack Poems" (although this strikes me more as fantasy than science fiction), and Maureen McHugh's novella "The Cost to Be Wise", which would eventually be expanded into her fine novel, 'Mission Child'. None of the new work is anywhere near as strong but the openi I really, really wanted to love this, but overall this special edition of Lightspeed is just OK. The best stories here are reprints: Tiptree's haunting "Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death", Eleanor Arnason's charming take on Bashō, "Knapsack Poems" (although this strikes me more as fantasy than science fiction), and Maureen McHugh's novella "The Cost to Be Wise", which would eventually be expanded into her fine novel, 'Mission Child'. None of the new work is anywhere near as strong but the opening story by Seanan McGuire, "Each to Each" is compelling (at least, after a few terribly clunky initial paragraphs) and I also found N.K Jemisin's "Walking Awake" a thoughtful piece. "Dim Sun" (Maria Dahvana Headley) is great fun, especially if you're a foodie like I am, "The Sisterhood of Ick" by Charlie Jane Anders felt a little manipulative but was still a pretty good read, and I enjoyed Rhonda Eikamp's "The Case of the Passionless Bees", an sfnal take on Sherlock Holmes, despite the fact that it contained no real mystery at all. But the other new pieces were less engaging and many felt rather tired and predictable, a judgment I found taking hold more deeply as I moved into the flash fiction and the many essays. Only Pat Murphy's passionate, articulate histories of the Tiptree award and Kameron Hurley's justly praised 'We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle, and Slaves Narrative' had much to offer beyond bland exhortations to keep on keeping on...or something. Again, none of this is bad (well...OK, a couple of pieces here are bad but I'm being nice and really they're just a tiny blip in a larger whole), but so much of it feels tired and over-done and kind of stale. Not very destructive or revolutionary. There are just so many damn good, really fresh and exciting female SF writers out there that I can't help but wonder why they're not present in this anthology. I know these things take time and commissioning work is a crap-shoot but where are the writers like Catherynne Valente, Aliette de Bodard, Yoon Ha Lee, L. Timmel Duchamp, Joan Slonczewski, Gwyneth Jones, Vandana Singh, Andrea Hairston and others? These are women who are not just "destroying" science fiction as we know it but rebuilding it in new and beautiful, previously unknown forms. I wish this volume had focused more on writers like these and less on the same old stuff written with different third-person pronouns.

