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Maiden, Mother, Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes: Kickstarter Edition

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Maiden, Mother, Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes is a Bedside Press anthology of new fantastical short fiction by trans women and trans feminine writers curated by celebrated poet and author Gwen Benaway.

Drawing on high fantasy and other genres of fantasy writing, Maiden, Mother, Crone is the first anthology by trans femme authors to explore the realms of magic, supernatur
Paperback, 152 pages
Published April 28th 2019 by Independently Published (first published April 15th 2019)
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Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was provided a free copy of this by the publisher.

I've been in a reading slump these past couple...well, weeks, and anthologies are just not good to get you out of that. I learned. Which is why it took me rather long to read this. It's really good though, and I can recommend it to everyone who wants to get into more diverse Fantasy. There are a shit ton of trans (main)characters, otherwise queer characters, and just. I loved it. The stories were all good, even though, like with every anthology,
This anthology of fantasy stories by trans femme writers was hit and miss for me, but there were a few stories that I loved. Perhaps not surprisingly, the ones by authors I already knew: Kai Cheng Thom and Casey Plett. But I also really liked "Undoing Vampirism" by Lilah Sturges and "Perisher" by Crystal Frasier. The editor introduces this book focusing on epic fantasy, but the stories I liked were the ones that did something different. Full review to come!
Although uneven in terms of quality, with a few stories that strayed a little too far from ‘fantastical’ for my tastes, the fact that a collection like Maiden, Mother, Crone is a collection that’s well worth the read.

What stood out most for me, and what I think distinguishes this from similar collections, is that while these are stories featuring transgender women, they are not necessarily about being transgender. In fact, gender is almost an afterthought in many of the stories, some
Danika at The Lesbrary
A big variety of tones and worlds. There's some D&D-esque shenanigans, some noir with a reluctant ghost and his killed detective team, a story about residential schools and dream magic, and some entirely unfamiliar worlds. They also vary in how much they centre around the character's trans identity or take that as a given. There are a couple f/f stories in here: they're actually back-to-back, and they both involve a woman searching for the antidote to a loved one's illness. I really liked bo ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadiana, 2019s
This is a powerhouse of a collection. As with all short story collections, some of them didn’t ring with me, but some absolute standouts will stick with me for a long time. My faves: “the vixen, with death perusing” by Izzy Wasserstein; “undoing vampirism” by Lilah Sturges; “I shall remain” by Kari Chang Thom; “dreamborn” by Kylie Ariel Bemis; “perisher” by Crystal Fraser. Yes, you read that right: almost half of the stories in this collection are my faves. I’m telling you: this is a powerhouse ...more
Geneviève (thefreckledbookworm)
Bedside Press publishes books written by diverse authors (LGBTQ+, Indigenous voices, women, etc.), which is why I HAD to accept their offer to send me some of their books for a review. Thank you for reaching out to me through IG!

I was really looking forward to reading this anthology written by trans femmes / featuring trans femmes characters. However, I almost DNFed this book a couple of times. Some of the eleven stories where unmemorable, while some were so badly written (lack/wrong punctuatio
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy, fantasy
I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Maiden, Mother, and Crone is a fantasy anthology comprised entirely of stories written by trans femme authors.

These are all powerful stories with trans women and femmes in the spotlight, giving them the primacy and the happy endings they deserve. The writing quality is high and the stories are wildly creative and original additions to a genre that was traditionally the territory of the white male. I very much prefer seeing strong women a
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

This was a great idea for an anthology, but unfortunately I just had trouble getting into most of the stories. As always there are some stories that are better than others, but with 11 stories packed into a 150 page book I didn't always feel like there was enough page space to fit enough exposition and character development to really make me feel attached to any particular protagonist. I would not call any of the stories bad though, and if you ar
Naavaparta Metsähine
I was given a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The anthology was quite uneven when it came to the stories in it. Some – like Forest's Edge – were absolutely and utterly stunning and made me wish for a full-length novel in that story's world. Some – like Perisher – made me want to skim what I was reading and skip entire paragraphs because I simply did not enjoy them. i shall remain was a peculiar read, something I greatly enjoyed even though it was, at times, od
Ben Babcock
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I backed this on Kickstarter, but of course, then it sat on my shelf for a bit. Recently Gwen Benaway has been a prominent voice against Toronto Public Library allowing Meghan Murphy to host a talk at one of their branches. In following that news, I decided this was a good time to get to Maiden, Mother, Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes.

