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The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin: A Library of America Special Publication Hardcover – October 9, 2018
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“Valuable ... educational and enjoyable, a significant retrospective of science fiction’s foremothers.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An impressive and super fun-to-read collection that’s well worth picking up, and what it will leave you with (other than the notion that the future ain’t what it used to be) is the sense that women have always been into sci-fi—and they’ve been good at it." —Marie Claire
“Lisa Yaszek’s fascinating and well-researched anthology presents a trove of writers who helped define the genre…what all the stories have in common is sheer readability and a delicious sense of discovery.” —Gary K. Wolfe, The Chicago Tribune
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.6 pounds
- Hardcover : 551 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781598535808
- ISBN-13 : 978-1598535808
- Product Dimensions : 5.41 x 1.41 x 8.52 inches
- Publisher : Library of America (October 9, 2018)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1598535803
- Best Sellers Rank: #131,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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If you want an idea of what you’re diving into before committing, “That Only a Mother” by Judith Merril is available for a free listen as Episode 542 at PseudoPod.
A couple stories made me set the book down and just rock back to think about them. “The Tunnel Ahead” by Alice Glaser is located in a place adjacent to the Twilight Zone, and the twist followed by the final sting really messed me up. Exceptional craftsmanship. “Baby, You Were Great” by Kate Wilhelm is an unsettling SimSense story that is a precursor to the cyberpunk movement, but would be wholly comfortable within it. It is almost a decade before “The Girl Who Was Plugged In,” two decades before NEUROMANCER, and three before STRANGE DAYS. Like many others in this anthology, this story really jammed up my appreciation of the evolution of science fiction.
A number of other stories I found particularly noteworthy. With “The Miracle of the Lily” by Clare Winger Harris I was surprised to see an environmental “bugs attack” story considering this was before the atomic age. Now I am curious as to the other influences in that narrative. “In Hiding” by Wilmar H. Shiras was a chilling look at obsolescence through technology changes and evolution. “Contagion” by Katherine MacLean is an interesting look at what defines identity and how appearances factor with survival. “For Sale, Reasonable” by Elizabeth Mann Borgese is still bitingly relevant in this world where we continue to outsource and automate. It accomplishes a lot in a very compact space.
“The Black God's Kiss” by C. L. Moore delivered just the sort of pulpy purple prose I love. Now having read two I really need to hunt down the whole assemblage of Jiriel of Joiry stories. “The Barbarian” by Joanna Russ is some great Dying Earth styled two-fisted fiction. “All Cats Are Gray” by Andre Norton is a cute story but would have been more powerful without the disability compensation of extra powers. That said, this story (plus the excellent cat work in the Captain Marvel film) makes me want to check out more of Andre Norton's stories with cats set in space.
This book contains 25 stories from Hall of Fame-level female SF authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, James Tiptree Jr., and Marion Zimmer Bradley to people whose names you might be unfamiliar with.
Editor Lisa Yaszek includes a terrific foreword that talks about the history of women in science fiction. The TL;DR of it is that women were foundational to the beginning of the genre and to its rise.
The editor was not messing around when she put together this collection. Although many of the stories are decades old, I discovered at least seven authors that I have never encountered before. You will, too.