  10. 5 out of 5

    MrsJoseph *grouchy*

    WON DER FUL

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yashima

    I only read the "fresh" stories or rather listened to them, maybe I'll get back to the older ones at some other time. Overall I enjoyed the stories. While I enjoyed a lot of these stories - some more than others - I find a distinct difference from the type of Science Fiction I most enjoy. I think I missed the original controversy that led to this special issue being published. I thought it was to showcase women that write SF. But to me this feels as if all these SF stories were written by someon I only read the "fresh" stories or rather listened to them, maybe I'll get back to the older ones at some other time. Overall I enjoyed the stories. While I enjoyed a lot of these stories - some more than others - I find a distinct difference from the type of Science Fiction I most enjoy. I think I missed the original controversy that led to this special issue being published. I thought it was to showcase women that write SF. But to me this feels as if all these SF stories were written by someone who would usually write fantasy but wanted to prove they could write SF. Or maybe I missed the point and this was not about women writing SF but rather about a different style of SF stories. The latter is certainly true with many of the stories having some kind of fantastical element or classical fantasy tropes turned to SF. Many read like SF/Fantasy cross-over stories. My favorite was "The Lonely Sea in the Sky" because it reads like an enormously long poem and had a more SF-feel than most of the stories. Here's a short comment on each of the stories I read/listened to: „Canth“ by K.C.Norton - why do so many female authors initial their names? Is it to hide their gender from prejudiced readers? Anyway this story is about a young woman searching her (submersible) ship after it „ran away“." „A Burglary, Addressed by a Young Lady“ - Elizabeth Porter Birdsall - somewhere there‘s a society where courtship rituals are way different from ours. A story on a friendship discovered on a roof." „The Lonely Sea in the Sky“ - by Amal El-Mohtar, the poesy of diamonds as they shape the life of a scientist involved with an artifact that changed life on Earth as we know it. Just what you expect from the title „Dim Sum“ by Maria Dahvana Headley. Cosmic food may not always be good for you especially if a vengeful ex-wife is involved. Foodies in space ... while I consider myself a foodie on Earth this one didn’t exactly click with me. „The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick“ by Charlie Jane Anders. Imagine dating if one could record a set of memories and give them to someone else. An unexpectedly wholesome read on relationships and friendships. „The Image of Man“ by Gabriella Stalker. „Why would the mall do anything to hurt us?“ Scary view into extreme consumerism and debt ... Wendell lives at the Mall with his family and takes on debt every week with his „teen funds“ ... that „teach responsibility and are good for the mall“ „The Case of the Passionless Bees“ by Rhonda Eikamp. „Of all the strange sights I had been privy to during my acquaintanceship with the illustrious detective...“ - read first sentence, groaned found out what happens when Sherlock Fanfic mashes with Steampunk AI. Why has this story not been written before. It should always have existed. <3 „Walking Awake“ by N.K. Jemisin. Parasites from outer space have taken over humanity as Masters. A story about the destructive tendencies of humanity and self-sacrifice for the greater good... I think? I didn‘t quite „grok“ this one. „Cuts both ways“ by Heather Clitheroe. Spencer is a „fore-caster“ by virtue of an advanced implant. Apparently, this makes him very special and also very sick. He can do a lot of good but when he fails he fails ... big. Technology also cuts both ways. "A word shaped like Bones" by Kris Millering. An artist in space and an unexpected dead man. This story managed to draw me in despite or because of the revulsion it evokes ... "Each to Each" by Seanan McGuire. A sci-fi story about mermaids, who'd have thought that would swim? Anyway I enjoyed listening to this exploration of a different frontier than space."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    I actually don’t read Lightspeed all that much, so it’s hard for me to evaluate this special edition in that context. All I can say is that this is packed full of good content. In addition to original stories there are reprints, some good flash fiction (one of which is my all-time favourite of the volume), non-fiction discussions and essays, and a novel excerpt. It’s good times. I didn’t like every, or maybe even most, of the original short stories. I’m starting to think that’s probably a good th I actually don’t read Lightspeed all that much, so it’s hard for me to evaluate this special edition in that context. All I can say is that this is packed full of good content. In addition to original stories there are reprints, some good flash fiction (one of which is my all-time favourite of the volume), non-fiction discussions and essays, and a novel excerpt. It’s good times. I didn’t like every, or maybe even most, of the original short stories. I’m starting to think that’s probably a good thing when reading a multi-author anthology. If I liked every story, then the anthology would only appeal to people with very similar tastes to mine. Rather, this indicates that the anthology might appeal to a broader audience, some of whom will have very different tastes from me and consequently like different work. Here’s a few highlights, according to my tastes. Rhonda Eikamp’s “The Case of the Passionless Bees” was a cool take on the Sherlock Holmes mythos that I had never seen before. She swiftly captures the delicious irony that Holmes, like many great detectives, is so good at his job because he is so close to that line (though in this case, because Holmes is a robot, there is an emotional twist to that line of reasoning). “In the Image of Man,” by Gabriella Stalker, posits an empty world in which we are reduced to arcologies within shopping centres, and suddenly any faith feels new and exciting. Charlie Jane Anders once again demonstrates her ability to use strange technology to explore the boundaries we create in our relationship with “The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick.” Imagine you could download memories of your girlfriend’s ex so you don’t have to waste time learning her likes and dislikes? Now imagine your best friend does this with your ex’s memories to get closer to you. Yeah. And “A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady,” by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall was just alt-Victoriana fun. I would love to read a novel set in a universe where upper class women have to burgle houses as part of their coming out into society. Of the reprints, I particularly enjoyed the first and last: “Like Daughter,” by Tananarive Due, and “The Cost to Be Wise,” by Maureen F. McHugh. Perhaps unusually, the flash fiction section was my favourite. I am not a big short story reader, and even less so flash fiction (though I suspect that’s more a matter of opportunity rather than preference). So I really appreciated being fed some as a kind of coffee break between the short fiction main course and the non-fiction dessert. I enjoyed pretty much every piece. Carrie Vaughn’s “Salvage,” is interesting because it belies the typical idea that overt conflict must drive a story. Stuff happens, but there is little conflict. It’s an almost entirely descriptive story driven by the protagonist’s narration. The only conflict is in the emotional fatigue of the protagonist. “The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced” is a nice little time travel piece from Sarah Pinsker. (I know Sarah from here on Goodreads, and she is good people. But I single it out because I have a soft spot for fun takes on time travel that resonate in an emotional way.) By far my favourite piece in the entire collection, however, is “#TrainFightTuesday“ by Vanessa Torline. As with many of the pieces in this collection, you can find it online—in this case, on Lightspeed’s website. Go read it—it’s flash, so it’s short. Enjoy. Plenty of authors embrace the new wave of epistolary writing that email, blogs, and now Twitter offer up. Torline is not the first, nor will she be the last, to experiment with storytelling in micro-blogging form. But she just does it so well. “#TrainFightTuesday” is a pitch-perfect recounting of a bystander’s observations of a superhero/supervillain showdown in a city where this is the norm. Torline manages to make this world utterly convincing in a short piece of fiction. I like the idea of postmodern superhero fiction, but so far, most of the postmodern superhero novels I’ve read don’t quite work. Maybe shorter fiction is the way to go. Anyway, I was laughing out loud through most of this piece. There is some good stuff in the non-fiction as well. I liked hearing some perspectives on how the field has changed from people like Ursula K. Le Guin and Nancy Kress in “Women Remember: A Roundtable Interview”. I think it’s important to remember that women have always been a part of science fiction. As exciting and excellent as it is to see so many new women authors receiving accolades and acclaim, we should also celebrate those whose voices stretch back into the decades. That’s where the personal essays come into the picture. They are short, poignant, and like the rest of the collection, diverse and uneven and of varying appeal. This is what makes them valuable, particularly to me, as a man. I love science fiction, but I am lucky enough that, as a result of the way I perform gender, I have never had my SF fan or geek credentials questioned. No one has ever barred me from science fiction and said I couldn’t read it or write it or attempted to circumscribe whether I could write it “soft” or “hard” (how I hate those designations now). So I can mansplain about misogyny and sexism and barriers all I want … but at the end of the day, it’s academic in the most visceral sense, because the truth is, I just don’t know. These essays, then, can help me understand, at least a little bit, what it’s like. Because it’s tempting—and the more privilege you have, the more tempting it becomes—to think that we have succeeded in equality for women, or for minorities, simply because authors who fall into those categories are more numerous and more visible. These stories make it clear that’s not the case. And while not every woman experiences discrimination in the same way or to the same extent, it’s there. And for those of us who identify as men, our duty is to listen to women when they tell us about that discrimination and believe them, instead of just shaking our heads and telling them to stop being so hormonal and worrying about nothing. Do we even need an all-woman special edition of a science-fiction magazine? The fact that some people are even asking the above question seriously in 2014 shows that we do. That Women Destroy Science Fiction! happens to be a wonderful exercise in giving women SF authors voice and space doesn’t necessarily make it good. (The wonderful stories it contains take care of that.) It’s possible to laud this effort for its aims even if one doesn’t enjoy many of the stories. Likewise, it’s possible to enjoy the stories herein even if one isn’t as convinced as I am about the wider sociopolitical issues that led to its existence. (And if that’s the case, I hope you read the non-fiction section with an open mind and allow yourself to listen to the wider discussion, of which this work is only a small part.) Really though, at the end of the day, we won’t truly be able to call ourselves equal and unbiased until we get a special edition of Lightspeed authored entirely by robots. We can call it Our Gracious Machine Overlords Destroy Science Fiction!. Robot rights: it’s the issue of 2015, people.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Richter

