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Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century
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Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Women's contributions to science fiction over the past century have been lasting and important, but critical work in the field has only just begun to explore its full range. Justine Larbalestier has collected 11 key stories--many of them not easily found, and all of them powerful and provocative--and sets them alongside 11 new essays, written by top scholars and critics, t ...more
Paperback, 397 pages
Published May 22nd 2006 by Wesleyan University Press
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Nat Smith
So far, I am really enjoying some of the groundbreaking fiction, though it seems as if they are deemed feminist by merely being by women writers or centralizing female characters to say nothing of the lack of black and brown writers. In my book feminism is more than that, or not that at all. But the pieces are important ones, dating back to 1927, in terms of the history of the recognition of women spec fic writers. The essays that accompany each piece are really interesting. I am not much of a l ...more
Linda Robinson
I want to now read every anthology with science fiction by women constructed the way Larbalestier put this book together. 11 scifi short stories by women in published chronological order beginning with Clare Winger Harris in 1927, and ending with Karen Joy Fowler in 2002. Each short story is followed by an essay written by a feminist scholar. Larbalestier introduces us to the collection explaining she chose the essayists and let each pick the story to write about. The essays are academic, and di ...more
Shara
Daughters of Earth is far more than a critical text of the genre. It's a short story anthology. There are eleven short stories in this volume, each with a companion critical essay discussing the story itself, the author and her other work, and the feminist and historical times in which the story was written. And I must say, this was fascinating stuff. I'd kill to find more critical texts like this one, because not only did it give me access to stories I may have never found otherwise, but it all ...more
Mav
I don’t admit to knowing much about feminism, nor am I an avid reader of science fiction. I’d recommend this for everybody, whether or not you read the essays. It’s just one of those books that you read, and at some point, you’re going to run into a sentence, a line that you take issue with. It’s an eye opening experience for the complete sci-fiction newbie. First off, Daughters of Earth isn’t a complete introduction, especially if you read the essays,

While the stories are wonderful introduction
...more
Shel
"The Heat Death of the Universe," by Pamela Zoline and "Rachel in Love," by Pat Murphy and "What I Didn't See," by Karen Joy Fowler were highlights of this collection of short fiction. Includes Octavia Butler's "The Evening and the Morning and the Night," about an invented Duryea-Gode disease which makes people tear at their own flesh, and is also in her collection Bloodchild and Other Stories. The essays that follow each story provide a great introduction to feminist science fiction and point t ...more
Paul
Jun 16, 2007 Paul rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Ursula LeGuin/Octavia Butler
This book is incredible. It's 11 science fiction stories by (mostly) feminists spanning the century, each followed by a feminist essay on the story. The stories are all very solid, and the essays give such great perspectives and historical background about both sci fi at the time, and feminism at the time. It was an excellent introduction to a whole bunch of new writers for me.
Ian
This is one of the best sf anthologies I’ve read, not just because it features an excellent selection of stories, ranging from 1927 to 2002 and so providing a really good historical spread of feminist sf, but also because every story is followed by a critical essay, discussing either the story, writer, or the science fiction of the time of the story’s publication. There are some favourite pieces of short fiction in here: ‘ The Heat Death of the Universe’ by Pamela Zoline, ‘And I Awoke and Found ...more
Meghan
I think the hybrid form of this anthology is genius.
Esther
I started the year with what - to me - was a perfect book. Was it perfect in that it made no mistakes? Not at all!

For me, it was perfect in that it fed so many different parts of me. It fed me as an academic (albeit in a different field), a story lover, a feminist and a follower of science fiction. I loved being able to alternate between all these different aspects of myself in one book.

The book is structured as an introduction to the subject matter - feminist science fiction - followed by elev
...more
Andrea
My reactions to these stories were occasionally, "Is this really science fiction?" and occasionally, "I wouldn't call that feminist!" But that's one of the great things about an anthology that spans a century of social change, scifi, and feminist theory. Still my favorites were almost all at the end with the more recent writers. Standouts for me were "Wives" by Lisa Tuttle and "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" by Octavia Butler. (I really have to read more Butler.) I've seen some compl ...more
Kathleen
Wow! Some of these stories just blew me away! I was very surprised to see how early feminist sf was being written! I had no idea! The first story: The Fate of the Poseidonia was written in 1927. Sure the language usage is a little dated, but it kinda still works even after all these years. Some of the events in the story are relevant to today's headlines. (Such as that Indonesia airplane that disappeared 4 months ago).
The second story: The Conquest of Gola, was written in 1931! and the third s
...more
Heidi
So this is the first anthology I've read from cover to cover including critical essays and all. And I enjoyed it quite a bit for the most part.

As far as reading the stories with a feminist critique and with the critical essays, all of the stories are important and bring up good points. It was kind of like reading a history of feminism throughout the twentieth century but via stories. Which I think is a very good way to study history. Looking at influential stories can really show what the public
...more
Rift Vegan
What a great book! I don't read very much theory, but the essays really add to the value of the stories... Usually I read too fast to actually think about the underlying themes and such, so the essays -- "think about this" -- were enjoyable.

My favorite story is Pat Murphy's "Rachel In Love", about a little girl's human brain in a chimp body. Of course my animal rights side was screaming at the lab, but it's a great story to expose people to these issues. And it should be obvious: if you are a fe
...more
Summer
This is a fine book and a great mix of excellent stories and thoughtful commentary, but it only gets four stars because it's a book about feminist science fiction without a single story by Ursula K. LeGuin or Joanna Russ, and that's like putting out an anthology on Elizabethan drama without anything by Shakespeare or Marlowe. The editor gives the lame excuse that none of the contributors wanted to write essays on the two, but when every contributor's essay mentions LeGuin or Russ, you march back ...more
Jenny
I read this for my thesis (expect to see that opening A LOT in the next few months) and I really enjoyed it. The book has one story from each decade of the twentieth century with an accompanying essay. The essays were generally enlightening and helped me to develop a better feel for the history of feminist SF. The stories were excellent. Highly recommended if you're a fan of SF in general.
Annie
Oct 02, 2007 Annie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who likes sf
Shelves: sf-f
Full of good sf w/ feminist themes from 1920's to the present that explore human sexuality and the role of the feminine. Includes stories by James Tiptree Jr and Octavia E Butler. Stories are paired with an essay analysis that make for interesting reading between the short stories.
June Schwarz
Dear Justine,
I would have written an essay on either Joanna Russ or Ursula LeGuin. Including them should have been mandatory. Next time, just ask around.
Sincerely,
June
Alexa
This is an excellent combination of some great yet little-known stories along with accompanying essays that makes for an absolutely fantastic read.
Allan
May 28, 2014 Allan is currently reading it
Outstanding collection of feminist SF, compiled based on recommendations of other feminist SF writers.
Katie
Short stories & essays about them in the context of sci-fi, sci-fi-fandom, and feminism.
Erin
good choice of feminist sci-fi short stories
Sarah
Best book ever!
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Justine Larbalestier is an Australian young-adult fiction author. She is best known for the Magic or Madness trilogy: Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons and the newly released Magic's Child. She also wrote one adult non-fiction book, the Hugo-nominated The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Best Related Book, 2003), and edited another, Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentiet ...more
More about Justine Larbalestier...
Liar How to Ditch Your Fairy Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness, #1) Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness, #2) Magic's Child (Magic or Madness, #3)

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