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Extra (Ordinary) People
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Extra (Ordinary) People

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Five elegant stories from Hugo & Nebula award-winning author Joanna Russ, in the form of a history lesson to a child of the future. A medieval abbess defends her community against Viking invasion; a young girl sails on a 19th-century clipper bound for America with a guardian who is not what 'he' seems; a time traveller disguises herself as a male god on an errand of me ...more
Unknown Binding, 160 pages
Published February 1st 1984 by St. Martins Press (NYC) (first published 1984)
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I'd put this at three and a half stars, but the rating system doesn't allow for finer rating ...

This is a strange, at times intriguing, and at times amusing series of stories. Not easy to 'get into' I did however find it satisfying to persist and make myself think ... these are not for a quick light read.

The last story 'Everyday Depressions' was for me perhaps the lightest and easiest to access of the stories, delivered as a series of letters on the possible development of a gothic styled histo
A very solid book by an author I'm increasingly appreciating, this is a collection of five short pieces (of varying length) linked by the sparsest of interstitials presenting them as part of a history lesson being given to a child of the future.

That sparseness is a feature of Russ' work, and it's something readers are likely to love or hate. Russ' writing is the very antithesis of the infodump: she has a tendency to simply drop the reader right in, engaging them with the thoughts and feelings o
Abi Inman
I liked the first story, "Souls," but it all went downhill from there. Kept feeling as though I was missing something. She doesn't take the time to make sure the reader knows what's actually HAPPENING in each story, and I always finished with only a vague idea of what had passed.
Aaron Kent
There are a couple of pages in this book that are exquisite and reminded me why I love science fiction so much. Well worth the read.
Erik Graff
Jan 21, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Russ fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Joanna Russ, along with women like Pamela Sargeant, Ursula LeGuin and others, came into science fiction as I came into high school. Together, they profoundly influenced the genre, introducing sciences such as anthropology, sociology and psychology into a field which had been dominated by chemistry, physics and engineering. They also tended, as a whole, to better at characterization than their male counterparts, perhaps because it was necessary for them to be better than average to get published. ...more
Thanks Helen! Enjoyed this enormously.
Joanna Russ is criminally under-read. I hope this collection comes back into print soon - seemingly OOP since 1985. Most of the stories are not quite mindblowing like The Female Man but "Souls" in particular is truly great, also "Everyday Depressions." A stone classic, super enjoyable and reminiscent of early Gene Wolfe.
Zachary Jernigan
OBJECTIVE RATING (my best stab at looking at the book's merits, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it all that much): 4.5

PERSONAL RATING (how much the book "worked" for me personally): 4

A fantastic short collection that displays, once again, how varied an author Joanna Russ could be.
Arthur Vincie
Loved this book. Joanna Russ is a favorite sci-fi author. Here she's pushing the boundaries of what sci-fi can do. She plays with gender, time, identity, morality... but without being loud or flashy, and keeping each of these related stories very personal, very tightly focused.
"souls", the leading story, is brilliant and while i liked the Idea of the other pieces, we Just didn't connect. but i think there may be a lot of meta stuff going on that i didn't pick up on as only an occasional reader of scifi/fantasy.
The first story in this collection, Souls, was by far the best. Read the full review here => http://speculativebookreview.blogspot...
i'd forgotten how extraordinary Russ is, and how exquisite her control of register. the final story, "Everyday Depressions", made me as happy as anything has in a while.
Nick Jackson
This is a superb collection of stories, beautifully written. It's funny and sharp. A real discovery.
Dec 04, 2012 Cheryl marked it as not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
ruthlessly culling my shelves of books I keep trying to choose next but passing over
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Joanna Russ was an American writer and feminist. She is the author of a number of works of science fiction, fantasy and feminist literary criticism and is best known for The Female Man, a novel combining utopian fiction and satire. It uses the device of parallel worlds as a form of a mediation of the ways that different societies might produce very different versions of the same person, and how al ...more
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“I have had my share of trouble and sickness but always somewhere in me there is a little spot of warmth and joy to make it all easier, like a traveler's fire burning out in the wilderness on a cold night.” 1 likes
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