    This was hit and miss, but it might also mean some stories needed to be read in a different mood than the one I am currently in. So the ones that were " are we not evil to each other ?" I was not in the mood for. Still a worthy set of authors giving their unique view on the future.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    A little while back I was thinking that most of the scifi I've read recently is written by men, and a lot of it contains strains of mysogyny, often so subtle that it seems like the author may not have even realized it was there. This was triggered in particular on a review I saw on here of one of the things on my to read shelf saying it could have been a really interesting exploration of gender in an alien society but the author was unable to get past his own cultural stereotypes to truly imagin A little while back I was thinking that most of the scifi I've read recently is written by men, and a lot of it contains strains of mysogyny, often so subtle that it seems like the author may not have even realized it was there. This was triggered in particular on a review I saw on here of one of the things on my to read shelf saying it could have been a really interesting exploration of gender in an alien society but the author was unable to get past his own cultural stereotypes to truly imagine the culture he was trying to describe. And that's true of a lot of books, and even when the author is trying to be feminist it can come in the form of women making exactly the same arguments about how they're just as good at piloting spaceships, etc. as men, and the thought that women still have to make those same arguments in the 24th century is just so exhaustingly depressing. And a lot of the scifi written by women that I've read lately is of the Handmaid's Tale variety, which is also incredibly depressing. So I started looking for other sorts of science fiction written by women, and when this came out the next day I snatched it up. I don't generally read Lightspeed Magazine so I have no idea if this is a standard example of their usual quality, but this is a really excellent set of short stories. Not an excellent collection of short stories written by women, an excellent collection full stop. As in, better than many standalone anthologies I've read. As with any collection, some are better than others, but there weren't any clunkers and quite a few gems. I think my favorites were probably Dim Sun, which was sort of scifi magical realism, and A Burglary, Addressed by a Young Lady, a sort of Jane Austen-style story in which all polite young ladies are thieves (I want to see a full book expanding on that one), but there are many other good things in here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    A.K. Lindsay

    Instead of reviewing the issue as a whole, I would like to talk about the story which I consider the star of the issue: Vanessa Torline's #TrainFightTuesday. Please note that my five-star rating reflects her story, not the issue as a whole, as it contained others I enjoyed less. #TrainFightTuesday is a wonderful experiment in format. It is a series of tweet-length messages on a made-up social platform, interspersed with private messages. As a Twitter addict, I loved the format because it made the Instead of reviewing the issue as a whole, I would like to talk about the story which I consider the star of the issue: Vanessa Torline's #TrainFightTuesday. Please note that my five-star rating reflects her story, not the issue as a whole, as it contained others I enjoyed less. #TrainFightTuesday is a wonderful experiment in format. It is a series of tweet-length messages on a made-up social platform, interspersed with private messages. As a Twitter addict, I loved the format because it made the story seem to happen in real time. How many times do we jump online to talk about some big event as it is happening? In this story, the main character known as @BariStar, live-tweets her reaction to the hijacking of a train and subsequent defeat of the super-villain by a superhero. Because of the format, this story is action-packed. It relays just enough information to keep me reading on. I breezed right through this fun read and I'll be honest, I didn't see the ending coming. I can't say enough good things about this story. 1,622 words does not seem like a lot, but the author used every single one to her advantage. It's lighthearted, it's interesting, and it's the kind of story that got me absolutely hooked on this author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Thank you MrsJoseph for your short yet concise review of this short story that encouraged me to read it myself. Strong woman, strong woman who are made "something else" in their service to the government, strong woman who become "something else" beyond what I feel their government ever planned. It is a short story, so if you are intrigued it can be read for free online. I have to admit I was also intrigued after reading it to learn that the author, Seanan McGuire also writes as well known horror Thank you MrsJoseph for your short yet concise review of this short story that encouraged me to read it myself. Strong woman, strong woman who are made "something else" in their service to the government, strong woman who become "something else" beyond what I feel their government ever planned. It is a short story, so if you are intrigued it can be read for free online. I have to admit I was also intrigued after reading it to learn that the author, Seanan McGuire also writes as well known horror writer Mira Grant. Seanan must be the name she uses for non-horror things, because this was not a horror story, but it was certainly thought provoking.