I really wish I could gush about this book and say I loved it, because it’s so important to support trans voices and get more #ownvoices stories with trans rep out there. Alas, I d
This a fairly meh anthology :/

I appreciate that trans women get to just be heroines of fantasy stories -- that the stories aren't about their quests to transition -- but a lot of the stories in this collection just didn't feel that strong (though certainly, as with any anthology, some stories are stronger than others).
Artur Nowrot
Broadly speaking, the first half was quite rough, because mostly it contained a fairly stereotypical fantasy with elves, dwarves, bandits in the woods etc. But the second half picked up, the stories got more varied and broke out of the narrow definition of fantasy to do some really interesting stuff.

Personal highlights:
"The Knighting" by Alexa Fae McDaniel
"Undoing Vampirism" by Lilah Sturges
"Dreamborn" by Kylie Ariel Bemis
Anwen Hayward
There's lots of things to recommend this book. First and foremost, it gives a voice to people who are historically underrepresented in media and publishing, and that can only be a good thing. Some of the stories here are great, and I'd love to read full length novels of many of them (particularly Kai Cheng Thom's). The variety of representation and narrative is really interesting, too. There are myriad takes on the fantasy genre, from D&D style mages to 1940s Noir. There are stories which de ...more
Some of the short stories were well written and very interesting, while others were a bit poorly executed. What drew me to the fantasy short story collection to begin with was highlighting trans women/trans femmes voices.
As an anthology, the works are of course of varying styles and quality. For the most part the stories were excellent and of very high quality, but there were a few stories with blatant errors or typos that I was surprised got past editing. I hope they are caught before final release, as I was reading an ARC. But I definitely found a few authors who's work I'll look out for in the future.

As for the content of the stories, there were some standard swords-and-sworcery fantasy tales whic
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Eleven short stories, some with familiar fantasy tropes like mercenaries, warrior women, mages and evil kings. Others, like Crystal Frasier's Perisher, have newer plots: the protagonist 'reads' corpses with the help of the ghost of a man she killed.

All the stories have twists and insights based on trans femme experiences. Experiences which can be as alienating as any fairy kidnapping or dragon. All affirm trans femme identity and deal with the magical properties of transformation.

Nom Chompsky
Really nice read! The biggest criticisms have to do with some sloppy editing and pretty drastic variance in quality story to story, but some great gems in here.

Fantasy seems to be an afterthought for a lot of my trans friends who are big readers, as they tend toward sci-fi & bio-hacking metaphors and the future as the utopian refuge; I think fantasy, as a kind of vast field of nostalgia or timelessness (or perhaps futuristic return to pastoral & medieval sensibilities) doesn’t always re
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I’m typically happy with a short story collection if it has two or three stories I can’t put down, and in this collection there were several. I had to leave bookmarks for myself so that I could go back and tally them for this review. In my opinion, things really pick up steam around the midpoint so if a reader is muddling through at the start, I strongly recommend just going out of order.

