Review: Amazons!

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Amazons!
edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson

★★★½☆

1979 • 206 pages • DAW Books

Reading editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s introduction to Amazons!, the first major fantasy anthology featuring female protagonists, is a strange experience for the modern feminist-minded geek. On the one hand, I find few things as heartening (or heartwinning, as Salmonson puts it in the introduction to T. J. Morgan’s “Woman of the White Waste”) as discovering new-to-me texts that prove speculative fiction has not always been the (white, straight, cis) boys’ club people inside the genre and out often assume it is. On the other hand, it’s less heartening to realize that we’ve been having largely the same conversations about diversity and representation for decades. I’m no less motivated to fight the good fight, of course, but it makes for some bittersweet reading.

Emphasis on the sweet, though. I mean, it’s an entire anthology of lady-centric fantasy from the dying days of disco, topped off by a list of nonfiction and fiction books deemed relevant for people interested in that subject matter. And if you’re not interested—well, I think you’re on quite the wrong blog, friend.

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Review: The Female Man

The Female Man by Joanna Russ

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The Female Man has passed into my hands before. I regularly sift through thrift stores and used bookstores to get my hands on my favorite kinds of books—used paperbacks from the sixties, seventies, and eighties. I was just looking at my marvelous copy of The Unfinished Tales and thinking of having a whole shelf devoted to these already beloved beauties when the Floating Domicile finally lands. I found a copy at a thrift store quite a while before I fell in love with Joanna Russ, and, wanting to nurture the budding science fiction leanings of my dear friend Kathryn, I gave it to her for her birthday one year.

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Saturday Morning Opinions: 2013 in Review

2013 has been a pretty big year, for both me and the blog. Not only I have I graduated college, completed a publishing program, gotten my first job, and moved across the country, but I’ve also tinkered with my writing style, format, and various features here at the Literary Omnivore to build a leaner, meaner bookish machine. So, for the first time in the Literary Omnivore’s history as my live reading journal, I present to you this year in review on the last Saturday of the year.

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Review: How to Suppress Women’s Writing

How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ

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In How to Suppress Women’s Writing, the late, great Joanna Russ talks about how important it is for the writing woman to have role models. In this spirit, I dedicate this post to three of Russ’ clear heiresses (besides, you know, her annual collection)—Ana, Jodie, and Renay, especially when they assemble the patriarchy-smashing Voltron that is ladybusiness. I thought of them after reading each chapter of this book. Ladies, Russ clearly belongs to you.

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