  17. 4 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    I don't know if I'll ever read enough of this 500+pp 'magazine' to call it 'read.' There are a lot of non-fiction items, author interviews, etc., that I may never even try. However, the original short fiction is mostly wonderful. I especially keep coming back to Seanan McGuire's short "Each to Each", which is about a US Navy program to genetically and surgically modify women to serve on deep-water submarines. The ebook is only $3.99 at AmazonUS.

  18. 5 out of 5

    MrsJoseph *grouchy*

    As I mentioned in my audio book review, this special edition begs you to get the DTB edition. WHY? There are TONS of [non-fiction] essays and interviews in the paper edition. This is something I am excited to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    'Nathan Burgoine

    Reviews of individual stories will pop up on my blog under this tag. Reviews of individual stories will pop up on my blog under this tag.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    What about this issue isn't awesome? Lots of original fiction (short stories and flash), author spotlights, non-fiction, and essays, written and put together by women. We destroy science fiction very well, thank you! Favorites among the short stories: Seanan McGuire's story, "Each to Each", about genetically engineered "mermaids" on navy subs; N.K Jemisin's "Walking Awake," a kind of response to Heinlein's Puppetmasters; Charlie Jane Anders' "The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick," kind of like the What about this issue isn't awesome? Lots of original fiction (short stories and flash), author spotlights, non-fiction, and essays, written and put together by women. We destroy science fiction very well, thank you! Favorites among the short stories: Seanan McGuire's story, "Each to Each", about genetically engineered "mermaids" on navy subs; N.K Jemisin's "Walking Awake," a kind of response to Heinlein's Puppetmasters; Charlie Jane Anders' "The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick," kind of like the movie "Eternal Sunshine..." but skewed a different way; and "The Lonely Sea in the Sky" by Amal El-Mohtar, a story of diamond oceans on Neptume. Favorite flash: Carrie Vaughn's "Salvage," an all-to-brief bit of space opera; "#TrainFightTuesday" by Vanessa Torline, superheroes!! (heroine's, actually...); and "Standard Deviant" by Holly Schofield, aliens trying to bring us into their federation and save us...ooops. The non-fiction and essays bring in even more experiences, real-life ones from lots of women in the field. I can relate to all of it. This issue was a joy to read and I can't wait for Women Destroy Fantasy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    It took me three months to read this. I have notes on most of the stories and many of the essays, but my body never cooperated enough to be allow me to b strong enough write the very long review. But the heart of it was that it's a super collection of stories and essays. It was surprised at how much I enjoyed the non-fiction, it wasn't dry, it wasn't boring, it was easy to read, interesting, stirring or moving. And most of the stories were really quite good and a few were great. And it's HUGE! H It took me three months to read this. I have notes on most of the stories and many of the essays, but my body never cooperated enough to be allow me to b strong enough write the very long review. But the heart of it was that it's a super collection of stories and essays. It was surprised at how much I enjoyed the non-fiction, it wasn't dry, it wasn't boring, it was easy to read, interesting, stirring or moving. And most of the stories were really quite good and a few were great. And it's HUGE! HUGE! You more than get your money's worth with this one, it isn't a double magazine, it's a really thick hardback book size (but paperback). I'm a weirdo who actually bought it in paperback and ebook versions. I bout the ebook but then realized how nice it would be to have the paperback and be able to see the table of contents and know where I was in the book, be able to have the lovely cover in color, etc. But then it was also so nice to have the ebook version on the table when I was outside reading in the sun, I bought it again after I'd returned it. I figured it was a way of making another donation to the cause. Anyway, whatever way you get it, you should get it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dorothee Lang

    Published by Lightspeed Magazine, this is an all-women-author scifi and fantasy collection, inspired by a troubling aspect of the scifi writing / reader scene: that there are readers, fellow authors and editors who think women don’t belong to the sci-fi scene, that women and the “softer” themes they write about “destroy” sci-fiction. No matter that the classic first sci-fi novel was Frankenstein, which happened to be written by a woman: Mary Shelley. But maybe it would be too idealistic to expec Published by Lightspeed Magazine, this is an all-women-author scifi and fantasy collection, inspired by a troubling aspect of the scifi writing / reader scene: that there are readers, fellow authors and editors who think women don’t belong to the sci-fi scene, that women and the “softer” themes they write about “destroy” sci-fiction. No matter that the classic first sci-fi novel was Frankenstein, which happened to be written by a woman: Mary Shelley. But maybe it would be too idealistic to expect a literary genre to be ahead of its time just because it is future oriented by definition. This anthology was created through a Kickstarter campaign, and the ironic name of the campaign then turned into its title: “Women Destroy Science Fiction”. The issue has both a print and an online part, and is powerful in several ways: both from concept, from the stories, and the editing. (this is part of a longer review with links: http://virtual-notes.blogspot.de/2014... )

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Carney

    It's been quite a while since I've read any science fiction short story, and it looks like a couldn't have picked a better compendium with which to revisit the form. This is an excellent collection of speculative fiction - stories that aren't so much about distant or future worlds as they are about the people that inhabit them. In addition to the stories themselves there are interesting interviews with the authors. Reading "Women Destroy Science Fiction" gave me the same heady rush as I would get It's been quite a while since I've read any science fiction short story, and it looks like a couldn't have picked a better compendium with which to revisit the form. This is an excellent collection of speculative fiction - stories that aren't so much about distant or future worlds as they are about the people that inhabit them. In addition to the stories themselves there are interesting interviews with the authors. Reading "Women Destroy Science Fiction" gave me the same heady rush as I would get in my teenage years whenever a new (to me) science fiction book hit the shelves of the school library.

