The Future Is Female! Volume Two, The 1970s: More Classic Science Fiction Storie s By Women
A Library of America Special Publication
by Lisa Yaszek
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Pub Date 18 Oct 2022 | Archive Date Not set
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In the 1970s, feminist authors created a new mode of science fiction in defiance of the “baboon patriarchy”—Ursula Le Guin’s words—that had long dominated the genre, imagining futures that are still visionary. In this sequel to her groundbreaking 2018 anthology The Future is Female!: 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin, SF-expert Lisa Yaszek offers a time machine back to the decade when far-sighted rebels changed science fiction forever with stories that made female community, agency, and sexuality central to the American future.
Here are twenty-three wild, witty, and wonderful classics that dramatize the liberating energies of the 1970s:
- Sonya Dorman, “Bitching It” (1971)
- Kate Wilhelm, “The Funeral” (1972)
- Joanna Russ, “When It Changed” (1972) NEBULA AWARD
- Miriam Allen deFord, “A Way Out”(1973)
- Vonda N. McIntyre, “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” (1973) NEBULA
- James Tiptree, Jr., “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” (1973) HUGO AWARD
- Kathleen Sky, “Lament of the Keeku Bird” (1973)
- Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Day Before the Revolution” (1974) NEBULA & LOCUS AWARD
- Eleanor Arnason, “The Warlord of Saturn’s Moons” (1974)
- Kathleen M. Sidney, “The Anthropologist” (1975)
- Marta Randall, “A Scarab in the City of Time” (1975)
- Elinor Busby, “A Time to Kill” (1977)
- Raccoona Sheldon, “The Screwfly Solution” (1977) NEBULA AWARD
- Pamela Sargent, “If Ever I Should Leave You” (1974)
- Joan D. Vinge, “View from a Height” (1978)
- M. Lucie Chin, “The Best Is Yet to Be” (1978)
- Lisa Tuttle, “Wives” (1979)
- Connie Willis, “Daisy, In the Sun” (1979)
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Average rating from 31 members
this book has everything I love, women science fiction and vintage, I absolutely loved it!! I also really appreciated the size of each stories, not too long, so perfect to read if you have trouble staying focusing
Short stories are perfect for reading when you're busy and struggling to focus, so this was the perfect book for this moment. Although the stories are from the 70s, they weren't dated. Rather, it felt like the dilemmas and issues in them are only more pressing now.
I can't review every story, so I'll mention a couple I especially liked. There was a James Tiptree story (note: James Tiptree was a female author writing under a pseudonym) about a young woman who is, essentially, an instagram operator. The internet didn't exist at the time of writing, but somehow Tiptree predicted we would have influencers, that they'd be glamorous for a living and make their money promoting products. But in this story, the influencer is a cloned body remotely piloted by a woman not nearly so beautiful or glamorous. Without explicitly saying so, Tiptree brings our attention to how different it is to be beautiful or ugly, especially as a woman. How almost everyone sees the body as the person, and the real person behind it as the "thing."
Another that hit me hard was about a change in human psychology that makes men violent against women. Nobody can figure out what's going on, but as it spreads and more and more women are gruesomely murdered . . . we find that men largely don't care. It's hard to argue it wouldn't be like that.
Many of the stories end on a somber note; as short stories tend to, they give us a premise, make us care, and then wrap up. Still, they left me thinking.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
This is an excellent and impressive anthology of 70s feminist science fiction. The stories in it demonstrate the breadth of ideas and subgenres explored by female writers during this decade, as well as their preoccupations with feminist ideals. Additionally, the introduction provides a fascinating overview of the genre and the writers within it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in speculative fiction or second wave feminism.
Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an early copy of this book.
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