As followers of Candlemark & Gleam know, editor Athena Andreadis just launched To Shape the Dark, a sibling to The Other Half of the Sky with original SF stories focusing on women scientists.
To celebrate this, genre guru E. P. Beaumont published a magnificent in-depth review of The Other Half of the Sky; an interview of Andreadis will follow soon.
“There’s no exotification here; protagonists live and move and work in first person even where the story is told in third person.
The touch of human hands, human voices unmediated by the Usual Story, command attention. It’s quiet, but we need more of this kind of thing: not Token Track, not Special Diversity Issue of Otherwise Standard Magazine, but a shift of perspective to the possibilities of human beings and their stories of living in this vastness.”
Another smashing review for the anthology as a whole! Manic Pixie Dream Worlds takes a very keen look at the anthology, its purpose, and its results, and is impressed:
…we have a batch of stories here that don’t just feature women as protagonists, often characters of color and those with LGBT identities, but in which the societies within create wholly new ways of living: sociologically, technologically, ecologically. The social structures and worlds that these authors wrote are so unique and inventive that I kept forgetting that I was reading a book with a mission, that I was promised female protagonists, and thinking: Ah, yes. This is what science fiction should be.
Welcome to the future.
Hot on the heels of Aliette’s Nebula win, we have a very positive review of the anthology in Analog!
Here’s just a taste of a thoughtful, thorough review that you shouldn’t miss:
This book nicely fills the void left by the demise of Roby James’s late, lamented Warrior, Wisewoman anthologies. If anything, it’s better.
Look at this lineup of authors: Alexandr Jablokov, Ken Liu, Jack McDevitt, Cat Rambo, Melissa Scott, Joan Slonczewski, Martha Wells . . . and nine other names perhaps less familiar. In all there are 460 pages packed with a great selection of cutting-edge SF stories, most of which wouldn’t be out of place in the pages ofAnalog.
It’s hard to select standout stories; they’re all of such good quality.
About a year ago, a terrific review of our anthology by Tansy Rayner Roberts appeared in Cascadia Subduction Zone. The issue is no longer behind a paywall, so here’s a link to it (PDF).
In its January 2014 issue, Locus takes a brief look at The Other Half of the Sky alongside several other recent anthologies.
Interestingly, the anthology appears not once, but twice: first in Gardner Dozois’s short fiction column, and then in Rich Horton’s reviews.
Dozois calls the book “one of the best SF anthologies of the year.” We think you’ll agree.
Pick up the January 2014 copy of Locus online or in print to read more!
SF Site, the website of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, has a lovely article on “hunting Heffalumps” in sf/f, complete with a wonderfully in-depth review of The Other Half of the Sky!
The Other Half of the Sky, a new collection of women’s sf edited by Athena Andreadis, stands as a 443-page refutation of all Heffalump Hunters who have ever marched in self-referential circles while loudly lamenting the inexplicable failure of women to write “real” sf. …I can’t think of another anthology out this year that so utterly refutes Paul Kincaid’s assertion that our genre has succumbed to intellectual inertia.
A very strong anthology with a excellent mission, and some really striking stories with top-notch authors… The Other Half of the Sky is, in the end, an entertaining and strongly written set of stories by authors both new and familiar, writing in universes new and old, with characters that resonate with all readers. It’s hard to ask for more in an anthology.
-Paul Weimer, SF Signal
While some of the stories didn’t stand out to reviewer Paul Weimer as much as others, that’s no overall criticism of the anthology, which he thought “very strong” and also very much needed in the sf field…or, at least, the attention is needed. The stories have been there, as he notes:
“Does the anthology live up to its ideals and theme? Absolutely. The universes in these stories are populated with strong female characters with agency, hopes, fears and goals. It is only when you compare these stories to a significant chunk of the science fiction of the past and present that the contrast is clear. Many of the writers here have been writing strong female characters for years; having them all together here in one volume helps show off their dedication to this worthy and needed goal.”
Read the whole review. It’s worth it!
Another wonderful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking review has come out! This time, it’s from Sabrina Vourvoulias, journalist and author, on her blog, Following the Lede:
But where you really see Andreadis’ mettle isn’t in the fierce introduction but in the even fiercer choice of collecting (or cajoling) short stories in open rebellion with the image-making machinery of Sci Fi. Some of these stories succeed better than others, but all of them have at their heart the radical notion that we’ll define our own roles and map our own trajectories among the stars.
Go read the whole thing. It’s fierce and pointed and challenging…just the kind of thing we want to see in both sci-fi and criticism!
The F Word, a wonderful site devoted to “contemporary UK feminism”, has an excellent and very in-depth review of The Other Half of the Sky. Not only does it discuss the stories, but also their place in the consciousness and in the context of women being women. Definitely give it a read!
Another glowing review has come in!
Writing for Geek Exchange, Andrew Liptak had this to say:
“Far too often, it seems that there’s an attitude that women can’t or simply don’t write the sort of hard SF and space opera that’s traditionally been published. This book utterly crushes that assumption with its incredible range of stories and superior level of writing that’s consistent throughout the entire anthology. The Other Half of the Sky is an anthology that’s long overdue, and I hope that it’ll serve as a good example for future authors and readers in the genre.”
Read the full review here!