  24. 5 out of 5

    G.G. Silverman

    HOLY SH*T. This anthology is utterly amazeballs. Literally the best collection of short fiction I have ever read. All the stories were written by women, in an effort to level the science fiction playing field and give more female authors a voice. And these ladies did not disappoint. They brought it. I borrowed this from a friend, but I will buy my own copy because I don't think I can live without it. Especially the interviews and feminist resources at the back. Mind blown. WORD UP TO MY LADY POWER HOLY SH*T. This anthology is utterly amazeballs. Literally the best collection of short fiction I have ever read. All the stories were written by women, in an effort to level the science fiction playing field and give more female authors a voice. And these ladies did not disappoint. They brought it. I borrowed this from a friend, but I will buy my own copy because I don't think I can live without it. Especially the interviews and feminist resources at the back. Mind blown. WORD UP TO MY LADY POWER PEEPS.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Over the past few years, there has been a series of ‘XXXXX Destroy Science Fiction’ anthologies, but this is the first one I have read. While the title may smack of too much ‘I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar’, the anthology was quite balanced with characters of all genders, action and contemplation, mystery and exploration, happy endings and not-so happy endings. Most of the stories had some real meat on them, including several of the flash fiction tales, giving me something to chat about over tea. Some Over the past few years, there has been a series of ‘XXXXX Destroy Science Fiction’ anthologies, but this is the first one I have read. While the title may smack of too much ‘I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar’, the anthology was quite balanced with characters of all genders, action and contemplation, mystery and exploration, happy endings and not-so happy endings. Most of the stories had some real meat on them, including several of the flash fiction tales, giving me something to chat about over tea. Some were humorous and some required some thoughtful contemplation afterwards. Over all, it’s an excellent science fiction anthology. Contained in this audiobook are 11 original short stories, 4 short story reprints, 1 novella, and 15 flash fiction tales. If you pick up the text version, you also get 7 non-fiction pieces, 28 personal essays, and 15 author spotlights. Authors for stories in this audiobook include Charlie Jane Anders, Eleanor Arnason, Elizabeth Porter Birdsall, Heather Clitheroe, Tina Connolly, Katherine Crighton, Ellen Denham. Tananarive Due, Rhonda Eikamp, Amal El-Mohtar, Emily Fox, Maria Dahvana Headley, Cathy Humble, N. K. Jemisin, Marina J. Lostetter, Seanan McGuire Maureen F. McHugh, Kris Millering, Maria Romasco Moore, Samantha Murray, K. C. Norton, Anaid Perez, Sarah Pinsker, Rhiannon Rasmussen, Holly Schofield, Effie Seiberg, Gabriella Stalker, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Vanessa Torline, Carrie Vaughn, and Kim Winternheimer. Below are the 11 original stories. Each to Each by Seanan McGuire The Navy has modified whole submarine corps of women into ‘mermaids’ to explore and claim the ocean floor for bubble cities and resources. The main character finds something in the deep that she didn’t expect. The narrator did a great job with the elongated vowels and such (sounding like in between ocean animal and human) and keeping each female character distinct. This was my favorite story of the whole book and a great way to start the anthology off. 6/5 A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering Maurine is an angry artist in space. Her only ‘companion’ is a dead man in the corner. Rather eerie but interesting. Good narration – kept the eerie quality to it. 4/5 Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe Spencer is a memory recall specialist. He floats through his memories, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. Held in high regard for the work he does but it messes with his personal life. Was OK. Didn’t hold my attention like the first 2. Narration good. 3/5 Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin Sadie is a caretaker, helping raise the kids until they are old enough for the Masters to inhabit. Henri, one of her young charges, has been chosen. Abrupt ending. Don’t know if Sadie was successful or just nuts. Narration good tho Sadie sounded a lot younger than 40 years old. 4/5 The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp A Gearlock Holmes & Watson story. There is murder at Gearlock’s mansion and the robotic amalgam Mrs. Hudson is in custody for the murder. Fun piece. Steampunky. Good stiff upper lip narration. 5/5 In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker Set in Houston, TX, Wendell & his parents live in a mall. Big Box stores, and their advertising, dominate Wendell’s life, including church and living quarters. Teen loans are the norm. Very interesting piece on materialism and debt. Narration very good with a light Western twang. 5/5 The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders Roger and Mary broke up. Mary’s friend Stacia convinces her to ask for Roger’s memories of the beginning of their relationship when things were on a high note. Interesting piece. Good narration. 4/5 Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley Set in a far future where the Moon is colonized, Bert, a restaurant critic, has told the secret of the dim sun restaurant. Now it’s crowded. Rodney and Bert are having a lunch there when Harriet, Bert’s ex-wife and a powerful politician, joins them. It was a very fun piece – creative dishes. Great narration. 5/5 The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar Laila is encouraged to talk to the psychologist. She’s an interplanetary geoscientist. She has an ism – addicted to diamonds or the idea of diamonds. This tale explores various stories about diamonds as part of Laila’s fascination. Interesting piece but kind of broken up, not clear in places. Narrated by several people. At least 1 line repeated. The volumes varies, but mostly much quieter than the rest of the book. Main narrator does great with emotions. 3/5 A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall Genevieve’s a thief. She makes her debut burglary and runs into another thief, Catherine. They bond over the difficulties of breaking into the Marquis’s place. Some cool tech. Love the proper British accent and social niceties. 4/5 Canth by K.C. Norton The Canth is an underwater vessel, part animal, powered by a perpetual motion machine. Capt. Pierce has lost the Canth but pursues her in a ship, the Jeronimo, captained by Rios. Portugues flavor to the story. Cod in every meal. Very interesting story. Narration was good, especially with the Portuguese words. 5/5 Below are the reprinted stories, including the 1 novella. Like Daughter by Tananarive Due Paige looks after Denise (Neecy) as much a s she can. She often reflects on their childhood and how things were different between them. Now Denise needs her to take her 6 year old daughter. Heavy story. Well done. Good narration. 5/5. The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore A slow apocalypse happened. Now clones of one flavor or another live out their lives in the few pockets of habitable space on Earth. Various groups have sent probes and manned space missions over the years into space searching for another habitable planet. I really like the imagery that was every where in this story- the underwater museum, the main character’s plant-like daughter Verdant, the human’s Eyes, Brain, etc. walking around independently. The narration was great, even a little song. 5/5 Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) Mogadit has discovered a little one, Lililu, and his teen hormones all at once. Strange, enthralling. Sometimes felt like I was watching animals mating. Stefan Rudnicki narrates and he does it excellently. 4/5 Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason Strange story. Main character seems to have more than 1 entity and this is the norm. The main character has a scout and a poet and such. It finds a child of some sorts and carries it along falling in love with it. The entities can be more than one gender, but not necessarily so. I don’t get all of it. Rudnicki narrates, doing a good job. 3/5 The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) Scarline is a colony on a little populated world. Not much tech. Dogs as sheep – for food. An outworlder, Veranique, comes to visit along with her Professor Ian. Janna, who is an unwed teen of the colony, is fascinated with plastic. Scaffalos is a great clan that visits Scarline for trade, though sometimes they just take what they want. Travesty befalls the colony. Interesting story. A thoughtful, perhaps harsh, ending. Well narrated. 5/5 Below are the 15 original flash fiction stories. Salvage by Carrie Vaughn A spooky ghost ship story with a happy ending. A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox Sad story. See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly Narrator sounds drunk, which isn’t necessarily bad for this story. A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter The 2-headed monster has dual addiction – gambling & drink. The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker Those that suffer from accidental time travel can hang out in an asylum. There’s jello. #TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline Fun tail told through tweets. Super heroes/villains. Cute noises to denote switching between tweeters. The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen A beautiful story of interstellar kamikazes come home. This was my favorite on the Flash Fiction. Emoticon by Anaid Perez :-$ The Mouths by Ellen Denham Cracker obsessed aliens with only 1 orifice. M1A by Kim Winternheimer M1A is her clone there to give her parts as she needs. They grow up as sisters, but she is always sick while her clone is healthy. Poignant story. Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield A punkass homeless lass is given the opportunity to become an intergalactic ambassador. Fun story. Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble Immortal 800 year old man tired of hiding it. Interesting. Ending up to interpretation. Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg Robot wants to play Rock-Paper-Scissors. Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray An odd duck of a story. The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton She tells her daughters about space and what that means. They become sad. Very nice sadly sweet story. I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the publisher (via Audiobook Jukebox) in exchange for an honest review. The Narration: Nearly all of the narration was well done for this anthology. There was one story with more than 1 narrator and it definitely sounded like the narrators were in different studios, not recorded at the same time. However, the majority of the narration was excellent. I especially like seeing Stefan Rudnicki’s abilities tested in the James Tiptree story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anita Fajita Pita

