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Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Anyone familiar with Liz Bourke's work knows she isn't shy about sharing her opinion. In columns and reviews for science fiction and fantasy website and elsewhere, she's taken a critical eye to fantasy and SF, from books to movies, television to videogames, old to new. This volume presents a selection of the best of her articles. Bourke's subjects range from the na ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by Aqueduct Press (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Peter Tillman
2018 Hugo Award finalist, Related Work category
Publisher's page, with PW review and sample text:

Her columns are available at and are almost always entertaining:

Very sharp-tongued lady. If she wouldn't take offense at that title....
Nicholas Whyte
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it

Most of the pieces collected here are book reviews, previously posted on Strange Horizons,, etc; and all of the books reviewed are by women, which makes an important point. This is all good material and certainly points me to a few authors who I should try out.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Liz Bourke's opinions and takes on well-known and lesser-known science fiction and fantasy books.

I found that I really enjoyed the reviews of books that I had already read but seldom got drawn into that "I must have it!" mode from the reviews of books I have not read.

I did end up adding two books to my TBR list: "Archivist Wasp" by Nicole Kornher-Stace and "The Sleeping God" by Violette Malan. I was impressed that there were so many authors and books here that I wasn't previously familiar with -
Heather Jones
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Is it too self-referential to review a book of reviews? The essays were always thoughtful and interesting, although the book's preference for clustering multiple reviews from the same author left me worried when the first couple sets didn't really hit my interest. But the majority of the topics hit more solidly and it's always great to see a deliberately feminist take on popular culture. ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I lied. I haven't read every page of this book. I can't help myself - I'm in love with it, and so I'm doing this jitterbug dance all up and down its chapters, diving in here, reading carefully there, skimming the other place.

And now what I really want to do is take the author IN for a drink. Take her into my library that is, and slam down books saying, have you also read this? Well, what about that?

I think it's because she's a she, and a feminist. That matters when it comes to SF. Also, she's in
William Fuller
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Did not think I would particularly like a bookful of feminist sci fi reviews of only women writers, but I was wrong. Engaging and fascinating, it left me with a list of at least a half dozen novels I'd like to read. ...more
Morgan Dhu
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aqueduct Press has released a collection of reviews and essays by Liz Bourke. This fascinating collection, Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, is must reading for anyone interested how intersectional feminist analysis of media products should be done. Bourke’s readings of science fiction and fantasy novels, and her essays on such things as how literary canons are created, are both fun to read - Bourke has an engaging, easy style - and important to under ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent collection of reviews, critiques and essays on science fiction and fantasy literature. Particularly good at making a case for - or bringing back to wider attention - interesting and provocative works by female authors that have perhaps fallen off of the fantasy-reading community’s radar. The idea of a plurality of canons that the author develops is a valuable one and runs through the whole collection.

Some of the reviews of sequels can be opaque if you are unfamiliar with earlier works
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Hugo 2018 reading. I skimmed the first 90+ pages provided by in the Hugo voters packet. These are a collection of sharp and interesting reviews of mostly feminist speculative fiction. The selections are from the author's reviews on various web sites. The reviewed material reflects items that interested the author over time and do not represent a complete review of a particular subject matter. I liked the writing style and point of view and added at least one item to my reading list based on the ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I skimmed some of the reviews (where I didn't want spoilers) but definitely added some books reviewed here to my to be read list. ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A collection of books reviews and commentary on SciFi novels and writers. Often insightful, always entertaining. Enjoyed this collection, even when I wasn't familiar with the books being reviewed. ...more
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