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Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  807 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Sisters of the Revolution gathers a highly curated selection of feminist speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror and more) chosen by one of the most respected editorial teams in speculative literature today, the award-winning Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Including stories from the 1970s to the present day, the collection seeks to expand the conversation about ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by PM Press
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Authors in this collection I have read before :
Leonora Carrington
Octavia E. Butler
Angela Carter
Pat Murphy
Joanna Russ
Tanith Lee
Ursula K. Le Guin

All the other authors :
L. Timmel Duchamp
Kit Reed
Nnedi Okorafor
Eleanor Arnason
Kelley Eskridge
Angélica Gorodischer
Nalo Hopkinson
Leena Krohn
James Tiptree Jr.
Rose Lemberg
Anne Richter
Kelly Barnhill
Hiromi Goto
Vandana Singh
Susan Palwick
Carol Emshwiller
Eileen Gunn
Karin Tidbeck
Pamela Sargent
Rachel Swirsky
Catherynne M. Valente
Elisabeth Vonarburg

Clearly I need to
I love the idea behind this anthology: sci-fi/fantasy stories, written by women from many different places and times, coming together to form a multi-faceted view of feminism. It was an exciting combination of authors: old favorites, some I'd been meaning to check out, and several I'd never heard of before.

There were some compelling and thought-provoking stories in here, but overall... I found it a bit tedious. Part of the reason is that, despite the variety of settings and styles, there's a
Jenny (Reading Envy)
First of all, I would like to award myself a medal for FINALLY making it through one of the anthologies on my VanderMeer shelf. It is one of the slimmer collections but I have been saying I will do this for several years! It took one of my reading groups declaring February the month of revolution, and I decided this was as good of a time as any to work through these stories.

There is a wide range of stories here, wide in theme and in time period, some old enough to give tastes of "old school"
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and well curated anthology that brought me into contact with several authors I haven't read (or even heard of) before.

As with nearly all anthologies it was a combination of hit and miss, but there are much more stories that intrigued me than ones that left me with a shoulder shrug.

The stories that stood out to me were:

The Palm Tree Bandit by Nnedi Okorafor is a delightful story about the unusual beginning of a myth. I love Okorafor's prose and her down-to-earth
Viv JM
This is a really excellent and diverse collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories with a feminist slant. A lot of the stories (as might be expected) are dystopian, but not all. There is a good mix of well known and lesser known authors, and there are many stories in translation too. As with any anthology, I enjoyed some stories a lot more than others, but the overall quality was very high and I would recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys speculative fiction.
Catherine Siemann
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An exemplary collection of feminist speculative fiction, with a nice combination of contemporary and classic authors. Although, as with all anthologies, some stories appeal more than others, there wasn't a story here that I felt didn't belong. (Disclaimer: I was a Kickstarter backer for this project, which really just means I paid for my copy quite a bit in advance.)

Stories that especially stood out for me:
"The Forbidden Words of Margaret A." by L. Timmel Duchamp
Speculative *legal* fiction about
Ben Loory
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it

"My Flannel Knickers" by Leonora Carrington (which actually made me physically dizzy, which was a new one on me)
"The Grammarian's Five Daughters" by Eleanor Arnason (really loved this one! Will be reading more Arnason soon)
"The Forbidden Words of Margaret A" by L. Timmel Duchamp
"The Fall River Axe Murders" by Angela Carter (which prompted me to spend the next 5 hours researching Lizzie Borden)
"Boys" by Carol Emshwiller

Plus of course the James Tiptree Jr and Octavia Butler stories,
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
Sadly overall, the impression I am left with is that I simply do not like anthologies all that much. Some standout stories. Some ok stories and some very weak ones. Still, I am more convinced than ever that I just have to get my behind in gear and finally read Octavia Butler.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories from a wide range of authors. I enjoyed a number of the stories, all of which had a feminist slant. Some stories were scary commentaries on gender relations, while one in particular gave me a few chuckles (the one about the grammarian). I liked the editors' picks.
This book is something of a challenge for me. I picked it up because it has the word “feminist” on the cover, and is an anthology (something that I find significantly easier to read during the school year because I can review in parts.) I would like to make it clear that I will not understand some of the works included in this anthology, and I hope you will not judge me for this. I will rate each piece on my enjoyment of it, but in this book more than any other, my opinions might be very wrong. ...more
An exemplary anthology. There is not a single weak or even mediocre story here and many of the works included rank among the finest tales in the canon. This is an absolutely essential read for anyone who loves speculative fiction.

(Parenthetically, I am thrilled my little participation in the Kickstarter that helped bring about this volume contributed to something so fine. My money has rarely been so well spent!)
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it

- Nalo Hopkinson's take on Bluebeard
- James Tiptree Jr's The Screwfly Solution
- Vandava Singh, the Woman Who thought She Was a Planet
- Susan Palwick's werewolf story
Morgan Dhu
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Sisters of the Revolution, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, is a reprint anthology that brings together work from some of the most important feminist voices in science fiction. This is not hyperbole. Among the works collected in this PM Press publication are Joanna Russ’s When It Changed, James Tiptree Jr’s The Screwfly Solution, Octavia Butler’s The Evening and the Morning and the Night, and Ursula Le Guin’s Sur, as well as several other stories I’ve read and loved before from authors Eleanor
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The style of the first two stories really got in the way of the interesting premises, and I started the third one but have kind of lost interest. The writing just makes it too difficult to get carried away with the stories.
Bonnie McDaniel
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's a nice trend on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites, of crowdfunding anthologies based around specific themes that might not find a home in traditional publishing. This book is a good example. I participated in its Kickstarter, and I'm proud that my money helped this book find a home in the world.