    What a heavyweight compilation of amazing sci-fi authors. While some people may be looking for 'proof' that women can write sci-fi (who are you people?) I will be enjoying this decadent feast of sci-fi minis gathered together for me. I thank you, editors and contributors. Each to Each, Seanan McGuire. Women in the military and deep sea exploration make for another horror sci-fi a la military genetic modifications by Seanan McGuire. And yes, here, there be mermaids. McGuire mermaids, not the Disn What a heavyweight compilation of amazing sci-fi authors. While some people may be looking for 'proof' that women can write sci-fi (who are you people?) I will be enjoying this decadent feast of sci-fi minis gathered together for me. I thank you, editors and contributors. Each to Each, Seanan McGuire. Women in the military and deep sea exploration make for another horror sci-fi a la military genetic modifications by Seanan McGuire. And yes, here, there be mermaids. McGuire mermaids, not the Disney sort. A Word Shaped Like Bones, Kris Millering. Space isolation, time, and an artist Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe. A noirish sci-fi Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin. I shouldn't be surprised by the depth of this worldbuilding in so few pages. Jemisin delivers. The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp. Gearlock Holmes and Watson, an automaton twist on classic personalities. In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker. Dystopian sci-fi based on Big Corp., small values, and high interest rates. Ugh. Hate to love a storyline that's so miserable because it's entirely feasible. The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders. This is some Black Mirror level sci-fi, when the future of data goes awry, and someone elses memories can be downloaded, turning a best friend into a stalker ex? Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley. A hilarious galactic dim sum with old frenemies and execs. Resulting in galactic sized gas. The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar.. A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall.. Ahh, the subtle class system of thievery. Canth by K.C. Norton.. I love reading about intelligent ships and cryptozoological creatures and historical mysteries, like Atlantis. All here. That's just the original short stories! There are republished shorts, essays interviews and non-fic from authors. An encompassing read of women in sci-fi as varied in subject and theme as the women who wrote them. There is hard science, social science, dystopian, space exploration, advanced tech, AI, everything sci-fi and fun or scary and even some funny are here. Love. A few of my favorites were (unsurprisingly) a couple fave authors like McGuire and Nemisin, and a couple new authors. Dim Sun made me laugh while The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick was, I thought, an amazing example of the complexities of relationships. Highly recommend to any sci fi fan.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie Capell

