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Dangerous Women Hardcover – December 3, 2013
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2013: The sci-fi and fantasy genre is known for going big: epic series, massive tomes, epic series comprised of massive tomes. And even here, short stories--21 original tales in total--combine to form a tremendous 800-page genre-crossing collection. Co-editor George R.R. Martin contributes a story set in Westeros, nearly 200 years before A Game of Thrones begins. Likewise, other authors offer glimpses into their signature worlds. Jim Butcher gives the Dresden Files a twist by focusing on his protagonist's assistant. Lev Grossman hones in on a group of girls at the wizarding school that's central to The Magicians. Diana Gabaldon, Brandon Sanderson, Megan Lindholm... A range of fantastic writers, both male and female, offer an equally exciting range of ways to talk about "Dangerous Women"--from an unlikely bounty hunter to a gunslinger, a mother accused of the unthinkable to a young princess on the run. Dangerous Women is perfect for clamoring fans, as well as new readers, who may find these bite-sized stories an undaunting way to get to know new authors. --Robin A. Rothman
Dangerous women of all kinds—warriors, fighter pilots, queens, wizards, PIs, and more—are the subject of this cross-genre anthology, curated by experienced editors Martin and Dozois. Several high-profile authors set stories in the worlds of their best-selling series. Molly, Harry Dresden’s smart-talking, long-suffering apprentice, narrates Jim Butcher’s urban-fantasy detective story “Bombshells.” Lev Grossman’s wry tale follows a young wizard-in-training as her innocent prank against a fellow Brakebills student misfires in “The Girl in the Mirror.” Martin’s prequel story is set in Westeros centuries before A Game of Thrones, while Diana Gabaldon’s follows a young Jaime Fraser before the start of the Outlander series. Other tales range from hard-bitten western (Joe Abercrombie’s “Some Desperado”) to bleak dystopia (Nancy Kress’ “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly”) to historical drama (Sharon Kay Penman’s “A Queen in Exile”). Some tales defy classification, such as Megan Lindholm’s poignant but fierce story of aging and discovering new life in the fringes. With 21 stories of this caliber, readers will be sure to find several favorites. --Krista Hutley
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Top Customer Reviews
I have not read any of the other pieces in this collection.
Some Desperado by Abercrombie. If anyone has read his First Law trilogy one will recognize the kind of character portrayed in this story,whether male or female. Hardened, doesn't take any carp, take what life gives you and live with the choices made. A good story that gives the reader a taste of what to expect in his other stories. I appreciate authors (who I've never read before) doing this for the reader of anthologies.
My Heart Is Either Broken by Abbott. This story left no impression on me.
Nora's Song by Holland. I love historical fiction and this author brought this period of history alive to me. I will definitely check out other similar works by this author.
The Hands That Are Not There by Snodgrass. Again no lasting impression.
Bombshells by Butcher. This definitely gives a taste of what to expect from this author's books. I have attempted to read Butcher's books before and have never really caught on because of all the dark magic stuff. His books leave me feeling like I'm in a dark place. Not a good place to be!
Raisa Stepanova by Vaughn. Again I love the historical fiction in this anthology. Vaughn opened up to my eyes a piece of history I never really knew about. She wrote a similar story in the Warriors anthology.
Wrestling Jesus by Lansdale. I really liked this story. I'm not exactly sure what I can liken it to. Very well-developed characters.
Neighbors by Lindholm. I have read some of Robin Hobb's stuff before and was pleasantly surprised when learning that this story was by the same author. It was interesting with a touch of some dark elements that are customary to Hobb's fantasy fiction.
I Know How to Pick 'em by Block. This was a bit too sadistic for my tastes.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Sanderson. A good story. I find that this author has many original ideas in his world-building. I love Stormlight Archives but have more difficulty with Mistborn.
A Queen in Exile by Penman. This author painted a vivid picture of this period of history. Another good story from the historical fiction genre.
The Girl in the Mirror by Grossman. Try adult Harry Potter. Good story.
Second Arabesque, Very Slowly by Kress. Good writing skills and if she writes additional stories in th vein then I might be interested in reading more from this author.
City Lazarus by Rowland. A truly sleazy character who has no redeeming qualities. Not my favorite story.
Virgins by Gabaldon. This is the third story I have read from this author, the other two found in Warriors and Rogues anthologies. While I liked this story better than the other two, I have found that this author simply doesn't pique my interest.
Hell Hath No Fury by Kenyon. The story was okay but not really surprising or chilling.
Pronouncing Doom by Stirling. I liked the story okay but it seems to me that since the Changing is relatively recent that people would need more time to change the way they view how to run a state and with developing a radically different idea of religion. I read a story by this author in Warriors anthology that referred to the same event of the Changing but in a more distant future setting.
Name the Beast by Sykes. The storytelling by this author was somewhat vague but the kind of story called for this. The ending wasn't all that surprising.
Caretakers by Cadigan. Boring!
Lies My Mother Told Me by Specter. Good story. Pointless and excessive use of profanity which took away from the main characters.
The Princess and the Queen by Martin. This was pretty good. Being a Song of Ice and Fire fan this story enriches the background to the main series. To get a taste of some of the events leading up to this story, be sure to read the Rogue Prince in the Rogues anthology.
I'll also admit that I can't pay the full asking price of a book and just read a novella, so there was no way I was going to not read the other tales as well. I have to say now that I'm glad I have. Unlike many of the anthologies I've been asked to review over time, this is a collection of top-shelf authors very skilled in their craft. Too many editors compile anthos as a way to get experience for beginning writers. I suppose that's a fine thing, but it's not something I generally enjoy reading. In this case you've got little noshes from lots of grand chefs at the top of their game and it's nothing short of a feast.
Probably the masterstroke of editing genius from Dozois was to make the collection a cross-genre experience. It's nice to go from sci-fi to noir to high fantasy to urban fantasy. The difference in genres makes each story a palette cleanser and a unique and filling experience on its own.
I'd recommend this to fans of great reading, even those who don't generally go for the short-story format. I'd say some of the stories are 5-star, most are 4-star and a few slip under the wire slightly, coming in at 3-star. Even those, however, are good reads. Special mention for the story within a story about the star-crossed lovers--I want a followup to that one, and I want it badly. (I don't have the book in front of me, pardon my lack of a title.)