For starters, I’d read a much longer book version of “Undoing Vampirism” in a hot second. Unfortunately it’s
I liked the idea of this anthology a lot, and looked forward to its release since learning about it, but many of the stories in this collection simply did not turn out well. There were a few stand-outs, many that were fine yet forgettable, and some I felt were borderline Twitter threads, vehicles for takes more than stories with anyone or thing to care about in them, and takes that I have seen countless times. I know that sounds very harsh. Maybe I am just not the audience for those stories, as ...more
X. Marduk (Sorcerer of Tea)
I quite enjoyed this anthology, but some of the stories just weren't that amazingly executed. The very first story had a great idea, but didn't execute it well, and tried to fit far to much worldbuilding into a v ery small space. The result was a dry read that does not serve as a good introduction to this anthology. The idea was great, the quality just could've been better. Maybe a narrower focus would've helped.
trigger warnings
(view spoiler)

A smith venturing in the dark wood to save her child, a woman wanting to transition and accepting a job to get the potions needed. A battle mage who is despised and hunted because she was born with a penis, a person holding a speech against vampirism.

This collection includes eleven short
Corrie aka Fae's Finds
I received an eARC of Maiden, Mother and Drone: Fantastical Trans Femmes, from Diamond Book Publishers via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Content Warning
self-harm (blood magic), transphobic attitudes

I was super duper excited for this anthology! Fantastical short stories about trans femme heroes written by trans femme warriors! Sign me up please!

Every short deals with the emotions of the trans femme, and the judgments cast upon them in society. Even in made up wor/>Content
Kelsee Evans
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have truly, always enjoyed fantasy stories. And as I got older I realized how white, straight, and cisgender the lens was that these stories were being told through. Which is one reason I so enjoyed this anthology. Every story had trans characters. And in a lot of the stories, their being trans lead them to a life of greater freedom. Which was so wonderful to read, since usually trans stories tend to be tragic. And it’s not that tragedies don’t have an important place in society, but it was ni ...more
Warnings: misgendering and transmisia, mentions of sexual assault and child sexual abuse, animal death

Rep: All stories are OwnVoices and have trans women main characters; some stories have sapphic main and/or secondary characters; one story has an asexual and trans woman secondary character

This anthology of fantasy stories, all involving trans women characters, is a fantastic collection of tales, in which the women all have different roles and varied outlooks. There are stories about women figh
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maiden, Mother, and Crone is an anthology of fantasy stories with trans feminine leads. Whilst the majority of the stories have a sword and sorcery feel to them, there are a couple of exceptions notably LIlah Sturges' "Undoing Vampirism" and Crystal Fraiser's "Perisher" where a ghost sidekick helps solve crimes.

I gave the book an overall rating of 4 stars (rounded for the mean of 3.9 stars calculated from my ratings for the individual stories). There was one story that I didn't click
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly unique and clever short story collection. I loved the idea of transwomen telling trans stories in a fantasy context. Each story was it's own and explored its trans characters in different ways. All the characters were shaped by being trans but that wasn't their only defining characteristic. Which is something that I can only imagine someone who is trans deals with on a daily basis.

My favorite stores were the ones that subverted my expectations. I also really admired the stori
Lucy Goodfellow
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This own-voices short story anthology was well-intentioned but ultimately it tried to do too much.
I think the collection would have benefited from the caveat of having all the submissions being set in one world as the expositional nature of some stories added to my low rating.

One story that I particularly enjoyed was 'Forest's Edge' By Audrey Vest. But, unfortunately, the others lacked the narrative hook n
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all anthologies, there were some pieces I really loved and others that didn't resonate so much with me. Still, I loved the diversity of the characters and stories. Reading so many fantastical trans narratives in a row was an all-around great experience. Mountain God, Forest's Edge, Undoing Vampirism, and Dreamborn were particular favorites of mine.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the stories in here were really enjoyable, but some of the stories in here were so boring and hard to follow that I almost didn't make it to the second half of the book where the good stories were.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, edelweiss
A good collection of stories that made me discovered new to authors.
I liked the different tones, type of novel and found this book engrossing and entertaining.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Gwen Benaway is a bisexual feminist Gemini trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published three collections of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage, and Holy Wild. Her fourth collection of poetry, Aperture, is forthcoming from Book*hug in Spring 2020. Her writing has been published in many national publications, including CBC Arts, Maclean’s Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. ...more