    Great collection! I love that it includes not only short stories but also bios of many female scifi authors and a few photos of works by artists. I had never read any of the short stories before, although a few are reprints. There was not a bad story among them; here are my faves: - Each to each by Seanan McGuire (A different take on mermaids) - A word shaped like bones by Kris Millering (great twist at end) - Walking awake by N.K. Jemisin (considers a genre trope--the problem of living forever--an Great collection! I love that it includes not only short stories but also bios of many female scifi authors and a few photos of works by artists. I had never read any of the short stories before, although a few are reprints. There was not a bad story among them; here are my faves: - Each to each by Seanan McGuire (A different take on mermaids) - A word shaped like bones by Kris Millering (great twist at end) - Walking awake by N.K. Jemisin (considers a genre trope--the problem of living forever--and how a "mother" would solve it) - The case of the passionless bees by Rhonda Eikamp (Sherlock Holmes as a robot) - The lonely sea in the sky by Amal El-Mohtar (told in the form of a diary of a mad scientist) - A burglary, addressed by a young lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall (calling all Jane Austen fans) - Like daughter by Tananarive Due (disturbing!) -The great loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore (what will we do if there really is no one else out there?) I also liked a lot of the flash fiction, including: -The Sewell home for the temporally displaced by Sara Pinsker -#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline - The Hymn of Ordeal, No 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen - M1A by Kim Winternheimer -Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg -Everything that has already been said by Samantha Murray -The lies we tell our children by Katherine Crighton There's also a fascinating "discussion" amongst several longtime authors (Ursula LeGuin, Pat Cadigan, Ellen Datlow and Nancy Kress) about how science fiction ha changed, either as a genre or as a culture, from when they started in the field. Do yourself a favor and get this on your Kindle, you will devour it!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    'Women don't write real science fiction.' 'That isn't what a story written by a woman should be like.' 'If women try to write science fiction they will just destroy it.' Many things out there seem to be an all-male's club (or predominantly so). It kinda boggles my mind that statements like those above were ever tossed around in the field - or that they even are still today. Compared to the past there are a lot of women science fiction writers out there, as this collection testifies. Part of any i 'Women don't write real science fiction.' 'That isn't what a story written by a woman should be like.' 'If women try to write science fiction they will just destroy it.' Many things out there seem to be an all-male's club (or predominantly so). It kinda boggles my mind that statements like those above were ever tossed around in the field - or that they even are still today. Compared to the past there are a lot of women science fiction writers out there, as this collection testifies. Part of any issues I feel come down to the matter of the definition of science fiction. What is 'real' science fiction? There is no single answer, and to some the answer is a sub genre that may be called hard science fiction which ultimately will come down to facts related to physics. As there appears to be fewer women in the 'hard' sciences (a separate problem in itself) it comes as not too big a surprise then that there aren't many female science fiction writers that could be put in that category of 'hard SF'. Yet, even when they could, it seems like their inherent gender make people consider them something else. Take Margaret Atwood - a writer whose stories feature reasonable futures based on present-day scientific reality (a relatively narrow, but common definition of hard SF as put forth recently for example by Norman Spinrad in Asimov's). Her work is easily classified as hard science fiction. But she herself eschews the label, preferring to call her work speculative fiction to avoid the negative associations of 'science fiction' with a particular kind of space story and an interest in scientific details over a more human or literary picture. Whatever the definitions and whatever the reasons why some have an issue with women writing science fiction, the stories here prove that one should be overjoyed if they continue to find voice in 'destroying' science fiction. The stories included here make this easily a year's best of collection in itself. They are varied in tone from the humorous to the serious, and in genre from hard and futuristic to the more fantastic (alternate) historical. As such, unless you enjoy a wide range of types of stories, there may be some stories in here that just don't interest you despite each truly being top-notch. I personally had my favorites within each section of new fiction, reprints, and flash fiction. And there were some I just didn't enjoy though I recognized their merits as intended. However, even if you only like a particular kind of story in the SF landscape, the collection is well-worth the cheap admission price. I particularly liked the opening story by Seanan McGuire. Out of all the stories in this collection I feel this one significant to discuss due to its embodiment of what the entire collection represents. There are conflicting expectations in a collection with the theme this Lightspeed issue has. On the one hand one has the expectation that the stories will relate the female-specific condition within the confines of the genre. They 'should' feature female characters that aren't stereotypes, they 'should' deal with feminist issues, they 'should' focus on matters unique to female biology and social practices built around that. Yet, on the other hand the point is that women writing science fiction should be no different, no less worthy or capable, than men writing it. And the point is that there is no single thing that women writing science fiction 'should' write about. If a female author writes a story with no female characters that says nothing about her gender, does that matter? Does it by virtue of her gender automatically become a feminist work even though the story itself is so devoid? Seanan McGuire's "Each to Each" is brilliant in its playing with expectations of what females are, the roles they 'should' serve, and how they are viewed both by others and by themselves. These sorts of themes echo throughout the remainder of the collection, whether explored implicitly or explicitly. The stories (and the nofiction in the issue) don't offer any kind of clear answers to the matters of dealing with gender disparities, or of dealing with the general Other. Instead they offer a celebration of what all is possible with women writing science fiction. That celebration shows that women writing science fiction is just simply humans writing science fiction - a world of disparate experiences and possibilities, with aspects that no one really has a premium on beyond the fact that each is a personal story, unique and meaningful each to each. They are women, but they are not just women. They are Charlie Jane Anders. They are Rachel Swirsky. They are Marissa Lingen. They are Nisi Shawl. They are. And listening to their voices is the closest we can come to understanding them, and for that their talented and competent voices deserve to be heard, however they choose to raise them. One of the things I really enjoy with Lightspeed Magazine are the author interviews that accompany each story, that highlight the individual and personal nature of each story. These give insight into the author's inspirations, writing process, and at times show interpretations which may coincide or be different from the reader's. The other nonfiction here includes a host of personal essays. I found these okay by and large, though I do wish there were one or two longer and more in-depth essays or analyses rather than the more brief or superficial feel that some of these had. If you haven't picked up this issue yet, I really encourage you to do so, and to look for the two upcoming Women Destroy... issues featuring a Fantasy and a Horror focus, and the Queers Destroy... issue that will follow. Decades ago a large part of science fiction was not just about technological or scientific speculation but also social speculation, a means to explore the disenfranchised and the Other. It is nice to see something returning in full force to this purpose.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Philip Shade

