Throwback Thursday: Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason

Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason. ★★★1/2 Ring of Swords is a classic feminist science fiction novel from 1994. In terms of gender and sexuality, it shows its ages in ways you would expect, but it still holds up as an intriguing first contact novel. Humanity has made contact with only one other sentient people, the Hwarhath, but…

Review of Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason

Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason. ★★★1/2 Hwarhath Stories is a truly unique collection. The framing for this short story collection is that humans have made contact with only one other sentient species: the hwarhath. The hwarhath are an alien species with very strict views on gender and sexuality. Their society is divided between men and…

Review of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. ★★★★ I already considered Carmen Maria Machado to be one of my favorite short fiction authors, and this collection just confirms that opinion. The stories in Her Body and Other Parties are queer, sexual, innovative, and feminist, usually with some sort of speculative fiction element, although not one that can…

Throwback Thursday: Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter

Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter. ★★★★1/2 When I read the brilliant novella Of Sorrow and Such, I vowed to read more by Angela Slatter. Well, I’ve fulfilled that vow, and Sourdough and Other Stories turned out to be even better than Of Sorrow and Such. This collection of interlocking short stories is a gorgeously crafted, feminist master piece that would…

Review of The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente. ★★★1/2 Catherynne Valente tackles gendered superhero tropes with this collection of six stories. The girls of the Hell Hath Club are dead, but they’ve found each other for company is the strange expanse of Deadtown. They gather together, drink Styx water, and commiserate about their lives and deaths. Superheroines,…

Review of Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter

Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter. ★★★★ I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this novella by a new to me author, Angela Slatter. What I got was a beautiful if dark tale with a feminist heart. I most certainly need to read more by Angela Slatter. Mistress Gideon is a witch, and…

Review of The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley. ★★★★ The Stars Are Legion is quintessentially Kameron Hurley: violent and feminist. This stand-alone science fiction novel is as dark as I’ve come to expect from Hurley, but it has an optimistic heart. Zan wakes with no memory of who she is. She’s told that she’s a great general and the…

Review of Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath. ★★★★ Several years ago I stumbled across the blog Rejected Princesses. Jason Porath, a former animator at Dreamworks, one day had a conversation about what women were too out there to ever become a Disney princess movie. The result was Rejected Princesses, a blog…

Review of Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

Ammonite by Nicola Griffith. ★★★ Ammonite is a science fiction from the early 1990’s that takes place on an all female planet. I found the beginning very promising, but I ultimately wanted more from the book. The planet of Jeep is home to a virus that kills all men and a large percentage of women. Centuries later, it…

Review of An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows. ★★★★ An Accident of Stars is a queer feminist portal fantasy told from the point of views of four female characters. Saffron is a high school student in Australia who follows a strange woman through a portal and enters another world, Kena. While born on earth, Gwen has been traveling to…