Published by Tor on December 3rd, 2013
Genres: Anthology, Fantasy & Magic
All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities—including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.
Also included are original stories of dangerous women--heroines and villains alike--by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn, S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others.
Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands. Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.”
The best thing about my book club (besides the awesome members!) is that we read a variety of genres. We all have different tastes and this is why we take turns picking the book of the month read. Our newest member, Lillie, challenged us to read an anthology, which we’ve never done before.
Dangerous Women is over 700 pages long, so Lillie Picked 7 stories for us to discuss. This turned out to be a great way to handle the book and discussion- members who might have been daunted by the page numbers, instead only had to focus on some of the stories. I made notes on each story as I read them (and I did read all of them, although a couple were after book club), because I knew otherwise I would need a lot of prompting to remember what happened in which story.
The book had something for everyone in book club- from science fiction, to fantasy, to pnr, to mystery. We all had our favorites (some were stories we hadn’t chosen to talk about). The one assumption that we all made going into the book was that it would be filled with kick ass women. This was not always the case. Most of the stories were mostly told by men, the women serving as their downfalls, tempting the male protagonists with their wicked female wiles. Of course some stories did feature kick ass women, but I think we all agreed it could have used more women who weren’t thinly disguised succubi.
One of my favorite stories was the very last one. It’s a Game of Thrones novella, although you really don’t have to read the novels first, since it’s a history of another fight for the Iron Throne, in the times of dragons. Like with all of Martin’s stories- don’t get attached to any of the characters. Especially don’t get attached to any of the dragons in the story. It’s a bit hard to read about dragon on dragon violence, because it turns out that along with dogs, cats and horses, I get more attached to dragons than humans. Other standouts for me were My Heart is Either Broken, Wrestling Jesus, Neighbors, I Know How to Pick ‘Em, Second Arabesque, Very Slowly, and The Princess and the Queen. Definitely worth the time!
Overall, reading an anthology worked for us, and I look forward to trying more in the future!
What books are you reading in your book club?