A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures by and about Women

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These ten classic stories, each featuring well-developed, strong female characters, have garnered numerous literary awards and span every style and theme in speculative fiction.

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Overview

These ten classic stories, each featuring well-developed, strong female characters, have garnered numerous literary awards and span every style and theme in speculative fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This anthology, which reprints 10 award-winning stories by and about women, brings little new to the table, but it does assemble excellent work by sci-fi luminaries, originally published in Analog and Asimov's (for which Williams is executive editor). Its failure to provide historical context, however, renders the stories somewhat flat. The pieces range widely: Vonda N. McIntyre's "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand" and Katherine MacLean's postapocalyptic "The Kidnapping of Baroness 5" present worlds where scientific study uses animals for healing humans or for gathering genetic material. The human condition is deftly described in both Connie Willis's "Even the Queen," a hilarious story about menstruation, and Ursula K. Le Guin's poignant "A Woman's Liberation," a first-person journey through the eyes of a former slave who discovers that freedom comes at a price. Many stories explore the world via metaphors of illness or plague: Nancy Kress's "Inertia" describes a quarantined plague community given hope that the plague might be cured; Anne McCaffrey's dated "The Ship Who Mourned" chronicles a sentient ship's trip to a plague world; and in Octavia Butler's harrowing but hopeful "Speech Sounds," a plague has caused people to forget how to speak or read, leading to chaos. Many SF fans will have read at least some of these stories already. Maybe the familiarity of the stories in this anthology signals women's entrenchment in the genre. (Oct. 1) FYI: Willis was the subject of a recent PW Interview (May 21). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Willis introduces this thematic collection of ten science fiction short stories that were written by talented women and originally published in Analog and Asimov. It is not surprising that female authors write excellent science fiction, because according to Willis, "[Science fiction] is all about looking at the universe from different perspectives, about breaking down barriers." Several stories in this collection center on society after plague or disaster have struck. In Nancy Kress's Inertia, the outcasts get along too nicely, and it appears that their scarring skin disease inhibits creativity and therefore aggression. The missing Baroness in The Kidnapping of Baroness by Katherine MacLean is a pregnant pig who will give birth to human clones—an attempt to lengthen life in a future world where no one lives beyond their twenties. People have lost either their ability to read or speak in Octavia Butler's grim, yet ultimately hopeful Speech Sound. Alternative worlds appear in Ursula Le Guin's A Woman's Liberation, in which themes of slavery, sexual oppression, and learning are addressed vividly, and in Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Mourned, featuring a grieving Helva, a human mind implanted into an intergalactic scout ship. Willis's own Even the Queen takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a possible future in which a woman's ultimate rebellion would be to opt for menstrual cycles. Additional authors include Sarah Zettel, Pat Murphy, Vonda N. McIntyre, and S. N. Dyer. This outstanding collection not only showcases excellent writing but also offers readers the opportunity to experience a variety of science fiction worlds and authors. VOYA CODES:5Q 3P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being anybetter written;Will appeal with pushing;Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12;Adult and Young Adult). 2001, Warner Books, 320p, $12.95 Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult. Reviewer:Bette Ammon—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446677424
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/22/2007
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fantastic

    This anthology consists of ten science fiction stories previously published in Asimov or Analog written by women starring a female protagonist. The tales display how female authors have more than just contributed to the genre, but pioneered it while liberating writers to go beyond the limits of the past. Each story is well written as expected from a group of authors like this collection contains. Regardless of your gender, if you enjoy science fiction short stories you will gain much pleasure from much of A WOMAN¿S LIBERATION. <P>Harriet Klausner

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