By Vanessa Bush
July 1st, 2015
Highlighting changes in speculative writing and in feminism since the 1970s, award-winning literary couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer offer a collection of sf, fantasy, and horror writing from 29 women writers, both famous and newcomers. This is the first of several planned anthologies to acquaint readers with the variety of women writers. Among the writers and the perspectives they present are L. Timmel Duchamp with a tale of a woman imprisoned for speaking out, Leonora Carrington in an examination of physical beauty, Kit Reed with a story on the complexities of motherhood, Kelly Eskridge in a gender- bending theater story, Nalo Hopkinson through a tale of a woman trapped in her husband’s secret, and Octavia Butler with a tale of disease and stigma. Among the other authors are Angela Carter, Angelica Gorodischer, Hiromi Goto, Nnedi Okorafor, Vandana Singh, and James Tiptree Jr. This fascinating collection illustrates how writing trends from new-wave sf and feminist speculative fiction reflect changes in culture and in perspectives on women and feminism. It also provides a valuable primer on women writers in the sf, fantasy, and horror genres.