Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Title spotlight - "The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women" edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Over the course of years science fiction made up a healthy chunk of my readings. Of course, in my early reading time, from the speculative fiction spectrum, science fiction was the only one with a relevant presence in Romania. That doesn’t takes away its merits and it doesn’t imply that I stopped reading within this genre all together. It is true for the former that although I am grateful to the science fiction genre for opening my eyes even wider towards the vast worlds of imagination I found myself attracted more by fantasy and horror when those became wider spread in my country; while for the latter I don’t consider restricting my reading habits exclusively to one genre or another a healthy attitude, therefore although science fiction books don’t find their way on my reading table as often as before that path is not lost entirely. For instance, there is one such upcoming release that for certain I will do my best to count it among my future readings, Alex Dally MacFarlane’s new anthology, “The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women”. There were several things recommending this particular collection to me even before the final table of contents was revealed, I didn’t read a science fiction book in a while and this anthology gives me an excellent reason to rectify that, I enjoyed a lot the other mammoth collection released by Constable & Robinson that I read before and last, but not least, I am an admirer of Alex Dally MacFarlane’s work, be that in writing, with short stories such as “Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints”, “Fox Bones. Many Uses” and “Women in Sandstone”, or in editing, with the excellent collection “Aliens: Recent Encounters”. These reasons would have been enough to pick my interest in “The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women”, but then the anthology’s line up was announced and another sprang forth. Or to be correct, numerous others. Because for me Ursula K. Le Guin, Aliette de Bodard, Ekaterina Sedia, Angélica Gorodischer and Genevieve Valentine hardly need any presentation, while on Karin Tidbek, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Sofia Samatar, Thoraiya Dyer, Tori Truslow or E. Lily Yu I am keeping a watchful eye due to delightful writings such as “Jagannath”, “Fade to Gold”, “A Stranger in Olondria”, “The Wisdom of Ants”, “Boat in Shadow, Crossing” and “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, to list a few examples. And without a doubt, there is also the perspective of discovering new writers from the ones I less familiar with. From my point of view, with so many reasons to support a reading of this collection when it is out on late 2014, I’ll have no excuse if Alex Dally MacFarlane’s “The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women” passes me by without giving it proper attention.

33 outstanding science fiction stories by women.
Travel by train to the Moon, discover living spaceships born in gas giants and explore the constellations, alternate universes and post-apocalyptic worlds of this compelling collection of SF written by women.
Whether crossing the stars or constructing the future of our planet, women have always written powerful, important science fiction. This anthology showcases the most exceptional SF stories written by women in recent decades, from classic stars Ursula K. Le Guin and Angélica Gorodischer; science fiction greats Karen Joy Fowler and Nancy Kress; new award-winning talents Nnedi Okorafor and Aliette de Bodard; and many more.

“Girl Hours” by Sofia Samatar
“Excerpt from a Letter by a Social-realist Aswang” by Kristin Mandigma
“Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra” by Vandana Singh
“The Queen of Erewhon” by Lucy Sussex
“Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine’s Day” by Tori Truslow
“Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor
“The Science of Herself” by Karen Joy Fowler
“The Other Graces” by Alice Sola Kim
“Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
“The Eleven Holy Numbers of the Mechanical Soul” by Natalia Theodoridou
“Mountain Ways” by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Tan-Tan and Dry Bone” by Nalo Hopkinson
“The Four Generations of Chang E” by Zen Cho
“Stay Thy Flight” by Élisabeth Vonarburg
“Astrophilia” by Carrie Vaughn
“Invisible Planets” by Hao Jingfang
“On the Leitmotif of the Trickster Constellation in Northern Hemispheric Star Charts, Post-Apocalypse” by Nicole Kornher-Stace
“Valentines” by Shira Lipkin
“Dancing in the Shadow of the Once” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
“Ej-Es” by Nancy Kress
“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu
“The Death of Sugar Daddy” by Toiya Kristen Finley
“Enyo-Enyo” by Kameron Hurley
“Semiramis” by Genevieve Valentine
“Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard
“Down the Wall” by Greer Gilman
“Sing” by Karin Tidbeck
“Good Boy” by Nisi Shawl
“The Second Card of the Major Arcana” by Thoraiya Dyer
“A Short Encyclopedia of Lunar Seas” by Ekaterina Sedia
“Vector” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“Concerning the Unchecked Growth of Cities” by Angélica Gorodischer
“The Radiant Car Thy Sparrows Drew” by Catherynne M. Valente

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