It's a very professional effort, as would be expected from the editing team of Jeff and Ann VanderMeer. Unfortunately, all the stories are from years past and cannot be considered for this
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's not a bad story in this collection (though there is one that I totally did not understand - the surrealist story My Flannel Knickers by Lenora Carrington). Here are a few of my favorites:

- The Forbidden Words of Margaret A. by L. Timmel Duchamp; 1980
A woman's ideas are so radical and powerful, the government makes it illegal for her to speak.

- The Glass Bottle Trick by Nalo Hopkinson; 2000
A woman learns to see her husband in a new light after she accidentally breaks the bottles he keeps
Felice Picano
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anne and Jeff Vandermeer are superb anthologists and Jeff's a pretty good writer too. This book isn't as "revolutionary" as the title implies and it's only sometimes "feminist." But it is the best collection of modern speculative fiction by women about women I know of, ranging all over the world in good translations and containing some true classics of this genre. Among the latter are James Tiptree, Jr.'s The Screwfly Solution, Olivia Butler's The Evening and the Morning and the Night, L. Timmel ...more
Matthew Hall
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, 2016
Really solid collection. My perennial favorite Le Guin is present in a story I hadn't read before, as well as James Tiptree/Alice Sheldon's The Screwfly Solution, one of her most feverish and finest stories, and Catherynne Valente who I have lately enjoyed. The others were all new to me, but of particular interest were Carol Emshwiller, Pamela Sargent, L. Timmel DuChamp, Leena Krohn, Pat Murphy, Eleanor Arnason and Octavia Butler.

Loved the stories of Arnason, Emshwiller and Octavia Butler's The
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
uneven. opens with some pretty leaden, plodding parables, then moves onto some really interesting older stories i had missed (why haven't i read james tiptree before? because my library has no tiptree books, that's why.) and then i stopped reading.
you know how authors use bad things happening to animals to prove points about human characters? i react badly to that and the most extreme example of it i have ever seen is in the middle of this anthology. not only could i not finish the story, i
Christine Prevas
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
There were maybe 5 stories that made reading this worthwhile (Octavia Butler's "The Evening and the Morning and the Night," L Timmel Duchamp's "The Forbidden Words of Margaret A," Pat Murphy's Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates," Eileen Gunn's "Stable Strategies for Middle Management," and Catherynne M Valente's "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time") but for the most part I ended up infuriated and offended that an anthology published in 2015 could include stories that demean and fetishize ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This anthology, everyone. A beautiful, multi-faceted collection showing the many shades and shapes that feminism can take; addressing a variety of issues; and showing how the female voice and identity in SFF were forged. A great introduction to those interested in this aspect of genre lit, and a powerful read that will stay with you for long after. So many amazing voices, and so many of them I haven't read before.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
While a few of the stories were well-written and compelling, a number of the stories relied on ham-fisted, forced imagery and overdone tropes of the genre to illustrate tired, vague messages about patriarchal existence. However, it did introduce me to some new speculative authors, so for that I'll give it 3 stars instead of 2.
Mari Monte
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, short-stories
The broad banner of speculative fiction is, bar none, my favorite. I love it all -- fantay, sci fi, horror, everything in between. This is a speculative anthology, the unifying theme being all works by women, and truly covered all bases (in the broadest sense -- I mean thirty stories still can't cover the myriad of sub genres but there were so many flavors represented here).

I don't even know how to begin shouting my love of this anthology. So many utterly unique and diverse stories gathered
Dan Trefethen
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a veritable Who's Who of powerful women writers in SF and F. The Vandermeers carefully edit the work to intersperse women associated with the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 70s (Russ, Le Guin, Tiptree, Carter) with contemporary authors (Singh, Swirsky, Valente, Jemisin), to show the influence and progression of feminist writing.

Some strong women authors are not represented here, probably because their better work is not at short lengths (there are 29 stories crammed into
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
First book of 2019. Short story anthologies are always a mixed bag. Some of the stories were great, some of them, not so much. Definitely worth a read, even if you skim some of the stories.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary compilation
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent cross-section of women sf/f authors, both foundational ones as well as several brilliant contemporary writers.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dnf for best possible reason: got so inspired I started writing and ran out of library renewals. I read about two thirds of it and will definitely return for the rest.
Sarah Rigg
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-authors, lgbtq
I knew I would love this, and I did. With any anthology, some pieces are stronger than others, but there were only a couple I felt "meh" about in this one, and I loved many of them.

The collection starts off strong with "The Forbidden Words of Margaret A." by L. Timmel Duchamp, about a woman whose powers of persuasion are so strong that the U.S. has to pass an amendment banning her speech. LOVED IT.

Other favorites were "The Grammarians Five Daughters" by Eleanor Arnason, "And Salome Danced" by
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Ann VanderMeer is an American publisher and editor, and the second female editor of the horror magazine Weird Tales. She is the founder of Buzzcity Press.

Her work as Fiction Editor of Weird Tales won a Hugo Award. Work from her press and related periodicals has won the British Fantasy Award, the International Rhysling Award, and appeared in several year's best anthologies. Ann was also the founder
“But what is life without grumbling, and the occasional opportunity to say, “I told you so”?” 0 likes
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