    Anthologies are always a bit hit and miss for me. There were some really good ones, some mediocre ones, and one long one I skipped most of. As an audiobook it's good for commuting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kinsey_m

    ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant Each to Each by Seanan McGuire *** - Military mermaids. I'm not a fan of anything military, but this was interesting. A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering***-Interesting look at the future of art and how selling or not selling is seen as a sign of accomplishment at different times. Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe****-Great concept and well told. Modified humans work to predict future outcomes, in particular in relation to security issues. W ORIGINAL SHORT STORIES — edited by Christie Yant Each to Each by Seanan McGuire *** - Military mermaids. I'm not a fan of anything military, but this was interesting. A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering***-Interesting look at the future of art and how selling or not selling is seen as a sign of accomplishment at different times. Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe****-Great concept and well told. Modified humans work to predict future outcomes, in particular in relation to security issues. Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin-** DNF. Interesting concept but there were some jarring elements that prevented me from suspending disbelief The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp-***Sherlock/Gearlock, the greatest detective as an automaton. I am not a fan of steampunk as I like the aesthetics of it but when I read it I feel it's all aesthetics without substance. In this case there was more substance than in most occasions, although I'm still far from becoming a fan of the genre In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker **** - Great idea. In the future people live, study, etc in malls. I believe this must make a lot more sense to Americans, whose reality is closer to this way of life. The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders ***1/2 - Creepy. Technology allows your ex-boyfriend to download his memories of the early stages of your relationship so that when you meet someone else you don't need to go through the whole process again (why would anyone want to do that when that's the best part of a relationship is beyond me). Add friend with hidden intentions and stirr. The relationship between the two women reminded me of the relationship between a friend of mine and very close friend of hers. Very well done. Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley-*** Original, but I expected more. The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar**** Diamonds and time travel. Interesting structure and good writing. I'll be looking for more stories by this author. A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall** Theoretically I should dig this story (and steampunk). In practice, I don't. Canth by K.C. Norton**1/2 I just didn't connect with it. REPRINTS — selected by Rachel Swirsky Like Daughter by Tananarive Due *** Interesting concept althiugh I don't know that the SF element is that important here. I think given the psychology of the characters the same could have happened without this element, although I admit it is highlighted. The Great Loneliness by Maria Romasco Moore***** Demanding but very rewarding story. I will certainly look for more stories by this author. Love is the Plan the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) Knapsack Poems by Eleanor Arnason The Cost to Be Wise by Maureen F. McHugh (novella) ORIGINAL FLASH FICTION — edited by Robyn Lupo Salvage by Carrie Vaughn***1/2 A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox*** See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly**1/2 A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker #TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline*** The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen Emoticon by Anaid Perez* The Mouths by Ellen Denham***1/2 M1A by Kim Winternheimer**Interesting concept but there are some things that don't add up Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield** Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton*** NONFICTION — edited by Wendy N. Wagner Artists Spotlight by Galen Dara Illusion, Expectation, and World Domination Through Bake Sales by Pat Murphy Women Remember by Mary Robinette Kowal Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick by Jennifer Willis How to Engineer a Self-Rescuing Princess by Stina Leicht The Status Quo Cannot Hold by Tracie Welser Screaming Together: Making Women’s Voices Heard by Nisi Shawl

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