Victoria Hooper has reviewed the anthology, and gives a very thoughtful, detailed account of both the stories and her reading experience. It’s well worth clicking over to read the full review, but we’ve put some highlights here!
The Other Half of the Sky is an anthology that gathers great female characters of all varieties, from all kinds of writers (and male authors as well as women). The table of contents reveals a fantastic line up of authors, and the stories really don’t disappoint. This is the strongest collection of short stories that I’ve read yet, and not just as feminist tales or science fiction focussing on women, but as stories full-stop. The range of ideas and different tones and styles is astonishing, some of it familiar but told engagingly, much that is new and original, some with the exciting feel of an adventure story, some powerful and moving, some enchanting, and some that I found very challenging. There really is something here for everyone.
One of the biggest strengths of the collection is that it doesn’t just show us ‘the other half of the sky’ as far as women are concerned, but in other ways too. Many of the stories gathered here offer glimpses of a future in which the dominant culture is not Western, in which sexuality and gender identity are varied and accepted, and in which the language and tropes of alien contact stories do not have to reflect the colonialism of the past. Every single story, even those that play with familiar territory and ideas, offers something a little new. Many of the stories manage to be a lot of fun while also leaving the reader with plenty to think about.